Tag: highway

Indifference kills…

A day or two ago, I started seeing links to a very provocative video that was released detailing a situation whereby a child was not only hit twice by traffic, but that for some time a large number of people ignored the poor child that was struck and moved on about their day. I have two links for this on CBS News and The Sydney Morning Herald (there are more but these two paint a good enough picture). I haven’t been so outraged in a long time. And hopefully this will shed some light for all those friends of mine on why they couldn’t understand why I have to help…

indifference hit and runYears ago, when I was 19, we were leaving Ellum going northbound on 75 and were exiting to hit Cafe Brazil I think…our exit was slowed to a stop, but the highway was full speed.

I was looking out at the cars passing by so fast. Then it happened…I watched a biker get rear-ended and hit again twice by cars that did not stop afterwards, the bike with no driver spun into the middle of the highway, further causing another biker and a couple other cars to crash.

My friends in the car were jamming out pretty loud so when they heard me scream “NO!” they didn’t realize what it was I had seen right away. It wasn’t just that all those people were in trouble. I wasn’t just fear that gripped me. I was soooo angry. Because even after all that…the cars weren’t stopping.

I couldn’t stand it, and jumped out of the car I was in and ran onto the highway to get people…anyone to stop and help. The people in the cars that had crashed were fine, and even their cars were relatively okay…but the bikers, no one would come near them.

The second biker was closest and was in full riding gear, he was able to tell me his name, where he was and which day it was. A doctor stopped his car to block the lane properly and help with him as I then ran to the second biker.

The second biker was barely breathing and he couldn’t talk. His eyes were alert and frantically trying to communicate…it was pure fear…and though and I could tell he was trying to move – he didn’t have the strength to even move a finger. I was afraid to even hold his hand his body was in such bad shape and…slightly twisted.

It took the police 5 minutes to get there because of the traffic jam, and it took the ambulances almost 10. It was Friday night around 12am on northbound 75. I don’t remember much after that, I was horrified. At some point I guess I’d given my contact information to the police and that doctor that helped out there, because the next day he called me and thanked me for the effort. Unfortunately, he also informed me that one of the motorcyclists had passed away at the site of the accident, and the other had passed away overnight in the hospital.

That wasn’t my first tangle with Death. But that was when it became clear to me that I’ll never be able to even feign indifference in these situations. I would never be that guy that just kept driving on.

A year or two later on vacation in New Mexico, while I was blissfully asleep in the passenger seat. The driver of the car I was in fell asleep from exhaustion and drove us off the side of a mountain at 60mph. Your best imagination could not describe what happened to us in that fall. The only thing that didn’t happen was the car didn’t explode…

…It took the busload of people behind us over 30 minutes to get to us from the road. It took over an hour for an ambulance to get there, and almost two hours to get us back to the hospital. The truck had bounced and rolled over 100 yards down. Days later, we were shown pictures of what had happened and what happened to the truck, and pictures of where it had happened. If that bus hadn’t stopped and those people on it not come, the sun and environment would have finished the job for both of us.

It wasn’t just seeing a wreck now that influenced me. As far as I was concerned, I felt, and still feel to this day, that I have a moral obligation to help in any way I can. I don’t expect the same from everyone, but from experience, I sure as hell hope that when something like that happens to me, someone will be around that feels the same way I do.

And for anyone that feels they can’t be bothered to stop and help, I hope there was a lesson in this somewhere.

My .02 for the evening. Hope everyone has a great night.

-Tony



Texas Trans-Corridor…Good or Bad???

One of my friends asked me what my thoughts were on this and I was surprised as hell about it…I had no clue this was happening. This is a HUGE deal but it’s getting ZERO publicity and I am honestly surprised considering the scope of this highway development.

Here’s a link http://ttc.keeptexasmoving.com/projects/i69/deis.aspx

The goal of this monstrosity of a highway is to provide a venue for commercial travel that reduces the bulk of transient commercial transports (ie – a very significant portion of traffic during business hours) in a good number of cities from south central Texas all the way to Texarkana.

Now if you’re not looking at the development plans for the land they plan on acquiring for this venture, you’d probably think “Oh GREAT idea! Get all the unnecessary traffic out of the cities that is killing their environment and making driving a huge ordeal in most of the coastal cities. But look at the plans…HERE

Now, in development plans like this, private property is bought from owners are a fair market value…sometimes more than fair. But in large scale operations that involve a lot of property owners, for various reasons…people refuse to sell. Now you’ve all seen the movies where some hero comes along and finds out the developer is doing something evil and nasty to those refusing to sell. This isn’t the movies, and the developers don’t have to do much to make people move…the government will declare the property “Eminent Domain” (remember that phrase boys and girls) and will quite literally force the owner off any land necessary to the progression of the development (if said development is necessary to the growth of the community in question.) “Eminent Domain” is a subject that makes my ass twitch. You can feel the wrongness ebbing from the word when you say it. In most other countries, actions of this nature are the foundations of war and violence….in our country…it’s the law.

Now why on earth would I bring up Eminent Domain on such a great idea? Hell I asked the same question…until I saw the proposal. I would get good odds in betting this thing is going to be visible from the moon…its that huge. Now, in any development that big…we’re not talking about relocating any small amount of land owners. This is an insane amount of land. Even if it were only to take up half the proposed space…it seems like it would still take up more square acreage than the cities it’s supposed to be helping.

Now I haven’t done all my normal homework on this yet. But I am going to now. That development plan is damn near right on top of my parents’ house. If you have opinions or good information for me I would love to hear it.

Thanks!

Tony