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I just drove up to the Sonic Drive-in near my house to meet the area Humana sales manager and pick up some applications from her. I arrived first, and as I sat in my truck waiting for her, I saw a pedestrian get hit by an SUV. I had my eyes glued to the body as it rolled up the hood, hit the windsheild, and then flew to the pavement when the driver hit the breaks. I did not see the color of the light. I don't know who was at fault. At this moment, it doesn't matter much. Later, it will matter a great deal and many lawyers, police, and other professionals who will wrangle the details.

Right now, somebody's life has just changed in a major way. From now on, all events in her memory will fall clearly on one or the other side of a stark dividing line.

I called 911 within seconds. Mine was not the first call they received. Police cars arrived within a minute. Within three minutes, an ambulance was on the scene. By the time I had my work materials loaded into my truck, fire trucks had arrived as well.

It occurs to me to say, "I hope she's all right." But I saw it. I know she isn't all right. She may well be dead by now. About 10 minutes has passed.

In all selfishness, what I'm really thinking is, "I hope it doesn't happen to me or anyone I love."


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 22nd, 2005 01:13 am (UTC)
That is a terrible thing to witness.
Nov. 22nd, 2005 02:52 am (UTC)
A while back...
-There was this intersection not two blocks away from my house. Lousy light system, people wanting to turn had to block traffic behind them for up to 1/2 hour in opposing lanes.

(two lane street without the middle 'turn' lane or any 'turn light' at the intersection)

Despite being in a 'remote' part of the country, my city got a whole lot more traffic than was planned for in earlier decades.

So you'd get a rush hour with people trying to go somewhere, eat, and come back in EXACTLY half an hour, combined with people who did live 'in the boonies' and thought they'd be stuck there all day, making dangerous turns quite frequently.

There was at least one gory wreck a week, and a minor fenderbender a day for three to five years. I watched a lot of them. Even saw people with blood over the sides of their cars and their skulls popped a bit but still alive. Got to the point where me and a few neighbor/friends would sit in lawns in front of the street (behind lamp poles, thick fence posts, etc.) and watch in expectation. An hour or so every other day, while we'd read Hellraiser comic books or "Fangoria" and watch in anticipation.

I knew personally the police officer who did the reports/cleanup on most of these calls from another social arraingment. He'd come there and we'd be sitting and watching or taking photos. He'd go "Hi, Ben.... You and your friends are SICK, you know that!?" (we'd nod politely and he'd sigh) "OK, then... Tell me what happened... Just the facts as usual..."

That was very early 90s. I didn't yet have a scanner, AOL at 2400 was the ONLY choice for a long while and websites were still theoretical and too expensive. If this had happened just a year or so later, I'd have scanned and uploaded photos and beat "Rotten.com" to the fringe...

But, just as I was about to start, the city FINALLY re-did the street. Rumor was, multiple insurance companies bought both the politicians and paid the construction fee. Probably true, considering how many pleas they had ignored from citizens. An extra lane, but they didn't budget a new light, so there were still fender benders but they were rarer and no gore-shows.
Nov. 26th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the reminder. I will be much more mindful of pedestrians and cyclists (ammost hit one wed. night) when I am driving.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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