Hit and Run Fun!
Yesterday, while returning home from shopping for milk, my father was hit by an SUV making a right turn. He was in the cross walk, crossing legally and if he had not seen the driver of the SUV was not going to stop, he most likely would have been seriously injured. As it is, he broke a wrist and suffered a few other minor injuries. The driver sped away, not even making sure if my father was alright. For all this driver knew, he could have killed my father.
Typical for my dad, he decided that he was too embarrassed to call the police, feeling that he should have stayed on the curb until he was sure it was safe. He felt foolish, he told me while getting his wrist looked at, foolish for getting knocked over by someone’s poor decision behind the steering wheel.
Everyone makes mistakes and perhaps not looking and being sure before crossing the street, even with the light, was my fathers error. Maybe the driver was not paying attention, or driving too fast, or perhaps he was drunk. Regardless, mistakes happen, accidents happen. What frightens me, sickens me even, is the total disregard for the human being this driver left behind in the road.
Another driver who witnessed the accident, followed the SUV as it sped away, calling the police. The driver said he had no idea he had hit anyone, which makes me wonder of this person was roaring drunk at the time. I cannot imagine how he could not notice he had at least knocked my father over and even if he knew he did not hit him, he could have at least stopped and made sure there was no injury. Regardless, I still find this driver to be a complete coward.
There have been a rash of these type of incidents this past year. A nurse was hit and killed while riding her bike with friends this last summer. The driver completely ran her over and sped away. To my knowledge, this person has yet to come forward or be located.
Another woman was swimming in a lake when a boat hit her, causing massive injuries. Witnesses said they could hear the woman moaning, begging for help. The men in the boat spoke to her, asking her if she was OK, then just left her when it was obvious she was not. She later died form her injuries. These men have been identified and proceedings are pending.
A local news anchor was riding her bike near the Hogle Zoo, travelling down hill at high speed when she was hit by a car leaving the parking area. The woman was thrown from her bike, most likely over the hood of the car and into the street where she suffered neck and head injuries as well as a dislocated shoulder. The car sped away, she survived.
What motivates people to run from incidents like these? Is the fear of the consequences of our actions so great, that even when something accidental takes place, we cannot own up to it? What does it say about our culture, our civilization when someone leaves another person injured or dead? Surely there have always been those in every society that are cold and callous, lacking a sense of right and wrong or just not caring one way or the other for anyone or anything. But I doubt the individuals driving these boats and cars fall into that category. These are most likely average, everyday people, driving home from work, home to families. In the case of the boaters, it is presumed they were drinking and while criminal, it is less so than injuring someone and fleeing the scene.
It seems a childish reaction, running away. Something I would have done at 11 years old when I broke a window, or was caught trespassing. That type of behavior is something one should grow out of. Taking responsibility for things is what being an adult is supposed to be about, though I am more disturbed by the lack of compassion than anything else. We certainly live in a cold world where it is easy to be detached from each other. These incidents have struck me in a very meaningful way. I find myself being more careful, more aware of those around me. I take comfort in knowing that those I associate with are compassionate people, who care for others and would be the type of people to rush to aid someone like my father, as many did, making sure he was alright, following the driver home. It is still only a few people who act so despicably towards others, but even a few is too many.
As always, your thoughts are encouraged and welcome.
And my father is recovering nicely…none too worse for wear.