Friday, August 8, 2008
Lucky to be alive
My first thought was it had to be a fatal. Wedged beneath the trailer of a semi truck a small Honda lay crushed. Fire crews scrambled to cut away enough of the car to reach the driver who was unconscious but still alive. This was the start of my workday.
I had barely turned on my computer when the police scanner sounded. A Defense Depot Fire Department crew was on scene of an injury accident at Valpico and Chrisman Roads across from the entrance to the depot. They reported it as a vehicle versus big rig with the driver trapped. They declared the driver an immediate and asked for air ambulance. Not a good sign.
It may sound harsh but I was expecting to arrive at a fatal accident. I have been to enough accidents to know when things can go bad and the call for an accident with a big rig usually ends badly. Navigating the detoured traffic and the roadblock securing the scene I arrived at the crash site to find the car had gone completely under the trailer of the rig leaving the driver trapped and fighting for her life.
Accident scenes are unlike any other assignment you could ever go on. They are noisy, confusing, and dangerous. A no foot traffic zone was established for the Medi-Flight air ambulance was landing soon.
The whole time you kind of steel yourself for the sight you don’t want, a dead body, blood, a tarp to cover the victim, you know it is coming but not sure when. Eventually the driver was freed from the wreckage and miraculously she was alive, hurt but expected to live.
Back at the office I showed coworkers the pictures form the scene and we all had the same thought that such a horrific accident had to have been a fatality. I don’t know if it was luck, odds or divine intervention but it certainly was a happier outcome than I expected.