Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Life is fragile, and people are good

So today I witnessed something I never had before--a really bad car wreck. Thankfully I was just a witness, but even that in some ways was an overwhelming experience. So here's what happened.
I was driving to Utah with Beck, and was on the phone with my mom when I noticed the car in front of me slightly swerving to the left. I blinked a few times to make sure I was seeing things correctly, and the next second, the car had completely swerved and went full-speed into the grassy median, flying up then slamming into the ground, completely and violently rolling hard 2 or 3 times. I immediately pulled over and called 911. A trucker guy had pulled over and ran directly to the scene. I didn't want B to witness anything horriffic if he didn't have to, so since the trucker was tending to them we stayed in the car on the phone with 911. Two more cars had also pulled off and went over to assist. After a few minutes the 911 lady asked if I could go up to the scene and get reports from the victims on their injuries. So, phone and toddler in-tow (and also while raining) I ran across the highway. Thank goodness, both people were safe with only minor injuries. If they both hadn't been wearing their seatbelts, it would definitely be another story.
While I reported back to the 911 lady, I witnessed humanity at its purest. Complete strangers helping complete strangers, with no motivation besides duty and love. Cleaning up blood, bandaging wounds, and comforting hearts.
The authorities arrived, the victims were treated, we filled out police reports--I love in our country that even amidst complete chaos, there is still order and help and compassion.
Once our duties were done, it was weird saying goodbye to everyone. Even though we were only together for an hour, and through complete happenstance, we all felt closely connected. As I was thanking the paramedics for all they do, one of them asked Beck if he wanted to see the back of the ambulance. (This guy had probably seen him doing his crazy-excited faces the entire time over all of the different ermergency vehicles that were there.) So we go around back, and another paramedic pops up and surprises Beck with a teddy bear! Yes, a teddy bear. And yes, just to be sweet. I wanted to cry.
The car's driver who had come-to and was in the back of the ambulance gave us a sincere thank you. I think it was just as refreshing and humbling to her that complete strangers would care so much about their well-being.
We got back in the car and talked about what happened, and said a prayer of gratitude that those people's lives were spared, and that we were able to be a part of it.
I am grateful to have had this experience. I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who watches over us; for law enforcement and rescue workers who are heroes every day; for loving strangers who care.
Overall I have been reminded that life is fragile, and people are good.

(I took one picture to remember this all by right before we pulled out but didn't want to be intrusive.)


Heather said...

Wow. What a life altering experience. So glad you and Beck are safe. I'm also grateful that the driver was safe. Thank you for sharing.

Kadie said...

Holy cow. I'm so glad everyone was okay. I think that kind of an experience would traumatize me. :) Thanks for your reminder of how good life and people are.

Kimberly Miller said...

How terrifying! I am so glad everyone was alright!