May 1970: A rainy Saturday night, about eleven thirty.
"County Sheriff's Patrol, Gaston here, out of Chelsea; I have what
appears to be a single car accident near the corner of N. Territorial
and 52. You know the curve, over by the Tibbet property. Call for an
ambulance Cindy, I'm sure there are injuries or worse. Will investigate
and get back to you. Over."
"Copy that. Emergency services are on the way, be there about five
minutes Sam. They were in the vicinity for another call that didn't
require transport. The wagon is empty Sam. Over."
Hank Tibbet witnessed the spinning lights, heard the screeching tires
and the distinct sound of something heavy hitting something solid. That
old oak tree off the curve is so scarred up; it had claimed many lives
over the years that Hank has lived here. The curve is clearly marked
with signs but too many drivers are just in too much of a hurry or they
are drunk. Hank knows drunk when he sees it as he staggers up onto his
front porch to watch the tradgedy play out. His wife Libby yelled out
with her screeching, nagging voice.
"I called it in Hank. Just you stay put you ol' drunk bastard; the
police are on the way. I tol'em I witness it. Don't be talkin' if they
axe' ya. You dun know nutten."
Actually Libby did witness the spin out on the curve, as she was
standing in the door way waiting for Hank to come home; it was about his
"Ol' drunk bastard, jes you don't be sayin' nutten. They be throwin' ya
ass in jail for drunk drivin' again."
The young patro officer began to investigate the scene. He found the
driver wedged between the seat back and the steering wheel, pinning him
forward. He was heaving back and forth, gagging and sucking on the
blood in his throat. Blood streamed down his face from a gash in his
forehead and a broken nose and his eye lids were already swollen shut,
filled up like little purple balloons. His own mother would not
recognize him. Sam twisted the door open and two or three bottles fell
out onto his boots.
"Stupid drunks out trying to kill themselves, why don't you just drink
at home and put a gun to your head; stupid dam drunks?" Sam put his
hand on the victim's shoulder. "I'm here to help...can you hear me
Buddy, can you talk to me, do you hear me? Help is on the way." 'He
needs more help than I can give right now.'
Sam made his way around the rear of the car flashing his light back and
forth looking for anyone or anything to add to his assesment of the
accident. His light flashed on the license plate covered in mud. As he
rubbed it clear a painful dread welled up in his stomach and rose to his
chest. He knows that plate number; seen it a hundred times or more.
"Dear God no, please no." His voice sounded like a dog yowling in pain
as he slashed his way through the brambles to the passenger side of the
car. The front door was gone, twisted off, gone. Sam knows who the
driver is and therefore the moaning sound he hears off to his right must
be..."Oh God, please...please. Where's that ambulance? Please no..."
The full moon light bounced off the wet surfaces and the cattails. He
felt sick. His heart is palpitating and fluttering. He gags back the
acid in his throat as he makes his way toward the other victim.
"Dispatch, Cindy...where's that ambulance? Their gonna die...too much
blood, too much...their gonna die." Sam's voice normally very calm is
now edged with hysteria as he sloshed over to her.
Excerpted from "Fenton's Death" by S. Elizabeth. Copyright © 2015 by S. Elizabeth. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.