Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Good deed

I did my good deed for the year today. I typically do at least one a year, though most years I end up doing several because, for the most part, I am a nice person. Most of these deeds are planned, deliberate actions to help someone in need, but occasionally I stumble into a situation purely by accident. Today was an accidental one.

We got some snow today. Not a lot, maybe three inches tops, which really isn't anything major for the Chicago area. So it struck me as quite strange when my daughter called at 3 pm to tell me they cancelled practice today for the musical the high school is putting on and needed me to come get her. In fact, they cancelled all after school activities.

Because it's been so damn cold, the roads were slicker than they usual are after a snowfall, so I kept my speed to around 5 miles under the speed limit, which was about what most people were doing. Of course there where the typical hot shots speeding past in their SUV's and other trucks that seem to think that just because they have 4 wheel drive, they won't suddenly spin out on the icy road. When I see one of them crashed farther up the road into a tree or ditch or something, I typically laugh (as long as there are no other cars involved) and keep on my merry way cuz they're fucking retarded and deserve the repair bills and higher insurance rates they're going to have to pay for their stupidity. (Notice in the previous paragraph I said "for the most part" in reference to me being nice.)

Anyway, I pick my daughter up and decide to go home the same way I came, which is on a busy, four lane road. Usually I take another route home, on a two lane road, to avoid traffic. But my thinking was that the busier road would have less snow and be less slick because all the car and truck traffic helps to melt the snow that the plows aren't able to scrape up.

As we're driving on a portion of the road that has several curves which go from right to left repeatedly within the space of just a mile, three cars coming in the opposite direction head into a curve we're just coming out of. In a scene out of a movie, one of the cars suddenly goes off the road for no apparent reason, crashes into a road sign and then down an embankment into a bunch of bushes and trees.

I had that split second thought, do I pull over or keep going? Since everyone else kept driving I made the quick decision to pull over. By sheer luck, I just happened to be at the point where the center median begins for the stoplight that is about 1000 yards away, otherwise there would have been no safe place for me to stop. Also by sheer luck, as I got out of my car, there happened to be a local community service officer passing by so I flagged him down. He was in traffic that was moving and figured I was the one that needed help, so he had to keep going until he could find a place to turn around at.

I ran over to where the car had gone off the road just as the driver was walking up the embankment. He was in mild shock, but thankfully wasn't injured at all, at least not visibly. He decided to climb back down and shut his car off and as he did I saw the officer I'd flagged down pull up behind my car on the median. I ran over to him and told him it wasn't me in trouble, but that another car had just run off the road.

The cop was glad I'd stopped and flagged him down because from the road, you couldn't tell that someone had just crashed. As the cop is calling for backup, I'm trying to calm the guy that crashed because I know that adrenaline, "what the fuck just happened" feeling he was going through.

I'd left my daughter in the car the whole time and I was concerned for her safety for fear someone would lose control and crash into my car, but I felt she was far safer staying put. Once the officer pulled up behind my car, that relieved a little of my anxiety because everyone slowed up due to his flashing lights. Since I felt she'd be ok, I decided it was a priority to stay with the guy that had crashed until the ambulance arrived to make sure he wasn't hurt.

He didn't thank me for stopping to make sure he was okay or for getting him help, and I'm completely fine with that. In that kind of situation, thanks aren't necessary. Sometimes we do things simply because we know it's the right thing to do. I would hope that if it had been me that crashed, that someone would have stopped for me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you did the right thing, I will give you a pat on the back, Sid, to not let the ingrates get you down. from Sandra thank you for sharing your blog.

12:01 PM, February 07, 2007  
Anonymous anonymousmom said...

he was probably too shocked by the whole thing to think about thanking you... i'm sure he thanked you later when you couldn't hear it!

2:55 PM, February 07, 2007  

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