On March 22nd 2013, Molly was in a ditch. More specifically, she was about to be catapulted into a ditch.
She had taken the day off to drive to Kincardine and see her fiancé for the week-end. It was her birthday tomorrow. It’s a little under three hours drive to get to Kincardine from Burlington, so if she left in the morning, she’d have the whole day to enjoy. Spring had started the day before, the sun was shining and only the largest of the snow-plowed drifts remained, dirty and melting, after a long, cold winter.
She carefully packed, ensuring the comforts of the suburbs were easily accessible from her bag. The town she was headed to was somewhat remote and Franks home, affectionately referred to by Molly as the “the cottage”, was cozy and equipped with the basics, but no more than that. After a quick check to ensure she had enough dog food for her Great Dane, Betty, they were off.
As she drove out of her townhouse parking garage into the sunlight, a wave of relief and excitement washed over her. Something about setting out on a trip, leaving the daily grind of work behind and having a place to go where someone’s waiting for you.
As she settled into the drive, Molly checked the rear view, catching a view of Betty, sitting up, ears perked, watching the traffic go by, unaffected by the large trucks roaring on the highway. Such a good girl. Reaching for the radio dial she tuned into the local pop station for a song that fit her celebratory mood and settled on a predictable top ten count down.
About an hour into the trip they had reached the end of the Guelph city line and headed onto Highway 89, a busy transport truck highway. The road was marked at a speed limit of 90 km an hour with a couple of adjustments for tiny towns where the limit went down to 50 km for the length of the little towns intersection. Typically this was about the length of two eye blinks. It was a fast highway and if you stuck to the speed limit, you were likely to encounter an obnoxious driver going well over 120, dangerously passing you, narrowly missing an oncoming car or truck in the process.
It was around 10 a.m. and the sun was coming out on a brisk morning. You could feel spring just around the corner. Molly hadn’t encountered any of the crazy week-end drivers yet. They tended to come out around 2 p.m., furiously making their way to cottage country on Lake Huron. A key detail to mention is that Highway 89 is quite straight, except for one area where it snakes a little to form a fairly sharp “S” as it passes through two farmsteads and weaves around their old stone landmarks.
Molly was going the speed limit in her little hatchback and was looking ahead bopping along to the number 2 song, some overly produced piece of crap with an undeniably catchy melody to it.
She considered whether to pass a small, slow moving vehicle up ahead. A confident driver, Molly had no issues navigating slow moving vehicles and felt they were quite dangerous on a highway. As she contemplated the bumper of the car ahead, she headed into the the “S” curve of the highway.
It was at this moment she felt a subtle and unnatural shift, followed by the spine-tingling awareness that something terrifying was about the happen. In that second, she could feel the car continue straight when it should have followed the curve. Molly stiffended as the thought of black ice flickered across her mind.