Yesterday, on the way to a fundraiser, traffic came to a sudden stop less than a mile from our home. We couldn’t immediately see what was going on as there was a truck in front of us. Then, off to the left, there was an SUV crashed onto the curb with a woman slumped over the wheel. Without thinking we stopped and went to help.
The doors were locked. The engine was racing as her foot was apparently stuck on the gas pedal causing the wheels to begin to smoke. I called 911 as people began jumping out of their cars to help. Some directed traffic while others were trying to find a way into her car. Suddenly someone placed a sledgehammer in my husband’s hands. He started smashing the passenger window so they could unlock the door. Once the door was open, someone removed her foot from the gas and shut the ignition off. She started to come around, but it was obvious that she had an internal head injury or some other medical issue as she was not fully comprehending anything. While we waited for first responders to arrive, someone stayed with her to keep her still as the rest of us held a silent, prayerful vigil. In the midst of all this, the 911 operator was the calm in my personal storm telling me what to do, what was happening and asking me questions to keep me focused.
The first responders began arriving and we all stepped back to let them take control. We went to move our car as it was blocking traffic and realized there was nothing more that we could do. Heading to our fundraiser, we found ourselves physically shaking -adrenaline aftermath had taken hold. We sat for a minute, went in and gave our apologies and headed home. Neither of us said very much as we processed what had just happened. I’ll never know for sure, but I believe she will be okay.
Do me a favor.
Return to the second paragraph of this story and reread it. “…people began jumping out of their cars to help.” “We all stayed with her…” Total strangers working together in a time of need. Black, white, Latino, men, women, and probably liberals and conservatives. In those moments, none of that mattered. No one descended into controversy. Nothing mattered but saving a life.
Coming together, as one, to serve humanity. This is what we are meant to do. Until my last breath I will repeat this message. My prayer is that we will not have to continue to have the tragedy in order to see the good.
From my heart to yours, Diane
photo courtesy of pixabay