A few months ago, I spoke with a driver in his early 20s, who was involved in a minor traffic collision. After his statement, I handed him a card with the report number on it and asked, “Do you have any questions?”
“No,” he replied. He then added, “You took my crash before.”
“Where was it? What happened?” I asked.
He told me the crash location and it happened two years ago. I reached into my brian as different images flashed through my memory like movie highlights until one stuck out.
“Do you hit a woman who was crossing the street?”
“Was it a major injury collision?” I asked, trying to remember the details from that night.
“Yes. I had a lot of therapy over that.” An awkward moment hung in the air because I didn’t know what to say. “I have PTSD,” he said.
I stood there and couldn’t remember everything about that night, but I did remember a woman being hit. I didn’t remember him, his vehicle or what happened to the pedestrian.
After the collision, I did some research and found the crash he was talking about. I pulled up the report and it all came back to me.
The pedestrian was crossing against a red light when she was hit by his car and died.
After seeing the report, I thought of the driver and compared our roles from that night. For him, his life changed forever in a blink of the eye when that person ran out in front of his car. What a tremendous weight to carry at such an young age.
And then there was me and my role. It was a call. I handled it and moved on to the next crash. It’s not that I dodn’t care, but you have to do your job and move on. Some calls bother you more than others. There are some calls you never forgot and others your memory stores somewhere off to the side.
Unfortunately, there will be more dead, broken and injured bodies around the next corner. It’s police work and it’s called accident investigation. You just have to do the job and move on.
Be safe out there.