Thursday, February 03, 2011

One Day Over Lunch

"What's going on?" I say.

My friend, who is driving the two of us to lunch, stops at the green light with all the cars around us.

She sighs. "Oh, who knows. This street is always so busy."

We see a truck in the middle of the intersection ahead of us. The front of the truck is blocking our lane of traffic, and each car in our lane is merging slowly into the next lane to pass.

"I don't know why they don't put left turn signals on this street," she says, looking for traffic so she can merge over.

I see the driver of the truck get out and stand in front of his vehicle, looking stunned.

We see a different man running towards the truck.

"What is going on anyway?" she says, and we both look to see what the man was running toward.

And then we see him.

He is lying underneath the truck and the blood is pooling. I have never seen this much blood come from one person. I have never seen this much blood. Ever.

The man is lying completely under the truck. I can only assume he was completely run over by the front tires.

My friend and I both turn away and practically scream. We cover our mouths and tears spring to our eyes.

"OhmyGod OhmyGod, why did I look? why did I look?" my friend says.

We hear the sirens and see a police car racing toward the scene from behind us. We make it into the next lane and pass by.

We drive down the street in complete silence, in disbelief at what we'd seen.

I am not normally a prayerful person, but I prayed for him and his family.

Throughout the rest of the afternoon I thought of how quickly our lives can change and how fragile we are. I thought about how we focus on the inconvenience in our lives caused by the events that devastate others.

Tonight I checked to see if the accident would be on the news and it was, under the headline "Pedestrian struck and killed by truck in St. Paul."

This is going to stick with me for a while.


  1. Sara (fleetssara)10:37 PM

    I, too, have had a similar experience. It was a one car roll over accident where a college student died returning home at the end of the school year.

    I didn't get out of my car. Others did. I just kept my headlights on the accident so others going 70 mph on I-94 would see the wreck and slow down.

    I did not see her. She died right there. It still think about her and her family almost every time I drive the same stretch of road. It will stay with you, I am sure.

  2. I am always so amazed at sudden death. The person had thoughts, memories, a life, children perhaps and all of a sudden they are gone. I find it one of those times when I think about how fragile we are and how quickly we can be removed. I'll bet you hugged your kids and Wayne a little tighter that evening. I'm sure it will stay with you for a long time. Who knows, maybe you saw it because sometime in the future you will encounter a similar circumstance only your memory will save your life.