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The Boston Globe

Opinion

tom keane | opinion

Death on the highway

After a death on the highway, doubts and second-guessing begin

At the moment of imminent death, my life did not flash before my eyes. I was too busy trying to get out of the way.

It’s Oct. 3, 9:44 a.m. My daughter, Lauren, and I are on the New Jersey Turnpike, driving south toward Washington. We’re in the center lane, a truck directly in front of us. I’m thinking of moving left to pass him when the truck’s right rear tire suddenly and catastrophically bursts, the percussive noise grabbing my attention. It immediately begins to careen out of control, pieces of tire pelting our car. I steer right and the truck skids right too. It then abruptly veers left, flipping on its side and striking a bridge abutment. It explodes into flames. We somehow pass through the fire and pull over to the side of the road, stunned. My hands start trembling.

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