Monday, September 8, 2014

I'M CURIOUS


Recently, I was enjoying my early morning computer time (5:30 AM) when Callie started kicking up sand out side barking her head off.  Callie was enjoying her morning toilet and it was still dark out. She is not the bravest of dogs in the dark.

Knowing it could be anything from a bear to a leaf blowing across the road stirring her up, I went on the porch to stare into the rainy dark to look. At first I saw nothing, then I saw headlights shining in the pasture across the street and noticed the tail lights looking back at me.

I live on a corner with  my side road t-boning a main highway. Someone had evidently missed the stop sign all together and had just driven into a ditch.

First thought was an intoxicated driver. Who else drives into a ditch across a clearly marked road?  Did I run immediately to their aid?  Sad to say, I hesitated a few minutes.

I quickly remembered a time when I first moved here that I came upon such an accident in daylight.  The car was still steaming.  As I ran back to check on the occupants, a rather burly young male driver got out--either injured, stoned or wasted-- and started yelling  and waving his arms angrily at me like it was my fault. Don't know how he figured that for I had come up behind him after the fact.

A bit scared by his anger, I told him I would go call for help which I did.  While I was driving to where there was a cell signal, two emergency vehicles (one police and one ambulance) passed me going towards the accident.

When I found a signal I learned it had all ready been called in.  I don't know the outcome for when I came back that way later that day, the car was gone and so was he. It never made our small newspaper.

Thus, that previous episode tempered my desire to jump into help mode a bit. However,very shortly I noticed what appeared to be a large firefly flitting down the road.  I realized, they had gotten out and were trying to get a signal on their cell phone, thus the bouncing firefly.  That is when I went to their aid.

It was a youngish woman (youngish to me is anyone from 30 to 60) who was quite shaken and needed a phone--we don't have cell service here. She was Ok but really rattled. She was quite sober, on her way to work, and had just somehow missed the stop sign.

She had not only gone in the ditch but had hit a tree which set off the air bag. Her chest was hurting from the impact of the airbag and her vehicle was totaled.  She used my land line to call her Mom who lived about a mile down the road to come get her.

The rest of the day, I watched as car after car stop while some one went into the rain and down the ditch to check on possible occupants. As my street sits on a curve, I was a bit nervous for all the caring folks.

Admittedly  I was a bit surprised in this world where too many people supposedly don't want to get involved--just how many did want to get involved. It was quite a bit heart warming. I will add that 98% of  the Good Samaritans were men. Way to go fellas.

What I am curious about is what would you do if you drove by and saw a car smashed in a ditch in an area with no cell service. Would you shake your head thinking "some drunk" and drive on? Would you drive slowly by looking for someone in the car as several did, possibly phoning for help down the road?   Or would you basically risk your own life, pulling partially off  a busy two lane road and diving into a  water filled ditch to see if you could help?

Just curious.

34 comments :

  1. I would go to see what was up. Even though it could be dangerous, I couldn't drive by without checking to see if I could help. My own curiosity would drive me to find out what the problem might be. Sorry to hear the poor young woman got in such trouble, but yes, I'd stop.

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  2. All I could do would be to drive like the wind for the nearest help because I do not know first aid and if I couldn't get cell service, my first mission would be to get some qualified help.

    I can't believe you ran there to help rescue and were met by a belligerent stranger. That would have scared the crap out of me.

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  3. I would be compelled to stop and help. And yes it is very heartwarming that so many people stopped!

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  4. That was a good deed that you did and a good thing that Callie alerted you. I would probably do the same as you did. I would stop at an accident if there was no one else around (or just one or two people) because then you could be of use but I would not stop if there were already a number of people because then additional people are a hindrance.

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  5. This one of those instances where I don't think we know how we'll react until it actually occurs. The lack of cell coverage adds a whole other dimension to the situation.
    One factor is whether it's a woman responding or a man. And I would be 100% more likely to respond if someone were with me.

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  6. The one time I did come upon an accident, I looked for a house to ask someone to call. My husband went to check on the occupant of the upside down car. He was braver than I.

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  7. According to my family...."Oma, you're gonna wake up dead someday because you put yourself in harm's way". Yep, probably but I gotta help if I can. I am getting to an age where the only help I can probably offer is to use the cell phone to call for help but I'd give it my best shot.
    I helped deliver a baby one time because I was in the wrong place at the right time or something. I had been making housecalls on sick folks for my job and heard someone moaning. It was a young woman on the landing of the apartment complex. The baby was crowning and was gonna be born right there. It was just the three of us. I yelled (which by the way is one of my strongest talents) and finally got someone else to give me some towels and call 911. But by the time they got their, we three were waiting for their capable hands and there was another little soul in life and the Momma named her Linda.

