Wednesday December 11, 2013
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Back in Connecticut, about a year or so after I got my driver's license at age 21, I was driving on Route 1, the old Boston Post Road, a narrow, winding, two-lane country road. I had just left New London and was on a portion of the road with an occasional house here and there, separated by wide, empty fields.
Just after dark, I saw a white streak near my right front fender. An instant later I heard the thud of something hitting my bumper, the sickening crunch of something going beneath my right front wheel, and a second sickening crunch as the same something went beneath my right rear wheel.
I stopped up ahead, pulled off the road, and walked back two hundred feet or so. Just as I got to it, the remains of a dog about the size of bull terrier were run over three times more by vehicles going by.
I checked, but there was no collar, and therefore no tag, and I had to keep running back off the road because of the traffi. I thought about trying to get the dog off the road, but by that time the dog and the road were pretty much integrated. The place was on a curve and I didn't want to join the dog in the road, so I let it be.
I looked up and down the road. There were no houses on either side for a quarter mile; nobody to inform. I climbed back in my car and drove off. I felt lousy. It was hard to get the sound and feel of that thud out of my mind.
Think about that as you read about this poor man.
Down in the valley on the 4th of July, he was driving his Nissan sedan down Van Buren Street near 20th Avenue. Right out of nowhere four children appeared, running headlong across the road. In managing to avoid hitting one of them, he hit a second one, a six year old boy who flew up over his windshield.
When the police arrived the boy was transported with non-lihe threatening injuries. He was "pretty beat up with bumps and bruises about the head, legs twisted," said Sergeant. Gregg Rath, a South Mountain precinct supervisor. He has since undergone surgery to repair a broken thigh bone, but a scan of his brain showed no apparent damage.
More than an hour after the collision, the driver was still sitting on a curb, his hands holding the sides of his head as investigators checked the crash scene. The man will not be cited, but Sergeant Rath made this comment.
"He didn't see them come across. He did try to take evasive maneuvers -- tried not to hit one but hit another. It's just a bad situation."
He added, "Do you know what it's like to have a 6-year-old fly over your windshield? Doesn't get much worse than that."
It took me week or two to get over hitting that dog. I later found out that it was a stray that had been wandering around that stretch of highway and had been narrowly missed by other drivers. It didn't help much.
Think about hitting a child like that. Do you think you'd be able to drive again? I guess you'd have to in today's world, but how would you deal with that memory?
I'd be really upset for a while, with a sick feeling in my stomach. And I'd hope that my liability insurance was up to date!
I don't think I could deal with that memory, I would probably have nightmares for years! I most likely would need some counseling of some sort.
I think I would be reluctant to drive again. I would definitely need help getting over the incident.
I think those are the three most sensible comments ever posted on this forum.
They say it all, so I will add....
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