The Chances

How a 250+ Pound Couch Potato Got Healthy

Friday, March 26, 2010

Do I Have A Story For You

I was on my way home from work with my 5-year-old daughter, and was literally around the corner from my house when I saw a Chevy Tahoe drive into a ditch.

It wasn't a big ditch, but when you're going 45 to 50 miles per hour, an unexpected dip on the side of the road's going to send your vehicle careening. As it happened, I slowed down but kept an eye on the vehicle. It took maybe a half mile for it to come to a stop.

I drove forward to where the car had stopped in order to give a hand and do my duty as a citizen. The girl who'd been driving in front of them had stopped as well, and we both went over to lend some help.

She got to the car first, and had already opened the door when I walked up. I held it open, and she helped the older gentleman out of the Tahoe. he looked to be in his 60s, maybe even his 70s, but seemed unhurt. I heard a voice coming from the passenger side, which of course was all the way into the ditch. It was his wife, and she didn't seem hurt either.

As this was happening, 4 or 5 guys from across the street were walking towards us. One of them was trying to take charge, and he had a muscular build, the kind that said "back off, man", if you get my drift. As the older woman came out of the car, the first words out of her mouth were, "You're not going to call the police, are you?" I told her there wasn't much of a choice at that point.

As things progressed, and as Mr. Muscle started to "take charge", it became obvious to me that the couple were, in fact, drunk. They're lucky they didn't hit a power pole or a person as they careened through the ditch. The guy from across the street started asking questions. He asked if there was anyone in the car they could say was driving, to which they answered no.

It was also clear to me that nobody was going to call 911, and the guys from across the street were going to make sure nobody did. I thought it out: how would I report it? Could I see the license plate? No. Could I get to the license plate to take a picture with my phone, or make a mental note of it? Not with these guys around, the guy from across the street had maybe 4 or 5 people with him.

He told the older couple that he would have his uncle come and get them out of there before the police arrived. A truck was pulling out from his driveway, and the girl who had helped the couple out looked like she was going along with it as well. I just sort of backed up, got into my car, and drove off.

As soon as I could, I called 911 as I drove around the corner and towards my house. I explained to the 911 operator what had happened, told him about the burly guys from across the street, and the fact that I had my 5-year-old daughter with me. That's all I would need, have these big guys put me into the hospital for trying to report a drunk driver while my daughter watched! I just wasn't going to let that happen.

I also told the operator my name and address, and said look, I only live around the corner, if an officer comes by I'll take a detailed statement. He said thank you, and that was the end of the conversation.

That incident shook me up something fierce. Where the accident happened was just around the corner from my house, on part of the same route I run regularly on, and in fact, will be running on tomorrow morning. Should I have stayed to give a report? Probably, but I wasn't prepared to risk my health and my daughter seeing it happen.

Strange night. I have an 18 mile long run tomorrow.

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