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Carl Love: Life goes on after head-on collision with hit-and-run driver

By in Press Enterprise on October 7, 2017

By Carl Love

The car is coming right at me and there’s nothing I can do.

Surely you’re going to hit the brakes, I’m thinking, my life not flashing in front of me as we’re led to believe.

A moment later I say, “Oh my God,” and my wife, Joanne, sitting in the front seat with me, looks up.

This is not going to be good, she remembers thinking.

We are hit head on by a car driven by Pedro Gallegos. Like something out of an action movie, he backs up fast after he hits us and speeds off. Somehow, I see the first part of his license plate.

The technology worked. The airbags deployed and the front end crumpled like it’s supposed to. If this had happened before all the car safety improvements, we’d be dead.

Our car is smoking and we are afraid the engine will explode. In shock, we struggle to get out of the car – I can’t open my door — while drivers next to us roll down their windows and we shout to call 9-1-1.

We are now out of the car and a woman with a Kaiser shirt crosses the street and helps us get across busy Los Alamos Road in Murrieta to a sidewalk in front of a gas station. Moments later, a couple of Murrieta police cars pull up and an officer starts questioning me. An ambulance is there too, a paramedic checking us.

The officer asks the color of the vehicle that hit us and I say, “It’s like that one because that’s the car.” Miraculously, Gallegos was apprehended by the cops within a few minutes and he’s now sitting in the gas station parking lot too.

Joanne is afraid her sternum is broken and the cop thinks my hand is fractured, so we both climb into the ambulance. We are wheeled […]    

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