Terror on the Blacktop
By Victor Martin
The scariest moment of my life came when I was eight years old. I had gotten into trouble on the bus to school, so I had a front seat view to the carnage that was to come.
The sign that something was wrong was the sound of screeching tires as the bus driver attempted to swerve and avoid an oncoming drunk driver that was coming toward us at eighty miles per hour. It was no use, the drunk driver slammed into us and his pickup truck was shattered by the impact. It was like he hit a tank, the bus was damaged but might have been drivable if it hadn't caught on fire from all the gasoline that was splashed up in the front end of the bus from the pickup.
What was left of the pickup's cab was tossed into a field to the right of the bus. It too became engulfed in flames with the drunk driver still inside. All of this happened in just a few seconds. I had a huge bump on my head from the guard rail to the steps in front of me and I was feeling a little groggy.
The bus driver yelled for my oldest brother, Jeff, to run to a phone to call for help. He then had the next oldest begin ushering the students on the bus out the back emergency exit. As soon as he'd made these orders clear and saw that they were being carried out, he rushed out the front door, risking the fire, and ran to save the drunk driver from the cab.
My other brother, Tracy, and some of the older students gathered all of the students together and started marching us back down the road a few hundred yards, just in case the bus exploded. It didn't, but the danger was still there.
Jeff had gone towards the nearest house, which was in the direction of the fire and danger, but he didn't hesitate and made it up the next hill to a farm house. Around this time other cars and trucks started arriving, drawn by the horrendous sound of the collision and the smoke from the fire. Neighbors from all over the immediate...