I’m getting off the phone with my mom when she says, “Hey, do you drive there? You know where all the highway shootings are taking place?”
“Mom,” I say wondering what the hell she’s talking about. “In Kansas City. Are you sure?”
“Yep. I heard it on the news. Just be careful,” and then we hang up.
Highway shootings? In Kansas City? Certainly, I would’ve heard something by now. Especially since I’m on and off social media all day long. I flip through my Facebook wall to see if there’s any news of it at all. See nothing and then go to bed. (A smart gal would have Googled, but I was tired.)
This morning, it’s on the front page of the KC Star so I take a moment to peruse. In all, there have been twenty shootings in the past month. All similar in nature but in different parts of town- off the Plaza, on 435, on 71 highway. They’re all over the place. So, it seems like there’s no place that’s safe. Especially if there’s a split in the road which is the common theme between all the shootings.
Great. I can no longer drive. Unless it’s on a city street that’s a straight shot. Know why? I am scared to death to drive in the first place.
In all my years blogging, I’ve never written about my fear driving on the highway. Six or seven years ago, I was driving on 435 in a huge thunderstorm in the middle lane when I noticed two trucks getting oddly close to the side of me. I’d slow down. They’d slow at the same pace. I’d speed up. They’d go faster. I remember feeling very boxed in and confused. Then all of a sudden, I heard a loud POP and rain started pouring in my drivers side window. The trucks sped off.
I panicked. I had glass all over me. Rain was soaking the inside of my car. It was hard to see. Thank God, I knew where I was in town because I took the next exit and pulled over at a hospital and parked in a covered garage. That’s when I snapped back to reality.
I was forty-five minutes from home. It was raining like crazy. I had no window and needed help. And, I couldn’t call the K-man because he had Rosie and she’d freak out. So, I called a man that I worked with that lived nearby. He came to my rescue and taped my window shut with a garbage bag so I could drive home.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d never driven without being able to see out the drivers side window. Guess what? It’s there for a reason. I drove home on the highway in pouring rain without the ability to see out the left side, including the mirror. It was claustrophobic and very scary. By the time I got home, I was exhausted but I called my insurance agent to start the claim.
When I told him the story, he thought it a little odd that it was a side window. He’d been in the business over 40 years and never had a side window break from debris on the road. That’s when I told him about the two trucks. He told me he thought my window may have been shot out. When I picked it up from the shop, they confirmed.
Since then, I freak out when cars get too close to me on the highway. And, if you combine that with the fact that I got T-Boned two years ago by an elderly man, I’m a little skittish when cars get too close to my passenger side (I’ve been known to swerve). So, I have to confess, my heart races when I drive all the time.
Now there’s some crazy guy shooting at cars for sport (living in Kansas which is a big hunting state, this is my best guess). What a lunatic. Since he seems to be all over the place, I’m not going to be able to drive anywhere. I’m already a hot mess when I get behind the wheel.
So, if you’re wondering why I can’t attend an event across town or get on a highway until this guy’s caught. Now you know. Have any tips on who it might be? There’s a $7,000 reward. Just call the TIPS hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477). Let’s help them catch whomever’s responsible for the highway shootings.