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Out for a Drive


It’s been cold in Circle this week – forty below for the past few days now. Scott, the school district’s head technology guy, has been visiting the Circle school. He is here to help us roll out our one-to-one laptop program where each of my students will be issued a laptop computer for use as a learning tool. I’m pretty excited about all of the possibilities this will open up for our little learning community. Scott usually flies out for such school visits since most of our schools are off of the road system. But since our town of Circle, Alaska, happens to have a road, albeit a humble one, Scott elected to drive. He rented an all-wheel drive vehicle in Fairbanks and drove out this past Monday.

Ahh, I have stop right here for a moment and reminisce about the time a few years ago when the previous computer guy also rented a four-by to drive to from Fairbanks to Circle. He never made it. He lost control of his rental somewhere on Eagle Summit and rolled the thing down the hill. Luckily, he and his fellow technology guy were both okay. They didn’t have to wait too long before someone came by and called for help from the next phone.

Anyway, on Tuesday afternoon, Scott realized that he didn’t have something that he needed, and so he told me he had to drive to Central – another small community about an hour’s drive toward Fairbanks – to pick up what he needed from the school there. I asked him if he realized that it would take about an hour each way, and he did. I did the math and figured he’d be back around six that evening.

I didn’t think much more of it until I was getting ready to leave school and go home. It was almost eight, and as I was leaving, someone asked me where Scott was. It was then that it dawned on me that Scott was almost two hours late. I called the school in Central; no answer. I called the restaurant in Central; they were closed. I called the teacher in Central, and he said that Scott left around 5:15. I figured Scott was okay, and I didn’t want to push the panic button just yet, but it was getting late, it was forty below, and he was very overdue. This is the kind of situation in which people die. So I got in the truck and started driving towards Central. I drove about fifteen miles and found Scott – flashers flashing and engine running – off the road and buried in the snow. He said he didn’t know what happened; the first thing he knew, he was headed off the road. I pulled him out with a tow chain and got him back on the road. We headed back toward Circle with me following him. We were going slowly and he was being very cautions. That’s why I could hardly believe it when, while taking a sharp turn at about twenty miles an hour, he lost it again and dumped it into a snow bank as I watched. I pulled him out a second time and we were both stunned. He couldn't explain it other than to say that he turned the wheel and nothing happened. We drove the rest of the way without incident.

Scott is still here. He will drive back to Fairbanks on Saturday. I’ll be going in on Saturday as well to fetch Stephanie and the boys, so we’ll caravan in to town. Safety in numbers.  

Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 09:05AM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | Comments1 Comment

Reader Comments (1)

Wow, how scary. Good thing you are a "better driver" than Scott that day, or maybe that new Toyo tires really have good "traction/stiction".

Drive slowly and safely on Saturday. The boys and Steph need you.
January 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdad

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