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Steve Birdsall

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Goodbye Montana…

Or…Why is that truck parked in the middle of the highway?

I got up way too early this morning in Billings, Montana, must have been on the road by 4:45 a.m. I was headed for Cook Lake, Wyoming, about a 5-hour drive.

As I was driving along, I had the most bizarre episode of this journey so far, and this one will be hard to top. I was going about 60 mph in the right lane on I-90, when I noticed that there were too many tail lights in one spot up ahead, as though vehicles were stopped. As I approached, I moved into the left lane and slowed down, but was still confused about what was going on. The situation was made worse by the lack of four-way flashers. Something was clearly wrong, but nobody had turned any flashers on even though they were stopped on the highway. What the heck?

I slowed down more, as I approached the scene, and realized that there was a pickup truck in the center of the road. The driver’s door was hanging open, the truck was still running and the driver was hanging half out of the driver’s seat and half onto the road, so his ass was sticking up in the air. He was completely passed out! As I got out of my truck (and turned on my flashers) to see if I could help, another guy asked me if I saw what happened. Well, that was a stupid question, because he got there before I did! I walked back to take a look at what was going on, wondering if I was getting set up to get robbed. That’s how weird the whole scene was.

About that time, a guy in a white van showed up and I flagged him down to help. As stupidity seemed to be the theme, he pulled over on the left side of the road, so now we had vehicles parked on the left side, the right side and smack in the middle of the road – brilliance, sheer brilliance! I reminded him to turn on his flashers, but he didn’t know how. I helped. At this point a trucker showed up, so I tried to get him to stop and help. The guy draped out of his truck was too big for us to move, so one more person would have been great. He just rolled down his window, stared at me and drove away. Okay, it’s down to me and the guy in the white van. Let’s call him GWV.

GWV gave the droopy driver a good thump on his back to wake him up and he was definitely three sheets to the wind. We helped him stand up first, then got him seated in the truck. He agreed to pull the truck over to the curb and sleep it off. In the meantime, the first guy, the one who asked me if I had seen what happened, had just driven off.

When all was said and done, I got to thinking about how weird it was that not one of the people who pulled over thought to turn on their flashers. They were stopped on a highway!! Seems it should be the first thing you do, right? Automatic.

Anyway, I hope the guy slept it off and got to where he was headed. Can’t say that day’s drive was uneventful, can I?!

One comment on “Goodbye Montana…

  • Kristy Benson
    October 5, 2017 | 8:46 pm

    Amazing none of the people who stopped before you tried to help the guy. Hope he is okay.

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