Sunday, May 21, 2017

There's One Thing I Left Out Of Yesterday's Blog Column

Yesterday, I published a blog column about the event we had participated in earlier in the day. You can read about that here. I covered the happenings of the day and how we made out at the end of it all. What I didn't mention was something that happened shortly before 2 p.m. It's fair to say this was a contributing factor to the lack of visitors towards the end of the event. More so, it's something that made me, and a whole lot of other people, angry.

Lisa left the event around 12:30 to go home and take care of our kids. The event was about a 1/2 mile from our home. She also went to the local veterinary hospital to restock our display and get Lobo's nails trimmed. She brought him back to the event and parked behind our display.

Less than 15 minutes later, we heard someone slam on their brakes. The sound of screeching tires was ear piercing. This went on long enough for everyone to look at the corner. For us, it was just a matter of taking a single step back onto the sidewalk.

That's when we heard it. Cars crashing. It's still a blur at this point. It was loud. The type of loud when you know it's bad. A sound we won't forget anytime soon. I remember seeing a large pickup truck. Smoke.

Most everyone rushed to the scene. My first thought was the safety of the vendors on the corner where the crash happened.

Lobo was going nuts because of the noise and everyone rushing to the corner. I stayed at our display with him.

I lost sight of Lisa and Miss A. That sent me into a bit of a panic.

The usual followed. Sirens. The crowd of people surrounding the scene getting larger. People leaving their houses to check on what happened.

I sat in my chair holding Lobo. 

Lisa and Miss A returned about 20 minutes later and filled me in. Lisa described the woman driving the truck. It was the same woman we've seen hanging around our neighborhood with one of our neighbors who we don't associate with.

I looked at Lisa, while shaking my head, and said, "Oh, I bet she's intoxicated."

"I'm leaning towards yes..."

Lisa mentioned that at the scene, the woman driving the truck was upset and trying to find out if the people, including kids, in the other vehicle were okay. Several people pushed her away because she smelled like booze.

A nurse on the scene said the woman reeked of alcohol.

Later in the day, WINY Radio published a photo of the woman and a brief stream-of-events-rundown.  It was confirmed.

"While investigating the scene, officers say they observed that Giles appeared to be intoxicated, due to a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from her breath and her slurred speech. Giles submitted to a Standardized Field Sobriety test, which she did not perform to standard. Giles was arrested after refusing medical services at the scene.

Giles was processed, and charged with failure to yield right of way at an intersection and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs." (WINY Radio)

I immediately started to rummage through the "What If's" surfacing in my brain.

What if that had been Lisa and Lobo who were hit?  They had just returned less than 15 minutes prior to the accident.

What if the vendors close to the corner had been injured?

What if pedestrians were hit and injured?

I was furious.

My anger stemmed from the driver of the truck "operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohols and/or drugs."

I can't even begin to wrap my head around that.

If you want to drink to the point where your speech is slurred and you smell as if you've been marinating in a bottle of vodka, fine.

You want to do recreational drugs, fine.

You're going to do either one, or both, regardless of what concerned friends and family tell you.

You're an adult. No one can boss you around or tell you what you can and can't do.

I get that.


And, that's a gigantic HOWEVER.

Don't get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle if you're intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.


You might think you're okay to do so, but you're not.

The statistics prove that.

Mixing in recreational drugs on top of that just adds to the grim reality.

I'm not here to lecture those who think it's okay to get behind the wheel while intoxicated and/or under the influence of drugs. Nothing I say will sway you from your selfish decision of putting others at risk.

What I will say is that yesterday's accident ramps up my fear. A lot.

Not a day goes by that I don't worry about Lisa's commute to work or when she's out and about with any of our kids.

When Lisa and I get the opportunity to go out together, whether it's to run errands or visit a flea market, it's always sitting in the back of my head that we could get into an accident.

I bet the 5 people in the vehicle Giles collided with didn't think they'd get into an accident from point A to point B.

It's scary.

What happened yesterday rattled all of us.

A lot.

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