I’d give anything to believe that human beings are not scum, but…

Last Saturday my almost twenty year old son got into an accident.  He was riding his little Yamaha 49 cc scooter to go see a friend, and hit a wild boar that was laying in the middle of the road.  This particular road happens to be a few miles of dark and winding terrain, with woods on both sides.  The kiddo was thrown going roughly 40 mph and landed in the middle of the road.  Before anyone freaks out, he is ok, or I wouldn’t be writing this here.  But I am writing about it because something in this experience made me lose what faith I had in the inherent goodness of man.

So back to a kid, who got very obviously thrown off his motorbike, laying in the middle of this two lane road, the scooter a few meters away from him and still running.  There was an SUV a few hundred or so yards behind my son.  Whoever was driving it didn’t so much as slow down or swerve, coming within inches from hitting my kid, who was as yet unable to move.  As my son was crawling to the side of the road, doing his best to get away from lights of other cars behind him, two more cars zoomed past him without giving any of this a second thought.  For the next twenty or so minutes, he crouched in a painful ball on the side of the road, trying to flag down a car with the one hand that wasn’t completely scraped and bloody, so that someone could make a call and get help.  It took that long until finally somebody stopped.

I know it’s dark there, and probably scary.  I guess I can even almost understand the apprehension that we may feel if we are out driving, especially if we are by ourselves, about pulling over in cases like these.  But I can’t for the life of me fathom not slowing down and at the very least calling 911.  That doesn’t even require getting out of the car.

So this weekend my son lay helpless on the side of the road.  My son, who may have seemed like some punk to some of you people, who blew past him without so much as slowing down; just some teenage kid who doesn’t merit your consideration.  Maybe pulling over would have made you late for that dinner date or getting home to your family.  Maybe you were racing to an emergency that just couldn’t wait… Maybe.  But some of you almost killed my son, and some of you just didn’t care enough to dial a phone number.  You are my neighbors.  Some of you have kids or grandkids or nephews or nieces.  Some of you have probably been in an accident before, and felt scared, and hoped that someone would pull over.

The kid you left there is enrolled in music production at DBS.  He plays jazz piano at local gigs.  He writes music and poetry.  He dreams.  He still hugs his parents.  His 11 year old brother thinks the world of him.  He is also a kid who would stop for anyone in trouble.  He’d have stopped for you…

He learned his lessons: not riding at night on a dark road being one of them, and that he must wear gloves when riding, even if it’s really warm out.  He also learned a few things I wish he didn’t have to.  The scars on his hands and knees will heal in due time.  He’ll ride again.  He’ll play jazz.  He’s happy he is alive and knows how lucky he is.  But above all, he is heartbroken at the callousness of people who went on their way, as if he wasn’t there…  There is no Band-Aid or pill to heal those.

I hope that the few people who read this, should they ever find themselves driving by an accident of any kind, consider this… I hope that we still have it in us to do the right thing.  It could be someone you know and love in that ditch some day, but when not, it is always somebody who is loved and someone who will be missed.

Thank you so very much to Richard Barnes who not only stopped but stayed with my son until the paramedics got there, and talked him through his fears.  Thank you to the other two people who pulled over and whose names, sadly, I don’t know, and thank you to the EMTs who were called to the scene for being so very human to my son and for keeping his spirits up.

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8 Responses to I’d give anything to believe that human beings are not scum, but…
  1. Matthew Perren
    March 8, 2012 | 4:26 am

    A couple of months ago my wife and I were walking to the cinema in the centre of Edinburgh. It was rush hour and very busy. Lying in the gutter was a man in a suit. I saw him from about 100 yards away and was astonished to see literally hundreds of people walk past him – some even stepped over him to cross the road. We stopped and checked him out for broken bones and when we found none got him off the road and called an ambulance. He was fine. Just really drunk! But there was nothing to indicate that he hadn’t had a heart attack/ stoke/ seizure / been mugged etc, etc.

    Glad your son’s OK. Whatever happened to the Good Samaritan? And human decency?

  2. Jesse Clifton
    March 7, 2012 | 1:26 pm

    First and foremost I’m glad he’s ok. I pray to God that those who didn’t stop never find themselves in a similar situation and I hope like hell they get to read this and feel the shame of not stopping to help someone in need.

  3. Missy Caulk
    March 6, 2012 | 10:43 pm

    Inna, I know how you feel, an incredible situation, I do hope people will read this and think next time they encounter a situation like this again. So grateful that your son is going to be ok, because it could have been a different outcome.

  4. Gina Kay Landis
    March 6, 2012 | 10:33 pm

    I’m so darn glad your son is OK. I’m happy he didn’t break his hand, or rib, or leg…. and I’m as disappointed as you are in those who didn’t slow down or stop. They were probably texting while driving… well, that’s an assumption. At any rate, I am happy for those who did stop, who were cognizant enough of the human condition to understand that a still-running, yet unmanned bike means there’s a potential disaster at roadside.

    Some people are stupid. Some people have no compassion. I’m sorry you’ve lost your faith in mankind, because the ones who *did* stop could have restored that faith. Operative word here is “some” – some people are not, and some people are, angels. Thank God there were angels on the road that night… in human form and otherwise who protected your son. Hugs!

    Gina

  5. Lisa Heindel
    March 6, 2012 | 7:22 pm

    Inna, my heart breaks for your boy. The idea of anyone’s child being injured and scared and feeling like no one cares….well, that should never happen. Hug him for me and the rest of the good guys, please.

  6. TLW
    March 6, 2012 | 7:13 pm

    I believe in karma. All those who whizzed by him will one day get their serving of karma. Fluckers :)

  7. Brian Rayl
    March 6, 2012 | 7:01 pm

    As a real estate agent, a paramedic, emergency room and ICU nurse, and for god sakes a human being, I would have stopped in a heart beat. If you were really vindictive (which I have been before), if there are any stores along that road with security cameras, get the tapes and submit it to the police department to track down those who didn’t stop and they can receive citations for failure to stop and render aid (at least in Texas they can).

    I’m glad to hear your son is OK. Hope he was at least wearing a helmet. Sometimes people think that “scooters” or low power motorcycles are safer because they aren’t the big “Hogs” or “Roadsters” but that thinking can make them even more dangerous.

    Keep the faith. There are still good human beings out there. Unfortunately, you son was passed by a few that weren’t. Hopefully someone WILL stop when they need it.

  8. Peter Brewer
    March 6, 2012 | 6:40 pm

    Great post Inna. And we wonder why a new generation is being called the ‘Me’ generation!

    Tell your boy that there are still good people that care! X