Some Thoughts About Tonight

Tonight on may way through Northampton to pick up my son from daycare I saw a man get hit by a car.

It was about 5:00pm, drizzling and generally dark out. I was approaching a crosswalk (on Conz St) when I thought to myself “oh, that guy is crossing, I’m going to need to brake here…” and he was hit by a car coming the other way right in front of me. I immediately stopped, put on my flashers and ran to him. I asked him if he was ok, put my hand on his shoulder through his raindrenched light coat and asked him again. A rough snore was all I heard in response.

Another man had walked over from the sidewalk, I said “he’s snoring” the other man replied “he’s bleeding, that’s blood”. I knew not to move him, and at looked at the other people around him – the other man, and the driver that hit him. No one else was even going for their cell phones. I ran to the car to grab mine, called 911 and asked for the Northampton police. They transferred me, I gave the initial report and I when they asked me where my location was I could see only one street sign – Smith. The other man said intersection of Johns and Smith, I repeated to the dispatcher, “no Johns and Smith” I obviously couldn’t hear what he was saying, so then I moved the phone near him as he repeated. My hearing, the train, cars, and the situation kept me from hearing it properly. I know now I won’t ever forget the name of that street “Conz Street”.

She put me on hold, I worried if I would get my son on time, I thought about calling my wife, about calling daycare, I waited for them to come back and he was just regaining conciousness. He was trying to get up – I made sure he stayed sitting. He didn’t seem to know what happened, I said “you were just hit by a car – please don’t move”. He seemed to be ok with that. I told him they were coming for him, and understandably he said “whose coming?” somewhat concerned. I reassured him it would be ok and the ambulance was coming. The woman came back on the line and took my description of the victim, then let me know they were on their way again and said goodbye.

It was only seconds later before I heard the first siren. They were headed down the street. They arrived and swooped in very efficiently. I stepped back and tried to call my wife. I wasn’t sure how long I’d need to be there given the situation. Would they need me to stay to make my statement? She didn’t answer – she was actually working late tonight to attend training, damn. I then was starting to look up the number for the daycare. It used to be in my phone, why isn’t it in my phone? I brought up a google search, fumbled, pressed the wrong button and one of the police men came over to take my statement.

I described where the car was, where the pedestrian was, and gave my contact info. He had me go on my way. The paramedics had already gotten to him, they were talking to him asking him questions about where he hurt. I turned, walked to my car, and drove away.

I was a bit shaken. I had really just seen that, and it really could have been much worse. I had an odd sort of detachment, like I understood the situation, understood what needed to be done, and did it. It will stick with me though, I can’t stop playing those couple seconds in my head where he leaped from the curb and bounced off the car onto the pavement in a crumpled heap.

To Northampton man I hope you’re ok.

** Update 12/16 12:03 **
He’s ok [News Article @]

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