On Monday, December 19th, I went down to the Colorado State Capital to witness the Electoral College vote as a reporter for TruthColorado.com. My wife, Gaye, my friend, Tony, and I went down on the light rail to beat the traffic and avoid the exorbitant cost of parking. It was late afternoon on the drive back from Lincoln Station.
By the time we made it to Elizabeth, the sun was going down. It was frigid cold as we headed south on County Rd. 17-21 south. When we got to the intersection of County Rd. 102 and 17-21, we came upon an accident that just happened. To say that the scene was surreal would be an understatement. It was absolutely still and before us were two totally destroyed vehicles with no signs of life.
Oddly enough, when we were going up the hill from where County Rd. 106 crosses 17-21 a couple of cars passed us heading north. They blinked their lights and we shared amongst ourselves that it was probably a deer or a police vehicle up ahead. Of course it was not. They had just seen the accident and did not stop. To their credit they at least alerted us that something was there to watch out for.
When we saw the scene @ CR 17/21 and CR 102 we stopped and jumped into action. There was never the slightest hesitation on our parts. This had just happened and we all assumed that someone was probably severely injured or dead. It was just that gruesome. A huge grain truck had t-boned a small pickup and essentially cut it in two. The large grain truck had rolled onto its side (driver’s side facing skyward) and was rapidly leaking fuel. Tony ran to the pickup, Gaye started calling 911, and I headed for the semi. The next fifteen minutes will be indelibly etched in our minds for the rest of our lives. That is about the time it took before Elbert County rescue workers on the scene. Considering everything, that was a very good response time and we were extremely thankful to see them all arrive.
The purpose of this blog is not to extol our actions at the scene of a devastating traffic accident. Am I proud of my wife, my friend and myself? Damned straight I am. When it was all over, we had not only treated all three of the people for their injuries to one extent or the other, but we had made the emergency call to get professional help. While we were first on the scene, we were not the only ones who eventually stopped. Perhaps because others motorists saw regular citizens providing aid it gave them permission to join us. One retired gentleman, (who I would love to meet again just to shake his hand) had paramedic experience and he jumped right in with us. Before it was all over, there were four or five of us covered with the blood of the accident victims.
In today's world, our actions might be labeled cavalier, but in hindsight, everyone of us took that risk for our own personal reasons. Of course the professionals come prepared and had the necessary protection. For Gaye, Tony and me, who discussed it after we headed home to clean up, it was just this simple: none of us were willing to stand by and let a young man drown in his own blood from broken ribs and a collapsed lung or let the truck driver wander aimlessly, clueless in shock, and half-blinded by blood, across the meadow. Those three victims needed help and we felt, we knew, it was the right thing to do.
There may have been twenty people at the accident site before we left working in concert with one another to help the victims, whom they may or may have not known, survive a tragedy. Everyone there, with the exception of the EC sheriffs, were volunteers, and even some of the sheriffs were off- duty. Not once was anyone heard to ask if the victims were Catholics, Jews or atheists. Nobody checked to see if anybody who was providing assistance voted for Clinton, for Trump or Calvin Coolidge for that matter. Nobody cared at that moment whether they were members of the NRA or MoveOn.org.
The reason that nobody asked such questions at that crucial moment was because nobody was being controlled by the media, a political group, a lobbyist or anyone else for that matter. For that brief period of time this group of people had a common purpose. We sat aside any differences that may have otherwise divided us for the common purpose of helping three injured people at the side of the road in crucial, life-threatening conditions that we may have never even known existed some fifteen minutes earlier. We were being humans first...and pawns in a game second.
The sooner this nation comes to its senses and stops letting divisive forces keep us from our true values, the better we will all be. Let this accident serve as a metaphor. All that should really matter is that we treat our neighbors as we would want to be treated. Be empathetic in the moment and trust your moral compass when the need arises. In my opinion, we will all be better for trusting in the goodness of the human heart.