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Gutknecht: Tuesday morning reality check leaves me less distracted

Early Tuesday morning, I was driving down Alcovy Road with Covington News Intern Claire Beiter in the passenger seat to work on a story for the newspaper. Just as we were getting close to the Housing Authority location, our lives quickly flashed before our eyes. 

Let me preface this by saying, we are fine. No one was injured in this incident and we were just left a little shaken. 

Immediately in front of my vehicle was a white pick-up truck with a refrigerator in its bed. 

While I am no expert hauler, I have come to learn that everything needs to be tied down, no matter how heavy or sturdy you believe it is. Had this driver also heard that advice, I wouldn’t have this story to tell so here we are. 

As the respectable driver that I am, I kept a safe distance between my vehicle and the truck’s tail end. That is definitely our saving grace. 

As we approached the small hill on Alcovy Road, the aforementioned refrigerator lost its balance and began to topple over. I can only assume the driver of the truck was grateful that he had securely latched his tailgate because as that refrigerator took its tumble, it was stopped by the tailgate. 

That’s where things got a little scary for us, the car behind him. 

The top freezer door of the appliance was not quite as strong as the American-made tailgate and could not stand the impact. Upon impact, the door took a tumble down Alcovy Road and my foot immediately moved to the brake pedal. 

In that moment, I thought back to the new hands-free driving law and how this story could have changed if I wasn’t giving my full attention to the road in front of me. 

I will be completely honest, I have not been the best when it comes to being a completely distraction-free driver. I’ve never thought twice about sending that quick text, or answering an important phone call while behind the wheel. 

However, after Tuesday’s incident where an appliance could have made its way into my windshield if I wasn’t paying better attention, I have made a point to set the phone down. 

Jackie Gutknecht is the editor and publisher of The Covington News. She can be reached at or 770-728-1409. Twitter: @jackieg1991