I had a long hard day today. It was hectic at work. Then, I had to rush to class. Traffic was bad, it was hot and the 56 Chevy does not have air conditioning. During class, we cut and shaped a piece of metal to replace a rusted patch on the car. At 9:30, I backed up the car from the garage and headed home.
On the way, I debated whether I should take surface streets or just jump on the freeway. I fortuitously decided to remain on surface streets. At Harbor and GG Blvd, I stopped at the light. I was in the #1 lane with a turn lane on my left and the #2 and #3 lanes on the right.
When the light turned green, I drove through the intersection. I was traveling at 35 to 40 mph when traffic began to slow. As we approached the next light, I stepped on the brake but nothing happened. The car did not slow down. I pumped the brakes....still nothing. I layed on the horn swerving from the #1 lane to the #2 lane and then back again narrowly avoiding striking other vehicles. I tried the emergency brake....it didn't work. I ran the red light because I could not stop. When it looked like a crash was inevitable, I swerved into an oncoming traffic turn lane. By now I was conscious that the cars behind me were slowing down and staying back. I don't blame them.
Putting the car in park did not help. I saw a large grass median ahead of me with big lamppost. It was my intention to drive into the lamppost if I had to in order to stop the car. I drove up on the median and turned off the car. It finally came to a stop through inertia about a foot from the lamppost.
Tonight, I feel very blessed and thankful. It really is a beautiful night.