It’s possible I saved someone’s life tonight. I certainly did a good deed.
My trip home was running a little late. Regular commuters understand, there are landmarks you hit at a certain time every day. The Wilbur Cross Parkway came three minutes late tonight.
I got off the parkway near Oakdale then made my way through Wallingford and Hamden. These are rural residential areas with no through traffic at all after dark. Some nights I slow down and count deer.
I drive with with the dashed line down the middle of my car.
I took Tuttle to the construction detour then made the sharply dipping right onto River Road. As I was coming to the bridge over the Mill River I saw a car.
It was a crossover, perpendicular and motionless on the bridge! The airbag had deployed.
A young, attractive, long haired, blonde woman was out in the road, illuminated by my headlights. She was screaming at the top of her lungs.
I stopped and rolled down my window.
She continued screaming.
I pulled out my cellphone. The Hamden Police number is programmed in.
With the shrill voice of desperation, the woman was begging me to walk to the other side of her car where someone lay injured.
I wasn’t sure. This was a really lonely stretch of road, out of sight from all homes. What if this was a scam and I was being set up to be robbed?
I didn’t want to walk and see a dismembered or severely injured person either.
It couldn’t have taken the Hamden Police more than two or three minutes to arrive. It seemed like a lifetime as she screamed at me to get them here now! She was running on adrenaline.
He was her brother. He was 18. They had been drinking.
“I’m drunk and I killed my brother,” she yelled over and over as the cops attended to her brother.
One asked if I had seen it happen? I asked him about the brother. He’d live.
All I could think about was Stefanie. This has nothing to do with any of the circumstances and everything about the girl’s age. This could be any parent’s daughter.
Later, I thought about her parents. Imagine the phone call.
If I hadn’t been running a few minutes late, I would have gone by before the crash happened. There might not be another car for hours. He was bleeding.
This story does not end happily ever after. I wish it did.
10 thoughts on “Right Place/Right Time”
Angels may have put you there at the right time. Or Fate or God or whatever you or others may want to believe..BUT you still were there at the right time. I hope the boy recovers. I pray his sister and he have learned a valuable lesson – one they will share.
21 years ago my parents got “that call.” For me, being the oldest by a long shot, the dreaded call was just as bad. My brother had been hit head on by a drunk driver. For him, the Good Samaritan was an EMT eating at a restaurant nearby. The EMT rushed to the crash and opened my brother’s airway. My brother was severely injured; his head had been split open by the A-frame of the car. The drunk driver – a 38 year old woman – was killed. The hospital gave my brother a zero chance of survival but the neurosurgeon on duty operated anyway. My brother, Jimi, has spent the last 21 years in hospitals and nursing facilities. He’s an amazing fighter. He lost so much yet is so full of appreciation and love. The trauma affected all of us. Don’t drink and drive!!!!
Geoff, you may very well have saved this man’s life. It’s sad you had to worry about a scam. I’m glad the emergency crews got there fast. It’s great you had the number in your phone.
Every day is precious.
Geoff, Working most of my life getting on the road about when the bars empty out; I have been in that position several times also. I always felt the need to talk about it immediately after and my wife has been accommodating regardless of the hour. It is good you choose to share your experience as it might help you come down off the adrenaline rush and get some rest.
You did what you could. Sometimes a phone call is enough to improve the situation and keep someone alive.
The occupants of that vehicle made some poor choices tonight. Keep in mind that if you in the area a few minutes earlier, it could have been a two-car accident. They should be thankful that they will likely get another chance. They should also be thankful that you were a bit late and were prepared to help that way you did.
WOW GEOFF WHAT YOU MUST HAVE GONE THROUGH. GEOFF YOU ARE SUCH A WONDERFUL PERSON FOR HELPING THESE PEOPLE WHEN YOU CAMEUPON THIS CRASH.YOU REALLY SHOULD BE VERY PROUD OF YOUR SELF. THE POLICE AND EMT,S SHOULD GIVE YOU ALOT OF RECOGIGNITION FOR YOUR BRAVERY AT THAT TIME OF THE NIGHT FOR SAVING THIS KIDS LIFE. HE,S LUCKY TO BE ALIVE. NO ONE SHOULD BE DRINKING AND DRIVING.MY MOMS BROTHERS SON DUED A FEW YRS AGO FROM DRINKING. NOW MY BROTHERRS DRINKING EVERYDAY.GOD BLESS YOU GEOFF FOR WHAT YOU DID TO SAVEING THIS KIDS LIFE. YOU SHOULD BE VERY PROUD OF YOUR SELF FOR YOUR ACT OF BRAVERY. GEOFF, WERE ALL VERY PROUD OF YOU. WE LOVE YOU GEOFF. LOVE PATTY
I think anyone there would have done what I did. At least I hope so.
I believe that God causes people to be in places for a reason. I am glad you were able to help the young lady and I hope her brother makes it. Drinking and driving is such a terrible problem in this country.
I think you we’re delayed for a reason – I’m so glad you were!
I hope those siblings learned a very big lesson last night. Not the way you want anyone to learn it though!
Add this to the lives you saved with your work on Sandy. Next Halloween, I’m going to dress as my favorite superhero, Geoff Fox!
Geoff – very wise to make the call, stay there and NOT get out of your vehicle – unfortunately there are scams…which you had the good instinct to do exactly what you did. Hopefully these young people will have learned their lesson and will pass the lesson along to others. Glad they lived and you were the guardian angel chosen to be “at the right place, at the right time.”
All the more reason to watch the speed on the roads at night. You never know who’s driving toward you and how they’re driving toward you. You’re very lucky to have come upon this and not been part of it. Glad you’re OK and hope they learn something from it.
You were meant to run late and help those people. I’ve been in the middle of things like that before and all I can figure is that I was MEANT to be in a place at a time and do the thing I ended up doing. As you said, if you hadn’t been there it could have been a long time before someone else showed up.
Good job. Not everyone would have stopped. You probably did save a life.