Road Rage Karma   

Karen Ann Meyer

Copyright 2002, all right reserved, used with permission.

Cruising to work on Friday morning, heading south on 101 I saw some guy in a fancy new car driving like an idiot, speeding up, slowing down, and swerving from lane to lane without using any signals and generally being an asshole on the road. Shit, Pace, I said to myself, I canÕt believe people pay that much fucking money for a car with all the latest gadgets, on board GPS, electronic everything and they donÕt have the sense to use turn signals to let the rest of us know what they are doing. I thought this was the same guy I saw on the road at least once a week and I always got pissed off at this personÕ s bad driving. I turned up the CD, got into the groove and went into my Zen mode, canÕt let idiots like this get in Paces' space, they arenÕt worth it.
I cruised along writing some code in my head, thinking about how it would fix the problem I was dealing with right now on one of my projects. Thinking about some writing I was working on at home that I could spend some time with this weekend. Need to get some cat food (cats whining Pace Feed Us), and itÕs probably time to take a trip to the drycleaner. Up ahead was some kind of shit going down, what the fuck is that idiot doing! I watched helplessly as the fancy car swerved across two lanes into the far right, cutting off an SUV with a woman driving, and by the looks of it she had a full load of kids. She tried to keep control of the SUV as she slammed on the brakes, but it spun out of control and hit a van parked on the side of the road. Had to be doing 40, 50 miles an hour. I did not see the actual impact but I heard the screaming brakes, tearing metal and the sound of an impact. I did all I could to keep from being included in the pile up as cars all around me shifted and people panicked to avoid the action. Shit, Shit Shit!!! I could not pull over right away, but as soon as I could safely stop the car I did so and sat there for a minute trying to calm down. Man, adrenaline is coursing through my body, need to get this heart rate down, breathing in and out until I could look around and take stock of the situation.
It dawned on me while sitting there that the fucker who was responsible for this had just kept on going. I looked at the disaster behind me, there were cars pulled all over the sides of the road in disarray and traffic had pretty much come to stop. Nothing like death in your face to put things into perspective, damn, the two vehicles were looking like one.
I was a military vet and had some experience in emergency medical so I grabbed the kit I always kept in the car for emergencies and ran back to the accident. As I got closer I could see the children inside the SUV, and the woman driving looked like she was pinned between the steering column and the dashboard. This did not look good. I yelled at people standing nearby to ask if anyone had a cell phone, there were at least 4 people who had them out, but with traffic the way it was I was not very hopeful help could get to them quickly. This looked like a Jaws of Life situation. God I hated working on kids, it was so hard to watch them die. When I got to the vehicle I could see right away that the woman driving was dead. She had been nearly decapitated. Not possible to see how many children were trapped inside, but the car was so badly mangled, I was sure the doors would not open on their own. I walked around the back to see if I could open the hatch and nearly lost it when I looked inside. Christ, she must have had a fucking scout troop in here; all she could see were childrenÕs bodies.
There were a couple other people around who seemed to know some emergency medicine and there were less serious injuries with people who had been part of the pile up. This SUV however was where the real pain lie. I continued walking around the far side of the accident wondering if there had been anyone in the parked car that got hit, or had it been empty? I saw right away that some unlucky commuter had been changing a tire. The impact had slammed him up against the side of the median and I would be real surprised if he hadnÕt been killed instantly. I tried to get to the body to check for signs of life, but there was no way I could get through the wreckage.
What a fucked up way to end your life I thought angrily, and all because some fucking idiot was talking on the cell phone and not paying any attention to what was going on. I canÕt believe the fucker didnÕt stop! Damn Pace, I wish you had paid more attention to the car make, and license plate.
By the time the emergency crew started arriving I was pretty sure there were at least 3 dead. I was hesitant to stick around and answer questions, the authorities always acted weird around me. I knew my looks had a lot to do with it, shit I looked like an escaped felon, but it suited me fine. I could look mean as hell when necessary and it usually kept people I didnÕt want in my life away. Bigger issue though is I didnÕt want to expose her identity unless necessary. I had worked hard to create this one and would be really pissed if I blew cover because of this shmuck. I made my way back to my car and sat there for a while watching the activity in the mirror. I was pretty sure there were at least 10 people who had witnessed the accident; I could see the highway patrol talking to bystanders so I figured they would nail the guy quickly.
It was a couple of days later when I heard on the news about the accident. The police were asking for information about the vehicle and called it a hit and run. The details were pretty specific so I was sure the guy who caused the accident had a good idea he was in the area when it occurred, but he probably still had no idea he had caused it. Or he knew he had and was running. I didnÕt know how he could have missed the screeching and noise behind him, but I did not give it much thought at the time.
