Sunday, July 06, 2008

Something you don't want to ever see

On the 4th of July we went to the firework show at the football stadium. It was great. Liv loved it as she yelled and signed every color she saw. Afterwards we were driving down one of the busy roads and were at a stand still due to heavy traffic. It was a street with 2 lanes going in each direction (4 total.) We were in the far right lane. Both of our lanes were stopped, but the 2 lanes going in the opposite direction were headed towards the stadium, not away, so the traffic was lite and going at a normal speed. I saw three girls- probably around 19-20 years old- walking on the sidewalk beside us. They were laughing and chatting. They crossed the street thru the stopped traffic and paused on the middle, yellow line. There was a truck they were behind making it hard for them to see what was coming in the 2 moving lanes and impossible for any oncoming traffic to see them. 2 of the girls continued to stand waiting to cross. The 3rd, a blonde girl in a hot pink tank top and cut off blue jean shorts started to cross. Sei could see the headlites she couldn't. He started yelling "STOP!!! LOOK OUT!!" out his window and others were yelling too, because I heard them. She didn't. Right as she stepped into the lane she was hit by a car. The driver never saw the girl. She had absolutely NO time to react. The girl was hit right around the knees and thrown onto the windshield almost like she did an aerial cartwheel because I remember seeing her legs flail above the car. Then she flew out onto the street landing 1/2 way in front of the car and 1/2 way in the stopped traffic with her legs almost under a stopped truck's tire. One of her shoes landed on his truck. I screamed and told Sei to "GO!" (as in go help). I called 911 along with probably every other person with a cell phone stuck in traffic. Sei told the driver of the truck that her legs were under to cut his engine and not move his truck at all. A man helped hold her still, stablizing her neck as she moaned. I was afraid to let myself really look at her afraid of what I might see. Instead I went to the driver and tried to comfort her. She was in shock just saying over and over, "I didn't see her. I didn't see her. Is she ok? Is she ok?" I rubbed her arm telling her over and over that we know she couldn't see her, that no one blames her, it wasn't her fault- because it really wasn't. The firetrucks, cops and ambulance came and took her to the hosptital that was 2-3 blocks away. Sei filled out a statement for the police while I listened to idiots in the crowd who didn't even see what happen say stupid stuff like, "There's no way she should have been driving so fast." (She was going the speed limit.) "Is that a beer she just sipped on?" (Are you freakin' kidding me!?) "There's no way the driver was payin' attention!" (There was absolutely NO way for her to see that girl and the girl stepped out right as the car came by.) It infuriated me to hear how quickly people place blame on others and they weren't even there!! And how people tried to act like they knew or saw more than they did. One guy came runnin' over from probably 50 yards away, with a beer can, yelling 'Oh no! I saw that $h!t!!" (Like no one else did. Stupid.) Then later I hear him talking and he said, "All I could see was her legs fly up..." Oh yeah, he "saw that $h!t"- not. You could tell he didn't see anything because he was too excited- like it was so cool. I am warped y'all. When I close my eyes, I see her flying thru the air. It looked fake. I can hear the thud her body made against the car. It was horrible. Alec, Isabel and Taj saw it too. Not quite the visual aid you want to have when teaching about looking both ways, but I'm pretty sure they'll remember it. We've tried unsuccessfully to find out her condition at the hospital. We don't know her name. Sei is going to get a copy of the police report so we can find out. I want to send a letter to the driver, bless her heart. I want her to know that I DID see and I know it was a horrible, horrible accident that she couldn't prevent. I want the girl that was hit l and the driver to know that I've prayed for them from the second it happened. Both their lives are changed forever.
It's weird because it made me think, how often have I been about to do something really stupid and people around me are yelling "STOP!!!" and I was too busy having fun and I didn't hear them. I'm thinking there were TONS of people yelling "STOP!" when I decided to get married the 1st time and soooo many other times. If I had listened I wouldn't have stepped into traffic and changed my life and others lives forever. Heavenly Father must be hoarse from yelling "WATCH OUT! STOP!!" to me. Sometimes I have heard him and went back to safety. Other times... :( I am going to do my best to listen more carefully, to "look both ways..."
If y'all could add this girl and the driver in your prayers that would be awesome. I promise a happier post later. :)

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23 comments:

Help I need a user name! said...

I'm so sorry that this happened! I'm sorry you had to see it. And I would totally be doing the same thing; I'm glad Sei is going to get the police report. I will do my best to keep this accident and its victims in my prayers. And you all, too. I hope the girl is okay. And I hope the driver is okay.

Mindi said...

wow. that was heavy. but i was hanging on every word--what a horrible thing for you to have had to wittness--are YOU okay? sometimes the trauma is as bad for the witnesses as it is the people who crashed into the others--
i'll be praying for her and YOU, tori--please let us know what you can find out.

