Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saving a life (?)

I'm not sure if I actually saved a man's life this morning, but I definitely did help someone who otherwise likely would have waited a long, long time before receiving any help.

I was in my car in the parking lot at work this morning, napping. I'd gotten to work an hour early, gave Jen a ride in and her start time was an hour before mine today. She was sending me text messages which woke me up, but I was glad because I didn't set an alarm and was afraid of oversleeping. I was in the middle of responding to her when I heard a horrible, horrible crash that sounded real close by. I turned toward the direction of the sound and then I saw a white van speeding by lickety-split. I didn't have my glasses on at that point so all I could see was the vehicle was white and it was a van.

I decided to go investigate, because the sound I heard was that of 2 vehicles making impact. I actually heard two crashes, the bigger one of one car being hit by another at a high rate of speed and then a smaller one like a vehicle hitting something else - which turned out to be the pole holding up the ACE Hardware sign. And at that hour, just before 6:00 on a Sunday morning, there was nobody around for miles. First I saw the mangled car, it's lights still on, then I saw a body lying on the pavement next to the car. I grabbed my phone and dialed 911. Then I heard a man calling, "Help! Help! Help!" I pulled off the road and went up to the man who was laying on his back. By this time the 911 operator had patched me through to the ambulance. They asked me where I was located; somehow I had the presence of mind to get the address off the front of the ACE Hardware store we were in front of; somehow I had the presence of mind to tell them what street I was on, the gun range across the street, Escapades a couple doors down; they told me to tell him to lay still 'til they get there, and eventually we hung up, the promise of help on it's way. I held the man's hand to comfort him I guess. It was covered in gravel and debris.

I was so scared. I don't know how I gathered my wits about me to try to be strong for that guy. I asked him his name; I asked him which direction he was travelling, which turned out to be the opposite direction of the way his car was now pointing. His car was totalled. This type of thing never happens to me, and while I was happy to help I hope it doesn't happen again, at least not soon. Usually when this type of thing happens somebody's already called 911, somebody's already in the middle of helping. This time it was me.

Heckuva way to start the day. I am still bewildered by it all.

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