J.C. Slager walked out of Boulder Community Hospital Thursday. He just visited someone who was a stranger 24 hours before.
"I couldn't stop thinking about what could have changed in his life in that moment," Slager remarked.
The circumstances that connect them: neither could have made up if they tried.
Slager is the owner of the Cheese Louise Lunch Truck. He has a loyal following of lunch customers around the Boulder campus. On Wednesday, he was serving a long line of people when a driver hit the truck.
"All the sudden the truck shakes like an earth quake, and I get thrown to the front," Slager said.
If the driver had hit it much harder it could have tipped over.
"It would have tipped onto 15 people standing on the other side," he said.
Slager got up to look out the window. He says he saw a green SUV speed past.
"It hit a student who was sitting at the table eating his sandwich," Slager said.
A pole and bike rack finally stopped the SUV. A CU freshman, Eric Anderson, was tangled in it all. He was badly hurt.
Slager ran to him and talked to him until paramedics arrived. Then he went to the driver.
"I asked her to turn off her car," he said. "She seemed stunned and out of it."
Boulder Police say the driver, 73-year-old Brenda Geers, failed a road side sobriety test outside the church where she was going to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
The impact was terrible. A day later it is obvious. There is crime tape where the pole had to be cut. There are pieces of metal and wood from the accident in the stream near the church. It is why Slager said he had to go see the survivor.
"It was eating away at me," he said. "I was worried about him."
Slager said it was a relief to see Anderson.
"He's all tubed up. His lung is collapsed. He's got some cracked ribs," Slager explained.
Slager said Anderson told him that his memory of the accident is vivid.
"He's like, 'I remember sitting there eating my grilled cheese and a car coming right for me,'" Slager said.
Neither young man could forget it if they tried, but Slager said seeing that Anderson is going to be okay, helps a lot.
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