Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Cautionary Tale

So My Guy and I went to a fabulous fundraiser last night, located in the town next to ours. We had a great time, and despite the heat and high humidity, the party was a success. The foundation that the evening benefited is an organization that inspires kids and we really believe in the great work that they are doing.  So after we ate some fantastic food, drank some wine and listened and laughed at the entertainment and events of the evening (I won a pair of Hudson jeans in a raffle! So excited) My Guy and I began the short drive home.

We were driving down the darkened suburban windy roads, chatting about our fantastic evening, when our headlights revealed a car in the middle of the road, horizontally, the front end smashed into a pole with full front and side airbags deployed. The dark color of the car and the moonlight of the night were almost the perfect backdrop for the bright white airbags that outlined the driver of the car who was leaning on the driver side door with her head down.

My Guy immediately pulled over and got out as I reached for my cell phone to call 911. While I was explaining to the dispatcher the location of the accident, I could see the driver was standing, dazed and confused talking to my husband. She kept saying, "I have to go now. I need to find my cell phone and get home. I just want to go home." My Guy assured her that the blood streaming form her nose and forehead were not, "fine" as she kept repeating, and he said she could not drive her car in it's condition anyway. He asked her to please sit down and wait till the paramedics arrived.

She screamed at me, "NO, don't call the police. They are going to be SO mad at me," she said. "I need to go and find my friends." And with that, she began to cry. I almost felt bad for her. Like I had ratted her out or something, because we all knew that once she got some medical attention she was going to be in a bit of trouble.There was no doubt she had been drinking. As My Guy escorted us to a safe side of the road, I told her how lucky she was that she walked away with a few bumps and scrapes, but the poor thing kept repeating, "I just want to go home. Can I go home? Please don't call the cops."

She then walked over to the passenger side of the car, which was most definitely a point of impact judging by the huge dent in the rear door, and scurried around looking for her cell phone, which she found . She called her friend. She then handed the phone to My Guy and asked him to speak to her friend. It was then that the paramedics, fire truck and police arrived. They walked over to the driver, clearly the one in need because the white shirt she was wearing was bloodstained. The police asked us our names, and we explained that we were driving home and came upon this scene. The police officer, wrote our names down and told us we were free to leave, which we did, but I couldn't help but feel terrible for this stranger, who was scared and now alone with the paramedics.

I never even asked her name.

It really happened so fast, and she was so frightened that the "cops are going to be SO mad at me", that I felt like I had to almost agree with her. She was lucky, but was she? Had we not found her in the middle of the road, who knows what would have happened? My call to 911 was immediate. I wasn't even out of my car before I had placed the call and I think it was the right thing to do, so why do I feel like I did something wrong?

Even My Guy said on the ride home, maybe we should have driven her to the hospital ourselves, but we both know that was coming from a place of compassion. Maybe even because we have all been there, although we shouldn't be. I guess the real lesson for all of us is simple. It doesn't even need to be said at this point. It's really just a cautionary tale.


Anonymous said...

You did the right thing. Take it from this Joker. If you had not alerted the authorities depending on the State there are laws which would have you walking away from the scene of the accident which makes it a crime for the participants, or an accessory for folks like you that just happened upon that driver.

You did the right thing...have no doubts....

SkylersDad said...

Jack nailed it. You did exactly the right thing.

the walking man said...

Agree + a conviction (3rd, 4th, etc.) may actually save her life if she gets smart. The guilt is probably because had the situation been reversed you would not have wanted the trouble either but then...think driver her home, a car is sitting lengthwise across a dark road, someone unsuspecting comes up on it Frack for instance and wham!

You may have changed 1 life and saved 2.

MarkD60 said...

I've had a similar thing happen to me. I got the guy out of the car under the semi and waited for the ambulance. I didn't even get his name.

Scope said...

1 - You did the right thing. The liability if you put her in your car, drove her to the hospital, and something happened, would have been tremendous.

2 - You might not need to get her number. Did your guy give her the phone back? :-)

Cora said...

No, no, no, you absolutely did the right thing. You don't know how how injured she was and anything could have happened while she was in your car and, like Scope said, the liability would have been catastrophic.

Okay, maybe she was upset she would be in trouble with the police, but maybe she NEEDS to be.

Chris said...

Ditto to what the others have said. You did what you had to do. Any other course of action could've been disastrous if her injuries turned out to be more serious.