It was almost a week later when I saw this scumbag again. He was driving along just as badly as always, and I swear when we went by the place of the accident he turned and looked long and hard at the spot. I just knew he was aware of what he had done, but was so confident he would not get caught, he just kept on going. Shit, it made me so angry I was ready to run the guy off the road and confront him then and there. I wrote down his license plate and decided I would find out who he was and give him a call. Sure I could have just given his license to the police, but I had this feeling that he would just hire himself a good lawyer and end up getting away with it. I wanted to call him up and scare him a little bit, he needed to take responsibility for his actions, and I felt comfortable being the one to make him. He needed to plead guilty to what he did and he needed to do it because he felt guilty not because he got caught.
Most of us cruise along in our lives with absolutely no idea how vulnerable we really are. There are no secrets, anything you want to know about anyone can be had and that just happened to be something I could easily do. I was an independent contractor and people or companies contracted with me to come in and identify where they were the weakest and to make them more secure. I would come into their lives, companies, whatever and do an assessment of their vulnerability. I usually didnÕt tell them the real story cause they would get depressed and no amount of money in the world could make you really secure unless you wanted to drop out of society completely and live as a hermit. The real story is that most of us could not easily fix our vulnerability.
ThatÕs another Pace story for another time, suffice it to say, I quickly established the identity of the scumbag and proceeded to download his life. I had to write a special sniffer program to hunt and gather without being obvious, but in a few days time I had a tremendous amount of information. And not just the usual stuff, as I glanced through the data that was showing up I saw snatches of his life. It did not surprise me to see that he had evidently been as self possessed his whole life as I had witnessed in his car.
I had planned to basically confront the guy with his action, giving him the benefit of the doubt, so as soon as I located his telephone numbers I gave him a call. Left a vague message about seeing him on 101 that day and wondering if he saw the accident. I was actually expecting his response to be complete ambiguity; I assumed he really had no idea that he had been responsible. Although it is legally vehicular manslaughter I figured he would get a light sentence if he confessed and showed the remorse I was expecting. More importantly, the case needed to be closed so the families could deal with it and get on with their lives. I honestly believed the guy was just a self- absorbed geek who would feel incredible guilt once this was out.
Boy was I wrong! By the time I finally had my conversation with this dude he had his story down pat. Knew exactly what had happened and that he had left the scene, Hit and Run!! First he tried desperately to convince me he had not been in the area, when I told him there were numerous witnesses (which there werenÕt, but hey he didnÕt know that) he tried to tell me someone else was driving the car. Then as a last resort he offered me money to keep my mouth shut. That did it. I was pissed, but I needed time to think about how to take this guy down, so I told him I would be in touch about the money.
It was going to take some time put this guy where I wanted him, but the plan I was contemplating should get the results I was looking for. Timing was going to be everything and I had to make sure it was well prepared. Once the plan was put in motion it should just carry itself.
This guy had an interesting history and not all of it was kosher. He had a run in with the law over an IP infringement case some years ago and there seemed to be some question about his job history. Checking school records it looks like he did not attend the school he claimed he did, there were transcripts from a junior collage but it looked as though he had dropped out before actually finishing.
Married for 22 years, with two children. Moved around a lot for the first 17 years and then settled in the Silicon Valley. I would need to do some more work to understand why the frequent moves. And I will have to go a couple of levels deeper into State records to see what I could see. So far I did not like the guy much granted I was not necessarily being objective, but I believe that if I had discovered an upstanding citizen who was just a piss poor driver I would have acted very differently. What I found instead was a selfish slime bag who climbed up and over people stepping on everyone in the way with no regard for the results. Well I thought, itÕs about time you dealt with some consequences chum.
First thing I did was start collecting more information about the IP infringement case. I also did some digging into his current career situation and low and behold I find he is the CEO of one of those hot Internet start-ups. Just went public 3 months ago and raking it in hand over fist. I suspected his new startup might have some ties from a technology standpoint to the IP case a few years ago. He wouldnÕt be the first to take someoneÕs idea and spin it back out looking new.
Those of you reading this might wonder why I would spend so much of my time and money on taking someone down that was a complete stranger. It comes down to thisÉI am a ŅfixerÓ by trade. Known as someone who can get things done if it has to be outside the law or requires complete discretion. I donÕt do jobs that hurt innocent people, but there are a lot of scumbags out there who leave shit behind that needs fixing. Sometimes the only ŅfixÓ is to make sure it wonÕt happen again and I have been known to make someoneÕs life so unlivable they wished they had never been born. I personally donÕt make anyone disappear but I have some colleagues I can turn to for services I donÕt provide. I had not started out to ŅfixÓ this guy but he really crossed the line when he tried to buy me off. Now it would be a pleasure to teach him a lesson.
Setting up a listening device in his car was very easy and getting his e-mail account information and password took about 2 minutes. Once I was in his account it was easy to set myself up so I could send and receive mail on his behalf with complete anonymity.
It was easy enough to get my hands on his credit and financial data so I started there with a few inquiries that would get back to him and make him sweat a little. Then I started setting up some transactions that would get the attention of the IRS. He had such a shady past it was certain to create interest in him and his company and he had made it way to easy by actually having some illegal activities going down all on their own. I just cleared the path a little so it was not as well hidden.
