By: Dev Menon
Just recently I was witness to a possibly fatal accident.
I was thinking about something or other, making my way for a class I had to attend, walking on the pavement and about to cross a junction at the traffic light.
Suddenly, there was a loud “BANG”, and I looked up and began to see things in slow-motion…
Two cars were headed towards me, quite obviously not in full control, as they had apparently hit each other, or been hit from behind by a 3rd car – I couldn’t tell.
I looked again, and there was a person between them, except he was in the air, horizontol and spinning rapidly. I thought he had been flung from the car, but later I found out, he was a pedestrian in the same place I would have been 30 seconds later.
The car on my right crashed into the power-box literally 5-7 metres in front of me, and the car on my left into the lamp post, about 10 metres away. A 3rd car had hit the traffic light a little further on behind.
I stood there frozen for a few seconds, which seemed like a long time, and thought I should call emergency services – which I did (though at the back of my mind, all I could think of was what it would mean to get involved in a potential court case). I gave them all the basic details very clearly, and I was probably the first to call – later I saw another 3-4 people on their mobile phones doing the same.
I looked at the guy on the ground, and he was obviously not in a good state, there was blood pouring from his head, but he was conscious. I looked at him, while 2 others rushed from behind to apply pressure to his wounds – but all I thought was, I don’t want him to die in my arms…
I took a few steps to the nearest car, and there was a father holding his very upset young daughter tight. It was his car that had hit the pedestrian, but because someone else had hit him earlier. They seemed unhurt, and the car was not badly damaged. Should I have rushed in to open the door and told them to exit? Should I have asked them how they were doing? I guess I should have done something.
But I didn’t. I just took a few steps away from the incident and stopped. Within 5 minutes the ambulance came, and dealt with the pedestrian. Everyone else seemed to be fine.
I went on my way to class – they had my contact details. They could call if they wanted more information – though I barely knew what had happened.
I can’t remember much about the class – it seemed to pass very quickly. I realised my hands were shaking.
Was I afraid of dying? Not at that moment. I was more afraid to help in any physical way. That is my trauma. The prospect of ‘unwanted emotional scars’ and ‘physical inconvenience’ prevented me from engaging any further. I consider it a moral failure – and more than that a failure to glorify the God who reached out into the potentially-fatal accident of my life and saved me without a second thought.
May Jesus forgive me and help me to be better at this – for His sake.