The Accident

The car wasn’t going fast or doing anything out of the ordinary when the back end sailed out to the left, the car skidded and then rolled onto its roof.

As part of her internship, Stef had business at my TV station today. I went too.

She was following me this misty morning as we entered the Route 40 connector from Whitney Avenue. The entrance ramp is on the right and you enter a sweeping, climbing, counterclockwise curve. In front of me was a small sedan.

The car wasn’t going fast or doing anything out of the ordinary when the back end sailed out to the left, the car skidded and then rolled onto its roof.

I just got this email from Debra Cumpstone.

You were behind my sister-in-law on the highway when she flipped her car. I just wanted to say thanks for calling it in. She is being checked out in the hospital for an egg on her head. They said she should be fine.

It’s tough to know what to do in a situation like that. I was certain the person in the car was injured… or worse. As I walked toward the car, I dialed 911. I was shaking so much it actually took three tries to put the digits together.

Hi Debra –

Yes, I watched it all unfold in front of me as if it was in slow motion.

If it’s any consolation to you and your family, she dd not seem to be speeding. I was astounded to see her car do what it did. I am not an automotive expert, but I suspect it was her car, and not her, that caused the accident. We’ll probably never know.

I made a conscious decision to call the police before I approached the car. My thought was, whoever was in the car was going to be really injured and the sooner the police/ambulance got there, the better we’d all be. When I called to her, she answered and then popped out. I put my arm around her to hold her close, because I was so scared and so happy.

My 21 year old daughter was in her car following me. As a dad, I’m glad she got this lesson in what to do, and saw this remarkable conclusion.

Please pass along my best to your family and tell your sister-in-law she’s a lucky girl.

All the best,

Geoff Fox

I was not alone in pulling off the road and offering assistance. The three cars immediately following Stef pulled off too. Two people, I think they were tree trimmers, came forward and stayed with the woman in the crash when we left.

Recently, there’s been a news story reported (with gruesome video), of a Hartford man struck by a hit-and-run driver. Though the sidewalk was crowded with people, it was 90 seconds before anyone approached to offer assistance.

It’s not always that way. It wasn’t that way today in Hamden.

3 thoughts on “The Accident”

  1. What a frightening scene… What “good neighbors!” You all are to be commended for “doing the right thing”. Evi

  2. Your writing style is fantastic. You teased us just long enough to build up a little tension before letting it go that the accident victim was not you or stef. Very nicely done.

    That said. I want to talk about being a good person and how it can bite you in the rear.

    I’ve been a volunteer firefighter for years. was an EMT for a while and did the volunteer ambulance thing for a bit too. So needless to say, I’ve always stopped at accident scenes.

    One night an accident happened right in front of me. Of course I scrambled out to help the victims. Turns out someone ended up being killed in the accident. Of course, like a “good american” I gave the cops my name and statement as to what had happened.

    To my surprise I woke up to the morning paper claiming that I had been involved in this accident. Evidently the police had decided that I must have been involved somehow if it happened right in front of me, right?

    I found myself in court for 8 years – at their convenience – because it was always under subpoena. I was in my early to mid 20’s by this point and was just starting off in my career. I couldnt get a good start in a job, because in my first month or so I’d need to take random days off to go testify in court, both civil and criminal – with nary a days notice.

    I’ll tell you what – I’ve never ‘witnessed’ anything again. The firefighter and EMT in me still has to make sure everyone is ok – but I make sure I’m gone before the police show up – or “i didnt see anything, just drove up on the scene”

    Sad, because what I have seen may have at times changed the way the outcome of a case came out – but I can’t have this legal system taking advantage of the innocent like this.

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