One Day After I Checked Out of a Washington Motel, it Exploded
Quick forward: This incident happened in 2015. This is not intended as a news story but as a personal reflection.
How close have you come to death? I've had a couple brushes with mortality in my life. The most famous instance was in 2016 when I misread a red light (I thought it was green) and got t-boned by a moving truck in a Pasco intersection, totalling my company vehicle. The adrenaline was too strong for me to realize just how close I was to having the book of my life closed forever. It was my boss who pointed to the damage, telling me that I was a mere split second from dying.
I remember having a new appreciation for life. Now, I didn't completely change as a person, mind you. But I had a clearer perspective of my mortality. Before that June day in 2016, I was like any other 24-year-old guy. I was young and felt invincible. After that day, I recognized just how quickly your life can be cut short. If only I'd had that realization a year before.
Like many couples, my wife and I love taking trips. It's a little harder now that we have two kids, but that just means we have to be less spontaneous in our planning. We bonded over road trips to Seattle and Portland and on one of our earliest trips, we stayed at a Motel 6 in Bremerton. This was before my wife and I switched to renting properties on Airbnb. I can't remember exactly what we did on this trip, it could have been a "just cause" adventure. But I'll never forget reading the news the next day. A gas leak in that very same Motel 6 we stayed at caused an explosion. Talk about scary timing!
The incident itself is a freak accident. It was later reported the leak could have been the result of a man stepping on the gas meter. NBC News reported that a stepfather had taken his stepdaughter to the motel to give her time to recoup after an argument at home. One man was injured, suffering burns and a broken back and neck. It's been eight years since the incident, but I still think about it from time to time. It was my own Final Destination story.