Next I found a couple of women he seemed to be overly friendly with considering his marital situation and started setting up some arrangements that would be amusing to watch. I waited until the car bug caught him on his cell phone setting up a tryst the next week in the city. He had set up a dinner appointment with one of them at Farrollon up in the city so I went ahead and extended the offer to his other lady friend and his wife, of course offsetting the meet time by 15 minutes! Easy enough with e-mail and it was a cinch to get the addresses needed. Made it all hush/hush and for the wife I had flowers sent to the house with a note asking her to meet him for a special evening. Although I did not know these women specifically I made some assumptions based on the fact one of them was married to the jerk, and the other two women were involved with a married man. No moral judgment made just basic assumptions about human nature.
I followed his wife as she drove up to the city and passed her as she was passing through Redwood City. I wanted to be there for the introductions. I had made a reservation for myself so I had no problems getting in the place and had just ordered a nice glass of 1997 Justine Iscosoles when I saw him and his first lady friend come in the door. They were seated close enough to me to overhear what was being said which was great! They sat next to each other on the same side of the booth and ordered a bottle of wine. The waiter had hardly left before they were all over each other. I could not have asked for a better scene when his wife walked in. I must say, I had not expected her to be as strong as she was but she walked up to the table, told him he was ŅfuckedÓ in a low voice. Said, Ņyou really did it this timeÓ and ŅIÕve had it with your lies and selfishnessÓ IÕll see you in court asshole. And she walked out. Needless to say the look on his face was priceless! As she walked out, lady friend number 2 walked in, took in the scene, slapped him across the face and told him she quit and was going to sue his ass for sexual harassment. This was getting better and better! I could not have asked for a better situation. Through out all this lady friend number 1 just sat there in shock. Finally she picked up her stuff and told him she had better things to do with her life than fuck a loser like him and walked out.
Everyone else in the restaurant was looking at the person responsible for three very angry women and when he finally figured out what had just happened he threw the table against the wall and stormed out. I tossed some money on the table and walked out behind him curious about what he would do and I found him around the corner trying to keep his wife from getting in her car. The valet was asking her if she was o.k. and this jerk turns around and decks the guy. I have to say I was impressed with how his wife was taking this. She got in the car and slammed the door on his fingers, (man that had to hurt.) and as he cursed in pain I could hear the locks engage as she drove off.
All in all I was quite pleased with how things had turned out but it would have no meaning if he did not understand the lesson. I figured it was time to contact him about his ŅofferÓ of money t o keep my mouth shut.
I called him the next day at this office and left a curt message with his admin along the lines of Ņ hope you enjoyed your evening last night, I know I did. Please call me so we can further discuss your situationÓ. I figured that would get his attention soon enough and sure enough he called back within the hour. Low voice, really angry and threatening wanting to know what the fuck I thought I was doing setting him up like that and if he ever got his hands on me he was going to kill me! Oh I said, like you did that mother and all those children in that hit and run last month. Complete silence on his end, and then he asked what I wanted. I told him that I wanted to meet him face to face and explained where and when this would take place. He asked me how he would know me and I told him he wouldnÕtÉbut I would know him seeing as he was such a public figure and all.
He agreed to my request and hung up the phone.
I had set up this meeting at a small cafˇ located in a strip shopping center right off the freeway ramp so I could see what direction he came from and be in a public location in case of trouble. I scheduled it for lunchtime, figuring there would be more people around and I arrived an hour ahead of time so I could watch his approach. I certainly had the upper hand in this meeting, I knew what he looked like, what he drove and how to contact him where he had no idea whom I was. The clock inched closer to his arrival time so I prepared myself for his arrival, I had a table outside and I had put a recording device underneath and tested it for voice activation. I wanted this on tape. I was planning to send this to the police once we were done here, and although I was pretty sure it would be inadmissible in court I thought it might get some cops dander up enough to make sure this guy didnÕt walk.
At 5 minutes to the rendezvous time I see him come off the freeway ramp. You have to remember I was sitting outside at a table and had a perfect view. He comes down the ramp, barely does a California stop at the light and barrels right on through. As I am thinking what a real dickhead he is I hear the horrible sound of brakes squealing, metal tearing and right in front of me I watch as a car broadsides this guy!! They were wrapping around each other like nobodies business. People were standing up and yelling as they watched the cars spin around each other like some crazy dance. His car ended up wrapped around a cement pole at the side of the road while the other car burst into flames.
I sat there stunned and not sure what to do. I heard people calling the police and I figured the rescue folks would be there soon. There was nothing I could do and my meeting was postponed for sure. I had no idea if the guy had survived the crash but I will tell you one thing, I had no doubt Karma had come to collect and I did not need to pursue this one any further. There is a lesson in all of this; trite but trueÉwhat goes around comes around.
I later found out he had survived and had been left a quadriplegicÉ and although it does not replace the lives lost in the accident he caused it does leave him with a lot of time to reflect on his actions. Who knows, maybe he will be a better person when he dies.