Aug 29, 2012

Rest In Peace....

WARNING
This is my account of a fatal accident.

There are some things that you never want to see. And some things you will never forget. Today I witnessed the scene of a fatal accident. The image will haunt me. This is the tenth time I have witnessed  the scene of a life expired. I feel the best way for me to find peace about this, is to write it down. Perhaps you may want to skip this blog post...

I was driving east when I noticed traffic began to slow drastically quick. Everyone began to merge to the right lanes and as with any delays in traffic, I began to look around for the cause. On the left shoulder, just beyond the overpass, I could see all sorts of debris including fiberglass, glass, metal and one of those large light poles used in the center of the Interstate. On the west bound side, I noticed several clusters of cars with people standing around holding each other, but none of the cars looked to be damaged. About that time is when I noticed a truck sitting under the overpass, pressed up against the jersey wall. There were no emergency vehicles there, so I just assumed the accident was being cleared up and any injuries had already been attended to. The truck was totaled. The hood was crushed in towards the cab. The cab was crushed down into the drivers seat, the windshield was pushed in to the steering wheel.

I wish this had been the only view I had seen, but I was heading east and passed by the driver's side. As I was stunned by the damage, I noticed something not quite right. The driver's door was literally ripped off its hinges and .....

He still had his seat belt on. 

The news reports say he was ejected. He was not fully ejected... One leg still in the truck, foot wedged in the steering wheel. Seat belt still wrapped around his waist, but his waist is now at the bottom of the door frame. His upper body hanging down over his steps. He still had his seatbelt on... I think that part bothers me the most. Something hit the truck so hard that it was peeled open and he was dragged outside, but he still had his seatbelt on. His shoe was missing, his blue jeans were ripped, but that seatbelt keeps haunting me.  I apologize if this post seems insensitive, but I am trying to remove the vision from my memory. The truck was pressed against the jersey wall, and all I can see is that seatbelt stretched around his waist...

Moving passed the scene, I immediately burst into tears, a deep heart wrenching sob. I am fairly certain, his life ended abruptly and without time for pain. But, my thoughts always extend to the family, the wife, the kids, the people who were standing on the side of the road, the ones who had run to the truck to see if he was okay, the ones who drove by and saw everything that I saw, the emergency workers... I have been told that people become numb to these types of tragedies. The people who attend the scene and clean up the debris, the emergency responders. I cannot imagine ever being that desensitized, but I sincerely hope that they do. I hope they all sleep well tonight and find comfort with their families. 




6 comments:

John Wilkins said...

I am sorry you had to see this. I know how this type of scene confronts us and reminds us of our fragility. I hope you slept better last night having tried to deal with this in writing. And I did not find your writing insensitive at all, on the contrary, quite compassionate. I saw a scene similar once and it is like a poster on the wall of my memories. Always there, always clearly seen. Maybe as time passes the clarity will dim.

Jeffro said...

You just showed that you have a heart, not insensitive at all. Sooner or later in our profession we do witness something like this. We all know it could happen to us, and we all know how these things affect family and friends.

But we get back on and ride on, hoping for a better day for all.

Don't punish yourself for feeling bad about it, and I hope time heals you, too.

Manny said...

I'm sorry that you and everybody on the scene had to see such tragedy. Be safe out there and take care.

JeeKee said...

Sorry that you had to see this...
I know what you feel.. i was part of a fatal accident some months ago.
A SUV slammed into the front of my truck .. 3 of the 4 people in the SUV died on impact.
If you want to see this, you can find it in the link. http://district8.net/drie-doden-bij-ernstige-aanrijding-n57-ouddorp.html
Life can end in a flash. lets enjoy it as much as we can...
Keep 'm between those lines!!

Today's Walk said...

Sure sorry you had to witness that! Sadly these images only fade. I still live with a 7 year old boy being hit by a pickup pulling a boat. Couldn't have stopped if they wanted too. His father had just called him to dinner and he darted across the road; never even knew what hit him. I wrote for a week, as many times as I needed to get past it. The image is still there, but the pain of it has past. Cry, scream, write! Chocolate is a great help! Watch funny movies! It will get better!

Guadalupe Puthoff said...

Reading these kinds of stories only serve to remind me that death chooses no one; regardless of social status, of birthright, whether you were born in the grandest of castles or in the lowest pits of the sewers, we all bleed the same. My heart goes out to the driver’s family and to those he left behind. May his memory live on long after he’s gone.

Guadalupe Puthoff