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.