Tuesday, December 16, 2008
~ Crash Leaves One Dead ~
It was your typical fall evening, the begining of jacket weather. It was almost eleven and the majority of the firefighter's had gone to bed, trying to get ahead of their soon to be interupted sleep. Little did I know that I would be the last person to hear the voice of one young man.
Upon arrival of the auto accident, I noticed six cars in the roadway. A mutiple amount of teens mingeling around. One car was on its side in the ditch, another dissinigrated in the middle of the roadway. Trying to decifer how many people were involved I began with the mangled vehicle in the middle of the roadway. The driver was pinned between the steering wheel and seat back, face bloodied, air bag stained with fresh blood. He was crying for help, mumbling, the most visibly injured. Walking around the vehicle the two individuals in the back seat were stunned, shocked, claimed to have minor injuries. Finding out later that their pranks of shooting roman candles from the back seat, would kill their friend. Quickly I made my way around the rear of the car. Coming around the bumper and to the rear door, the front door opened, out climbed the front passenger. Looking at me in the eyes, he began describing how his chest was burning. Pulling at his neck, describing his pain, looking for another paramedic, I briefly turned. The young man collapsed, dying in front of me, asking for my help, I could do nothing to save this young man.
I can still see the expression on his face, the sound of his voice, it haunts me. His friends watching him die, lying on the roadway. Others still needing our help, the driver still making noise. I felt alone, eventhough I was surrounded by colleagues. I was the last person to hear his voice. Not his mother or father, they were probably at home sleeping hoping that their son would arrive home shortly. I often find myself wondering about the parents or family of those who just died.Quickly we loaded him into the ambulance, working hard as hell, knowing that our efforts would not change the outcome.
Knowing that soon the family will have their hearts ripped from their very soul. I try to tell others that these things don't bother me. But it does, it bothers all of us that serve and protect. We are lying if we say it doesn't. Today this accident that happened several years ago is in the forefront of my mind, I have no idea why, it just happens.
We ended up transporting a total of 7 people that evening, taking a miserable amount of time to accomplish this feat. During this event of trying to sort everything out, one young girl approached me, asking me if he was going to be ok. I looked at her and I stopped for a moment. She was the daughter of one our firefighter's. I told her she needed to go home. I climbed into my fire engine and called her home, telling her father of what she had just witnessed.
Later the father of the girl approached me at work, thanking me for the call. He continued to explain that three cars were headed to a party that evening. Car number one with the boys were shooting roman candles out of the car, trying to get the cars that followed, when they misfired. The roman candle launched inside of the car, striking the driver in the chest, burning him as well as causing the accident. His daughter was in car number 2. All of our worst nightmares, dealing with those that we know.