As I began work this morning, I was startled to hear a sickening crash outside my window. Without even thinking I began to replay the events in my mind.
We live across the street from a fire station. It is a regular occurrence to hear sirens as the ambulance and fire trucks announce their arrival at the intersection in order to get onto the main street. Most people heed these warnings, but there are always those who will try to get through the intersection just before the emergency vehicles begin to make their way onto the street.
I heard the siren this morning, but it is such a regular event that I tuned it out. It was during this that I heard the crash. It was the out-of-the-ordinary sound that drew my attention. Since there is a beautiful old tree that blocks my view of the intersection, I immediately grabbed my phone and headed downstairs, out the front door, and down the hill to see the intersection.
I was greeted by the sight of two cars that had indeed crashed. One of the cars was sitting immobilized in the middle of the intersection with the ambulance that had been responding to a call instead having to deal with injuries. The second car had been knocked off the road and into a support pole for the traffic signals. The ambulance was still at the intersection and was NOT involved in the accident, but was having to respond to what had happened right in front of them.The EMTs were responding to both vehicles. They had brought out stretchers and were removing one person from the car that had crashed into the traffic light pole. I didn’t linger because I didn’t want to be ghoulish and I also had to get back to start work. I hope that no one was seriously injured in the collision.
After I completed my usual morning rush of email responses added to a problem with my laptop that required a phone call to corporate IT, I began to think about what had happened. What is it that makes people so blatantly disregard the things they see and hear all around them?
What were these drivers thinking? What could possibly distract them so much that they either didn’t hear the ambulance, or that they would think that they were so important that they could get through the intersection first?
Aside from the obvious cautionary tale about being alert when driving, what else does this accident say about us? We have become so self-absorbed that we ignore the world around us and the people in it. Our humanity is disappearing every day. We have become so callous to others that we demand the world accomodate our needs alone, and to hell with anyone else.
I thought to myself, what was the emergency that the ambulance was responding to? I am sure that the person who called the ambulance was not interested in this accident. Did the delay in dispatching another ambulance result in still another tragedy? I have no idea, but I hope that another ambulance was available right away.Take some time to THINK! Each and every day we make decisions that affect not only us, but others around us. Try to show a little more concern about the world around you and a little bit less about the things that only affect you.