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Community Employee Spotlight January 01, 2022

Keeping an eye on the ball

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Keeping an eye on the ball

I was driving up to my route on Camano one morning when I noticed something with a vehicle that could have had potentially deadly consequences. I was on I-5 heading north in the right lane behind a pick-up truck when my eye caught something unusual sitting on the bumper. It took me a second to realize what it was. There was a detached ball hitch from the pick-up just sitting on the rear bumper.

Realizing the potentially devastating result that it could have if it bounced off at 70 miles an hour, I flashed my high-beams to try and get the driver’s attention. Trying to keep a safe distance myself, I was just too far behind to catch the driver’s attention.  So I pulled out into the middle lane and pulled even with them, motioning for them to get over.

I think because I was in a PUD truck they trusted me enough to realize something was going on to pull over and talk with me. I slowed up and let them pull over and came up behind them. I put my flashers and overhead strobe light on to make myself really visible.

I walked up, grabbing the ball hitch on my way and went to their passenger window.  I said, “this was sitting on your bumper.” She was absolutely horrified. She said her husband had been working on it and must have absentmindedly left it there. She was really grateful that I had noticed it and brought it to her attention. I told her to have a good day and went back to my truck and continued on.

I shudder to think what could’ve happened if that ball hitch had bounced off the bumper on the freeway. I’m just glad I saw it and was able to prevent a possibly devastating situation.

Michelle J., Meter Reader 5