Friday, April 28, 2006

While I was weeding

So last evening, around 7:00, I was in the garden weeding and mulching around the newly sprouted peas and teeny little lettuce leaves that are poking up. On the road that crosses ours road, about 1000 feet away, I heard a car going very fast and I shook my head and wondered why people have to drive like that. Then I heard I sickening, crunching metal sound and I didn't hear the car anymore. I stood up and started walking through the field behind us in the direction of the road hoping I wasn't going to see what I pretty much knew had happened. The car was upside down and a young boy was standing down along the road and screaming for help. The barley in the field is over a foot high now and I couldn't see if there were other people, just the car wheels and the upper part of the boys body. He looked okay and was walking around so I yelled to him that I was getting help and ran back to the house and called 911. After that I walked back towards the accident and saw that a motorist had pulled over and was helping the boy. So I stopped walking and stood at the rear of our yard and watched. I should have kept going but I stopped because I was afraid of what I was going to see. The boy was running around screaming for the emergency responders to hurry up and then I heard him say that "They're all going to die". So there were other people in that car that is flipped over and, I notice now, crunched around a pole. The ambulance gets there and I see them putting a sheet over someone in the field, but I wasn't sure if it was to prevent shock or because they were dead. It seemed like it was all in slow motion. Then I hear the Life Line helicopter coming and he circles around our house and lands in the field behind us. The barley looks like water as it ripples from the wind from the blades and I stare at it and think that it is so pretty at this awful moment. Someone was still in the car apparently and when they began to remove her, I heard the most horrible screaming I've ever heard in my life. I hope I never hear anything like that again, ever. I stood there for awhile and then walked to the corner where a number of my neighbors had gathered. Nobody knew the kids or knew if there were fatalities. They said that 4 had been thrown from the vehicle and probably had not been wearing seatbelts. I'm not sure how the boy who yelled for help was able to walk around. I walked back to my garden a little dazed and started weeding again, thinking about how a momentary decision by one person (the driver) had so dramatically impacted so many families, maybe permanently. I imagined those families out doing yardwork on this nice warm evening and walking into the house to answer the phone that just won't stop ringing. Things change so quickly, don't they? I should have gone to help before the emergency people got there, there might have been a difference I could have made. I am embarassed that I didn't. I froze with fear and stood and watched.


Anonymous Judith said...

Yes, things can change so quickly. You called 911 right away, a motorist stopped, these add up to helping in such a tragic situation. I am so sorry you had to witness this & my heart goes out to the families. You take care, it is difficult to witness such an event.

8:55 PM  
Blogger EFB said...

Oh my God. How horrible. You didn't do anything wrong. You called 911 as soon as you could and there's very little you could've done anyway. Sounds like you'd have to be a medical professional to deal with that situation. What a sad, sad story. I feel so bad for everyone involved.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Juli said...

M: I'm very sorry to hear about the accident and you're right, sadly, the impact goes beyond the passengers.

The timing of your post is a bit of a coincidence. I had just gone to bed when I heard a number of cars and motorcycles racing in the distance. Hearing their activity ticked me off for a number of reasons. One, I am a motorcyclist and the crazy antics of riders doesn't help those of us who ride with responsibility. Secondly, if anything was to go wrong, they're affecting others, which you just experienced. And lastly, it's just flat out rude and dangerous.

I laid there wondering, what would I do if I heard screeching brakes and the tangling of metal? My first instinct is, of course, to leap to help. But if I sit there for a milisecond, I get angry and think: they had it comin' to them and how dare they expect innocent neighbors help them?!

I'm not an authority to try to teach anyone a lesson other than, live by example. With that, it's guaranteed that I'd do what I could.

That's what YOU did and I hope you'll find peace in that fact. You didn't pull a weed and ignore what you heard. You DID something and that's all anyone of us in that situation could hope for.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know someone who was paralyzed because a good samaritan stopped, helped them out of the vechicle, and further injured their neck and back. Had they remained still in the vechicle and waited for emergency personnel, they may have walked later on. You did EXACTLY the right thing.....ALWAYS let the trained emergency personnel help accident victims!

6:23 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Oh dear. That is a really horrifying story. As everyone else said, you did nothing wrong.. you did everything that you're supposed to do. The fact that you were there and were able to call for help is so important. I hope you're ok and not being haunted by this. I feel so badly for the families involved.

8:42 AM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

Thanks everyone for such nice words. That makes me feel better. And everyone is probably right that there wasn't anything I could have done had I run to the scene. But you always wonder. Although there hasn't been any coverage at all about what happened, so I have no idea if there were fatalities or not, or even how many people were involved. I'm not dwelling on it, but I really cringe now when I see or hear people racing up and down these back roads. That's just stupid.

9:43 AM  

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