JustRandi said...

Oh, Tori! I'm so sorry! What a horrible thing for all of you.
I love your idea, though, of writing to the driver. That will be such a comfort to her. I can't even imagine....

Whitney said...

Wow. What a traumatic experience! I would never want to witness something like that, I'm so sorry that you had to! That's so scary!!!
I hope that both girls are okay, that makes me sad that everyone was making the driver look bad. :(

Suzanne said...

I'll bet you feel so sick to your stomach when you remember the girl being hit! It's nice that Sei was able to help right away. Doesn't it feel good that you've got such a well-trained hubby that helps others? :D I hope that this girl is o.k. Please let us know when you have more info!

Sketchy said...

Tori, I don't comment around here much but I couldn't just not say anything. Oh my heart, what a terrible thing to happen. This almost happened to my husband driving to church on Sunday. But we were so lucky.

You are so kind to want to reach out to both victims the driver and the pedestrian. It's too bad that others aren't as thoughtful.

Corrine said...

OH I am so sorry! I can't even imagine seeing someone get hit like that.

I am so glad y'all were there to help at least. hopefully you will be able to find out soon how she is doing.

the poor driver.

s--max said...

Tori I am so sorry you had to see such a horrible thing. But when thinking about people who could have been there to help, I can't imagine anyone more fitting than you & Sei. Y'all are two of the most caring people ever & I know that you helped comfort both the the girl & the driver. You were there for a reason. We'll keep you ALL in our prayers!

annie said...

That is terrible. I was driving by the high school in town years ago and saw a kid in a truck just clip his front side on an oncoming car. I was right behind him... his truck went nuts flipping repeatedly. I saw him as he was flung from the window into the ditch. He survived. A broken neck and a lot of rehab. I shook for weeks. It's tough seeing something like that up close!

I will keep the girl and the driver in my prayers. The driver was blessed to have you there comforting her. You and Sei are a good team.

Auntie Martha said...

I pray the girl and driver will be okay. Please keep us informed if you can.
Ala. Grandmother

Klin said...

Girl, you and I need to drive on different streets. Or maybe not.

Seriously though tell your story in detail over and over for the next two weeks. It will help. It will help get it out of your dreams.

I will add her to my prayers and you, too.

Mel said...

Tori, I am so sorry! How horrible for everyone involved. I witnessed something similiar in High School and had to watch one of my classmates struggle through years of therapy. You and Sei were in the right place at the right time being how you handled things so well. I will keep her in my prayers.

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

wow tori,
awful. but so touching also how you brought in your beautiful thoughts to wrap it up.

hugs, kathleen

fawndear said...

What a nightmare to experiance. However, no matter how horrible it was for you I'm sure you were an answer to the driver's and victims prayers by being there for them at such an aweful moment.
Yes, we'll keep you all in our prayers.

Yvonne said...

Tori, I'm sorry you had to see something so horrible, yet at the same time, so grateful you were there to offer comfort. You are so right about how quickly people jump to conclusions without having the details.

I loved your analogy--I think we all need to listen more carefully. Thanks for the reminder.

I will keep them in my prayers.

aurora said...

Tori, I am sorry that you and your sweet family had to witness such an awful thing, but like Yvonne, I am so thankful that you were able to comfort the driver since you were a witness. I am sure that it helped her to hear your account since there was so many inaccurate accusations.

I will add them to my prayers, also.

I loved your analogy, too. I will try harder to listen when I hear, 'stop!'

glittersmama said...

Tori. I have seen two people get hit by cars, and I don't think I will ever get those images out of my head. It's such a sickening thing to witness.

If there can be a lighter side to something like this...I think it's interesting that in both cases, both of the victims' shoes went flying.

I'll definitely be listening closer for the "STOPS!" in my life.

S said...

Wow I got duck bumps. I totally agree with your analogy. I have already been working on that but it is HARD. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.

Jean Knee said...

Oh Tori, what a horrible thing. I'm so sorry you and your family had to see it, but I'm glad you were there to 'see'it correctly.

utmommy said...

How horrible. I can't even imagine witnessing something like that. I will definitly keep both of them in my prayers.

(((hugs to all)))

Nancy Face said...

I'm in tears right now over this. I'm so sorry you and your children had to witness such a horrible sight...but at the same time, I'm grateful that Sei could give an accurate police report, and that you could comfort the driver and assure her that you knew it was not her fault. How much worse it would have been for her if there was no one there but the judgmental idiots!

No Cool Story said...

:( So sad and traumatic for all involved :(

Thanks for that reminder in the end.

Nobody said...

Tori, I'm late, but Sara told me about this, I'm so sorry it happened and that the kids had to see it too.

Write the letter. Don't put it off, write it now. That woman will cherish it and need it so desperately, and it will only take you a short time.

I'm glad I know you.