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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Scariest Ride

Posted September 29, 2009

What is the scariest car ride of your life? Please share your highway horror stories.

I thought life was coming to an end last night driving back from a Nash County book signing. The wind was swirling, the rain was pounding and the lightning was as vivid as anything from The Wizard of Oz or Twister. To make matters worse US 64 is undergoing repairs. There’s a lot of uneven pavement and poorly marked lanes. I kissed my driveway when I arrived home.

Other harrowing rides of my life include Highway 21 near Roaring Gap in mountain fog as thick as split pea soup. There was also a scary ride through Greensboro during my careless hitchhiking days of college. A hailstorm west of Winston-Salem one August evening ten years ago had me praying harder than I can ever remember. Two other agonizing episodes: driving to work during Hurricane Fran and in the middle of a 22 inch snowfall almost ten years ago.

What are your stories? What was your scariest ride? 

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  • GoldenLover Oct 6, 2009

    Back when I was 6 years old we had gone up to West Virginia to attend a wedding. We stayed at a relative's house around 20 miles from the church. We got a very late start for the wedding and my dad, driving a 59 Plymouth, was flying down these curvy, mountain roads at what seemed like 100 mph. Passing cars in curves and taking the turns so fast I could hear the tires squealing. I didn't understand why we had to go so fast. The wedding wouldn't start until we got there. He was the minister.

  • Blues Man Z Oct 1, 2009

    It's nice to see WRAL practices censorship. What a joke.

  • Raleighnative58 Sep 30, 2009

    sorry, that should have been Cumberland Gap in TN.

  • fishnett5977 Sep 30, 2009

    Years back when I worked nights at the hospital as a phlebotomist,I was driving home on Hwy 55 between Dunn and Newton Grove. Just before you get to the intersection of Hwy 55 and Hwy 242 there is a long curve. I thought I was doing good considering how sleepy I was(it was a very busy night). I must have closed my eyes for what seemed second and when I woke up, I was just before the curve and on the WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD! God was really looking after me that day for sure! That road is usually very busy with cars, big truck and farm equipment that time of morning. My heart was pounding so hard I could hear it in my ears. Needless to say, when I got home - I was about 2 miles away- I didnt get to sleep for a long while.And I said a very thankful prayer. From that point on, I rolled the window down-no matter the weather, played loud music and sang to keep myself awake! I am so very thankful that I didnt hurt anyone including myself!

  • Raleighnative58 Sep 30, 2009

    4 (con't.) We were on the highway for 4 hours before we could move, but by then 12 inches of snow had accumulated on the road. Everyone took the next exit as they were closing the interstate. We finally found a room some 6 hours later at a golf club nearly 10 miles from the interstate.

    When you have horrifying incidences on the road you never forget them.

  • Raleighnative58 Sep 30, 2009

    I have several as we spent almost 7 years on the road traveling with our son...
    1. While driving south on I-95 in CT., the luggage on the top of our car came loose and burst into a million pieces into the grill of the 18-wheeler behind us. Sounded like an explosion to me as I was asleep in the back seat of the van.
    2. Coming back from SC, headed north on I-85, drove for 5 hours in a storm that just sat over the interstate from upstate SC all the way to Greensboro. I was never able to go more than 25 miles an hour for over 5 hours.
    3. This past May, on our way home from the southern mtns, just before getting to Asheville on Hwy 74, we ran into a "wall" of rain - thankfully the cars in front and back of us were not close together. When we all came out on the other side of the wall of rain, cars were everywhere but no one had wrecked.
    4. Got stranded on I-40 near Comberland Gap in TX one Feb. during a sudden snow storm. the storm had caused 7, 18 wheelers and 10 cars to wreck.

  • Gnathostomata Sep 30, 2009

    Remember when you were a little kid riding in the back and everything seemed larger than life? Well, my Dad would back out of the driveway toward a deep ravine (10 feet max.) and head to my Grandmother's house, which required us going over the 301 bridge that had massive spaces between the boards that served as a road. Did I mention that the stone railing was only two fee high and did not allow any wiggle room? Super scary for a 4-year old. I figured if we got out of the driveway alive then we would either fall through the spaces or be creamed by oncoming traffic. I loved my Grandmother, but really hated those trips. And they wondered why I got car sick.

  • ladybug68 Sep 29, 2009

    Back in 1972, my husband and I were headed home to Ohio from Colorado. Since back in the day most cars did not have air conditioning and it was August, we were traveling at nite. My husband was driving through Nebraska, about 3:00 AM and crested a hill doing about 80 mph. Right in front of us was a major wreck with a car and trailer that had run up on the back wheels of a tractor rig on the side of the road. There were police and flashers and highway patrolmen in the road. My hubby slammed on the brakes to slow down and wait to get in the left lane,. I opened my eyes and watched as a patrolman flew by my window at that speed. We missed him, but only by the Grace of God--I thought we were dead! There were no flashers or any notice on top of that hill!!

  • vrigg45071 Sep 29, 2009

    My scariest ride was actually very short. During Hurricane Fran, Marsh Creek flooded and my dog and I had to leave the house. I had at least moved the car to higher ground, before the storm hit. The water was up to my waist and my 90 pound dog did the dog paddle until we got to dry land and to the car. Then there was no way to leave the neighborhood. Exit roads from Brentwood were either flooded or trees were down. My sweet dog and I spent the night in the car on Arrowwood Drive as the wind and rain pelted the car and hoped a tree didn't fall on us. It was the longest night of my life!

  • mamananagramps Sep 29, 2009

    One of the worst times on the road for me was between Duke Hospital and Wilmington NC before Interstate 40 opened..so we were outside of Clinton headed to Wilmington and the car was moving up and down and wind was heavy..Unknown to us, the tornado that took a great toll in Rosehill passed right over us and we did not know what was going on...What a scary ride that was..Good subject, Bill. I am sure we all could write a book here....:)

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