Candice drove us there in her little Dodge Neon - me in the passenger's seat, Tania behind me and Will behind the driver's seat. We were heading down a pretty main road (60 km/h speedlimit) and I was looking back to talk to Tania and Will when suddenly Will screamed "Whoa!" and I turned around just in time to see some other car run a stop sign and drive straight into the intersection where we're headed. Someone -- I can't even remember who -- said "Oh my God!", Candice and the other driver both hit the brakes, and there was that very surreal second in which it occured to all of us that there was absolutely no way we were going to stop in time. All I really remember thinking is that we were going to hit; before there was even time to be scared, we had.
Thankfully, Candice's reactions were good and her brakes and winter tires were decent -- the impact was pretty low-speed, and the other woman's car bashed in the passenger's side headlight of Candice's car. No one was hurt -- I'm not even sure if I flew far enough for my seatbelt to lock. Candice's car suffered the brunt of the damage, while the other woman -- the woman at fault -- had basically no damage to her car.
The rest of the story is pretty uninteresting; we recovered from our shock, the other woman called the police, the police came, the CAA towed Candice's car, her brother picked us up, et cetera. The damage to Candice's car is unfortunate, but as far as I know the bill will go to the other woman -- Candice had a green light and the right-of-way, while the other woman ran a stop sign and didn't even have her purse with her. She got a ticket, too.
The weirdest bit, I guess, is the speculation afterwards. We were very lucky, of course. There are dozens of ways it could have been much, much worse: if Candice hadn't hit her brakes when she did, if there had been ice, if we'd skidded any further before the collision, the other woman's car would have smashed into the passenger's side (and me) or the back passenger's seat (and Tania). If the woman hadn't stopped when she did, we'd have T-boned her. There were no cars behind us when we hit -- if we had taken two cars like we almost did (for no reason... which is why we didn't) one could've crashed into the other, and as Tania's got a van, the little Neon could've made out much worse. Candice reacted as best she could, really; if she'd swerved (as the police offer suggested she should've... eugh) we'd have either gone straight into oncoming traffic or the other woman's car would've smashed into me and Tania rather than a headlight.
All in all, it was good. I mean, not good -- obviously the better alternative is to not crash at all -- but if it had to happen, it happened the best possible way. Candice wasn't at fault (and with a G2 liscence she'd have been owned if she was), the damage wasn't extensive, none of us were hurt, it wasn't a hit-and-run, everyone stayed calm. Candice is shaken up, and I feel bad for her, but the rest of us are okay. I'm not traumatized or anything and I hope this doesn't sound like I'm being overly dramatic, I hvae an obvious tendency for story-telling (hence the English major) but it's just... weird. It's the first accident I can remember being in, and it's somehow particularly unnerving that it was just us - just the four of us friends, no adults, handling it on our own (more or less). I guess that's unnerving and a little comforting at the same time. For the record, Will is a pretty good guy to be in a car accident with (lirl) -- very calm and collected.
Anyway. Wear your seatbelts, kids, and don't run stop signs.