Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own. ~Adam Lindsay Gordon
A little over a week ago, on December 14th, I was heading out to the Pittsburgh Airport, traveling to North Carolina for work. The Pittsburgh weather was typical, all over the board and unpredictable. Earlier in the week it was warmer and raining, and yet the day before I left it snowed. On a side note, it was a beautiful white fluffy snow that outlined everything with white detail. The type of snow I wish we had for Christmas. The roads weren’t great but manageable. Being a seasoned Pittsburgh driver, that didn’t stop me, well not totally. As I was heading westbound on I-376, I hit a patch of ice and spun out of control, bouncing off of the Jersey barrier a few times before coming to a stop, facing oncoming traffic.
By the grace of God I wasn’t really hurt, except for a burn on my hand from the airbag and a little whiplash. Plus, no one else was involved just me, myself and I. The other drivers on the road including myself, were all maintaining safe speeds and keeping safe distances around in the event there was black ice. There was! My fellow morning drivers were able to watched the accident, plus they had time to stop and assist. Did I also mention it was about 6:30 a.m. and the roads were pitch black except for the reflection of headlights? Not ideal conditions but you gotta work with what you have.
Was I upset? Sure. To be honest, at first I was in a little shock, everything happened so fast. Both airbags deplored, the car was undriveable, I caused the backed up traffic and I was so close to the airport. It wasn’t a great way to start the morning, nor was it a great way to begin my journey to the south.
That was the bad news and now the good. Good? You bet, dealing with actual tragedy, which this wasn’t, I’ve come to appreciate the good in every situation. This accident was no exception. Here’s my list that I’m thankful for. I wasn’t really hurt, people stopped to help and call the emergency personnel, no one else was involved, I had plenty of time to get to the airport without missing my flight, the entire incident took only a half an hour from the accident till I was on my way, and a good Samaritan really went above and beyond.
I’ve come to realize that out of bad incidences, good always has an opportunity to make its appearance and normally does.
The one car behind me containing a lady, was on her way to work. She stopped and stayed with me the entire time! In fact, I remember later, right after the accident, once my car came to a stop, my hand was burning and I smelled this stink. Initially, I thought the car was on fire but it turned out it was the powder from the airbags. I got out of the car on I-376 to walk away from vehicle not paying attention I was on a major interstate, at night. Also, for some reason, I thought I was on the other side of the road, probably because my car was facing the wrong direction. I do remember this lady stopping across from me in the slow lane and asking if I was fine. My response? “I’m not sure.” She walked me off the road and that’s when everyone jumped into action to help. It was a big blur for the better part of the situation, I was a little out of it.
A local cop showed up to assist before turning it over to the state cop, who was also a good person. He even called the tow truck and released me before it came so I wouldn’t miss my flight.
My good Samaritan, which I did get her name but I don’t want to release it without her consent, went above and beyond. Not only did she assist me, and stayed with me along the side of the highway, offering her vehicle to sit inside and stay warm, she also drove me the rest of the way to the airport. Seriously? YES! Granted, I wasn’t that far from my final destination, but I can’t believe her kindness. She called her work to tell them she would be a little late, too. Guess what? She was also a member of our armed forces! That does not surprise me. She serves our country and now she’s extending her kindness to a stranger. In addition to uncovering her name, I also found out she’s an electrician with the air force, and she had a baby boy. I wish her all the happiness in the world. One day I hope to pay her back by paying it forward and using her actions as the standard for being a good person in the event of an accident.
My good Samaritan wasn’t the only person who stopped and assisted. There were several genuinely sincerely people who made phone calls and checked in on me. I truly can’t thank all those people enough. Pittsburgh is really a very friendly city and I think we have an over abundance of good Samaritans. I wish we could put that on a license plate.
I hope this story is an inspiration to everyone.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year!
12/30/16 Update – I received this flyer in the mail the other day. I’ve receive it before but never paid much attention, since I never really drove the Honda, but this time it meant something.
There was recall on my car because the airbags contained metal fragments and were known to kill or injure the passengers when deflated. Seriously? Yes. Can you imagine the sickening feeling I received upon seeing this candy-cane stripped oversized flyer? Even though I was the only one in the accident, it still could have been a fatal.
I never addressed the problem because I was always too busy, forgot or like I mentioned, didn’t really think anything of it since I didn’t drive the Honda much. It just goes to show just how blessed and fortunate I am. I’m guessing my brother has a full time job looking out for me.