Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hit and Run


We've all seen them. They're the bicycles we almost hit.

When we lived in England and I was driving on the wrong side of narrow, twisting roads swarming with mega buses, honking cars and throngs of bicyclists, I admit I sometimes plunged forward fully expecting to plow into an innocent rider. It terrified me. What a dreadful thing that would be—to ruin some one's life.

It happened yesterday. Not to me, but to some other woman. I don't know who, because after she hit my son, she got out and looked at him sprawled unmoving on the side of the road, got back into her car, and ran away.

Pete was riding his bike to work, down a hill. A car, coming fast from the other direction, (and without slowing or signaling) suddenly turned left into a parking lot and struck him. He woke up to paramedics loading him into an ambulance carefully because they could tell he had neck and head injuries. They told him his helmet saved his life.

Wear a Helmet!

X-rays and CAT scans revealed compression fractures in his skull and back. A front tooth was broken, an ankle was twisted, and Pete won't be back on his bike any time soon. Orthopedic braces on his neck and back will be trademark accessories this season. He has a wife willing to become his home health-care worker and hopefully he'll be as good as new when their first little munchkin arrives in the fall. Pete will be able to pass on his bike skills to the next generation. Luckily.

Pete, 1982

At this point I'm starting to think about the driver. What kind of pain is she in tonight? Her injuries are invisible so she might be able to conceal them for a while, but they're going to sting and throb, and eventually fester.

The trauma unit cleansed the grit from the scrapes that covered Pete's forehead, chin and knuckles. With some time they'll heal completely. Unless this woman comes clean, I don't think she'll ever recover.


Pete will be fine.
The life she has ruined is her own.




14 comments:

diane said...

You are kind. I want to smack her. Sending a prayer and a hug your way.

jolynm said...

glad things are looking up for pete...it might be a long hot summer though...

Tiffany said...

Oh my goodness! I'm so sorry about your son, and hoping for his quick recovery.

gab said...

Perfect post, Mom! So glad Pete is gonna make it.

Liz said...

How scary! I'm glad that your Pete will be alright. That poor woman must have been so frightened. She's probably thinking that she killed him and is anxiously watching the news. I think you're right...her pains will be harder to bear.

Clair said...

I'm glad that Pete is going to be okay. How scary!

I think it is profound what you point out about her pain that will stay with her because she didn't take accountability for her actions.

Bev said...

amazing post Marty --- I'm glad your son will be okay

You have already begun the healing by forgiving --- I hope the woman that hit him will come forward and admit it so that she can be forgiven and begin to heal herself

it makes you wonder what could she possibly have been thinking

Michelle said...

I'm so glad Pete is going to be OK. And you are so right-- that woman is going to be in a world of pain unless she makes it right. You have such a gift for seeing truth.

Christie said...

Now that we know Pete is okay, I have been thinking a ton about her. HOW, HOW, HOW could you just leave this poor guy there, not even knowing if he's alive? I've been fuming for two days about it.

Sheri said...

Wow! I'm so sorry to hear about your son. How awful. I wouldn't be so compassionate and forgiving of the woman who hit him.

My husband was hit by a pick-up truck while riding his bike along Holladay Blvd. two years ago. Thankfully, he was okay. He got back on his bike and rode home with a concussion, bruised ribs and a torn-up arm without getting the name, phone number or license number of the old man who hit him!!

Hope Pete is okay.

Jenibelle said...

This is a post I understand to the fullest. The person who shook my baby daughter and left her with major brain damage, profound retardation and disfiguring physical damage moved in the middle of the night never to be heard from again. It's been 25 years and I think of him every day. I look at her and think of him. But, despite the years of sorrow, there has been much joy and much to look forward to. I forgive him, his eternity is not up to me. I forgive him.

I am so happy that Pete will be fine in the end. You will be fine also, this I know.

Melissa-Mc said...

I found you through Gabi's blog. How scary! I am so glad he is okay. What a wonderful attitude you have. I will keep everyone involved in my prayers.

Ms. Ed. said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Pete's accident, Marty, but also so relieved to know he's going to be OK. I send all my love to you and the family...and if Pete remembers me, please let him know I'm sending him all my good wishes for a speedy recovery! (And congrats on being a daddy soon, too!)

Granny Sue said...

omg. I'm a new visitor, having come through www.ellouisestory.blogspot.com

Your perspective is beautiful. Instead of raging at the driver, you have empathy for her. I well remember when an elderly man hit my 2 year old son. I did not blame him. He blamed himself enough. Bless you and your son.