I didn't see the bicyclist at all before the instant I hit him. I stopped in the middle of the intersection and looked back and saw him pulling his bike to the curb. I parked in the grocery store parking lot and got out to see what kind of state he was in. I found him trying to call someone on his cell phone, standing with his bike propped against him. I asked him if he was okay. He said, "I don't know, I've never been in an accident before. I tried to brake, but all this water . . ." He told me his arm and leg hurt.
"Can you move them okay, can you move your fingers normally?" He could. But he said he was in pain--I asked if he wanted me to call 911 and he said he did.
"I really don't feel well," he said.
The 911 operator asked me about the guy's condition, I said, "I don't really know. He just says he doesn't feel well . . . Do you have any scrapes?" I asked him.
He held up his hand and I saw what looked like a pin prick of blood. "My hand's pretty busted up," he said, a statement I relayed to the operator, who told me someone would be there shortly.
When paramedics arrived they could find no injury or sign of concussion. I talked to three cops, all of whom asked me repeatedly if I'd been drinking or using an illegal substance. One of them tested my vision by moving a pen in front of my face, another patted me down and asked if I had a bag of marijuana in my pocket. I said what he felt was a receipt, which it was.
In answer to questions from the 911 operator and the cops, I kept saying, "I hit this guy with my car," knowing full well how it sounded--I wasn't sure really what happened. All I knew is that the guy had come from my left and I had been going straight through a green light. Particularly with the rain and the darkness of the night, I don't know how I could have possibly seen him in time to stop, but I've heard pedestrians generally are considered the innocent party and I wasn't sure whether a bicyclist counted as a pedestrian.
It was a long time before I could make sense of what he told the cops, mostly because I think I was a bit shaken up and I was working from the perception that he had come from my left. What the guy said was that he was turning left and he insisted that he'd signalled, I guess meaning a hand signal. I realised later, as I think the cops grasped right away, he had been going as though straight through on the same green light as me and had abruptly turned left. The police kept using the phrase "cutting the corner".
The investigating officer showed up a few minutes later than the first police to the scene and he asked me questions, repeating a couple later I could tell in an attempt to make me contradict myself in case I was lying. But I told him the truth.
I'm not sure how this is all going to play out still, but he seemed pretty confident as to the state of things towards the end. I called my insurance when I got home and I'm supposed to hear from them some time next week. I've always been a pretty cautious and careful driver, and I have good reflexes. But needless to say I've been a little more apprehensive on the road since.
Twitter Sonnet #457
Trauma appears at the five rake picnic.
Wire fingers guard a vial of sky.
Gentle flames will sustain the tricked cynic.
Jimi sharpened his violets for "that guy."
Mountain sized dioramas shake the clouds.
Beagle ghosts lace a black rubber loafer.
Santa's sleigh asks for six women in shrouds.
Silent buttons drift past the stern gopher.
Lint jammed zippers sneeze the ether pin's goals.
Ribbons bend across the rubber port bow.
Apples whiten in bleached electric holes.
Skeleton pine shadows nourish Santa Claus now.
Liquorice debris blends with the asphalt.
Cotton candy strangles the stripper's salt.