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  8. I am not sure what I would do today. Almost 20-years ago, after dark, I was driving home on the highway when I spotted a car broken down on the side of the road. I then took the exit and as I zoomed on it, I noticed a figure walking along the road. All I could make out was a skirt and a pocketbook. I thought that person is going to get harmed. I stopped and took her to a nearby grocery store. She was so scared, she huddled against the car door. I knew she was ready to jump out should I make a false move. I have always been glad I stopped but not sure I would be so brazen today.

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  9. I'd like to think I would stop and see if someone needed help.

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  10. I would stop and see if I could help. If there was anything I could do, I would do it. If I was physically unable to assist (I'm pretty small and not particularly strong), I would try to assure the person that I would go and call for help ASAP.

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  11. I would look to see if there is immediate danger to anyone. If not, I'd drive to cell phone reception area, report the accident and then drive back to the scene to help.

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  12. I would help, but I wold be cautious while doing so. I'd call the police and see if an accident had been reported first.

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  13. A good question. At my age (81) I doubt if I could do much but call for help on my cell phone. There was a time in my life when my husband and I were part of a local Rescue Squad and there would be no question that we (or I) would have stopped and given aid.

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  14. I would call for help then go see if there was anything I could do.

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  15. That's a hard question, Patti... Not sure what I would 'really' do--but I guess I would stop and try to help first... NOT sure though depending upon the situation...

    I do have a tendency to try to help someone in need--but I also have a FEAR of what could happen... SO???? I really don't know...

    Glad it all worked for that gal... And it was good to hear about many Good Samaritans willing to help. There really are lots of good people in this world-even though we only hear about the BAD ones...

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  16. In hypothetical questions like this I always like to think I'd rise to the occasion and do the right thing, but in truth we really don't know until we're in that particular situation. I like to think I'd stop.

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  17. Djan,
    You go girl. I was right proud of the
    2% of the women who did just that and you would fit right in.

    Grannie Annie,
    That is probably my MO today and yes, that crazed kid did scare me.

    Keith,
    I expected no less of you and yes it was heartwarming.

    Manzi
    You are so right about the extras that seem to flock to an accident just to look and interfere. Good to know you would stop to help.

    Marty,
    I'd be willing to bet in those cars that stopped with the man running to the aid, that a woman sat in the car and took notes to tell the 911 operator when able. Being a pair helps.

    Olga,
    Men, as proved my my visual survey, are just fearless when it comes to helping others. Gotta love em for that.

    Linda W.
    Holy moly gal, you delivered a strangers baby?? How amazing was that and how cool that there is a grateful Linda out there somewhere today.

    Sue,
    Thank goodness it was you who came along and not some one wanting to do her harm. Wonder if you would have stopped had it been a man walking? Somehow I think you would.

    joeh,
    Like a good man, I am sure you would. It is something in your protector genes.

    robin,
    Like you I am small plus being ancient so I am not one to do any heavy lifting but like you, I can go to get help. Our types are valuable also.

    NCMountainwoman,
    That is a plan and a good one. Seeing what type of help they would need would be important.

    Judy,
    Sadly out here, you would have a 4 mile drive to the nearest signal. That would be the safest way.

    Ginnie,
    Age does play a factor but our old fingers can still work a phone can't they? That must have been a rewarding time with your husband.

    Nan Talley,
    That sounds like a plan that would work.

    Betsy,
    Often we don't really know how we would react till we are put in the situation. Yes, there are some scary types out there.
    I know I was very impressed with the caring showed by these local folks. Good people.

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  18. Stephen,
    That is so true. I was once proven to be of no help when my friends were being attacked. Only the situation will show the true reaction.
    Somehow, I think that man gene would come through for you.

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  19. When a car is just sitting there, it's hard to know if it has already been dealt with or not. what I wonder is why the woman didn't call anyone but her mother. The car should have been removed before it caused another accident.

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  20. Great that you could help her. I just went back and read about Callie and watched the video of her and Minnie. I seem to remember that first post of her and that she was so scared in the kennel, but I don't see that I left a comment and I always do, so maybe I dreamt it. Main thing is that she now has a good home and Minnie has someone to play with. Looking at the video also made me miss my cats.

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  21. I would check to see if I could help at the scene, and then go for help if there was no cell service. Its what I did before there were cell phones. Always think that if it were one of mine I would want people to stop.

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  22. I would try to see if anyone was in the car, but if I couldn't tell..I would most likely try to find a house nearby to call for help.

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  23. I'd drive for cell coverage and call it in. I did save a young woman once who came to my door - but, that's another story.

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  24. If my husband could park where he could safely leave me in our vehicle, he would definitely check. I don't anticipate being able to drive or traverse challenging terrain by myself anytime soon. Good question.

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  25. Linda R,
    As soon as she and her Mom got back from the ER for a check up, she called AAA. However as the ditch was on a curve, the tow truck had contact deputies to come and stop traffic in both directions so it was almost noon before it was moved.

    Inger,
    Glad you got to meet Callie. You have had a lot on your plate so you had good reason to miss it. Yes, cats are entertaining.

    Brighid,
    You brought up a good point. It wasn't that long ago that cells weren't as common as breathing. How soon we forget.

    Terri,
    That would be a good plan also. In this area, a visible house is as hard to find as a signal. In this instance, I was the closest house.

    Barb,
    So glad you were able to help that young woman. That is how it should be. When you hear about that poor child that was shot through the door recently seeking help, it makes one wonder what we have come to.

    LC,
    Safely parking I think should be paramount for all. Too many I saw only pulled partially off the road in the middle of a curve.

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  26. I'd surely help but make sure first I didn't cause another accident on the busy highway...

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  27. I'd be the person who would slow down and try to see if anyone was in the vehicle. I know this for certain because as I drove on the highway on Monday I saw a vehicle on the side of the highway...I slowed down to see if anyone was inside or nearby. When I saw no one I didn't stop.

    It is heartening though to know that so many people stopped to check.

    I'm sure the young woman was very appreciative of your help. Thank goodness you and Callie were nearby.

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  28. It has happened several times in Germany that women stopped and it turned out to be a trap for women... So what I'd do is call for help as soon as I get reception but probably not leave the car if I'm all by myself. I definitely could not just drive by, that's for sure. So amazing that people did stop to check it.

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  29. I don't really know how I would react now days in the area where I live. Several years ago I came upon an accident with 4 teenage boys. I stopped and made one lie down that was injured pretty bad. I held his head still while someone called 911 and the medics arrived. I fell apart in my hubby's arms when I got home and smelled that boys blood for months afterward.

    Thank you so much sweet Patti for thinking of us during this sad time of having to say goodbye to our sweet Patches. We really do miss her. She was our most verbal and active cat. The house is really quiet without her. Chancy is really missing her, they were great buddies. Hugs and nose kisses for you, Callie and Minnie from me and the crew

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  30. Can't tell you if I'd stop; but I would definitely call it in. Somehow I'd lost touch with you for a spell. Glad you are still around.

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  31. Dear Arkansas Patti, I'm not sure what I'd do. If I saw the accident happen, I'm pretty sure I'd stop immediately and see if I could help in any way.

    But if I didn't see the accident or hear it and it seemed to me to have happened sometime before I arrived on the scene, I doubt if I'd stop and check. I think I'd probably think that everything had been taken care of.

    I've never thought about this before and I find myself in deep admiration, as you were, of all the Good Samaritans who stopped during the day. Peace.

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  32. TB,
    That was my main concern but not one shared by the good Samaritans.

    Eileen,
    Actually, Callie was the real helper. Had she not barked, I'd have missed the whole thing and that poor woman would have had to walk home in the rain.

    Beate,
    Oh how awful that is going on. I am sure it happens here too though I haven't heard of it. Your plan is perfect for you unless you have Keith with you to protect you.

    Maggie,
    How lucky for them that you were there. I know how you felt when it was over. I can keep it together only till help arrives. Then I disintegrate.

    rosaria,
    Well my goodness, I thought you quit blogging as I haven't seen you on my reading list in years. I will have to pop over to see if you are still posting.

    Dee,
    I know, I was so impressed by the people who braved the rain and water filled ditch to offer help. It gives one hope.

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  33. I know Art would go out and help, but if I were alone.... Gosh, I don't know. I think I would stop, assess the situation, then drive as fast as I could to find help.

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  34. In most cases, especially remote, I would (and have) stop to help. I ALWAYS carry protective latex gloves with me, however. Though my EMT license expired years ago, I still carry a good medical kit.

    We frequently travel in Vermont, sometimes very remote areas, and it is my understanding you MUST stop to render aid there. My kit goes with me almost everywhere, and I have a smaller kit for backpacking and backcountry first aid.

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