On July 4th I was driving home from Atlanta on I-75 when I wrecked my car. I hydroplaned, spun around a few times, and hit the cement wall at least twice before coming to a stop on the side of the road.
No one stopped.
No one stopped to check and see if I was okay.
I sat on the side of the road, scared shitless and crying uncontrollably. And not one vehicle stopped.
Finally after about ten minutes I noticed a truck pull off the road on the other side of the road. I looked over to see that another car had slid off the road and into the ditch. All four passengers got out of the car unharmed. I got out of my car, still crying, and then the man from the truck saw me – and stayed on that side of the road. No one came to check on me. I stood on the side of a 6 lane highway, in the pouring rain next to my wrecked car and NO ONE stopped to see if they could help. Apparently the man in the truck, or maybe the people in the other car, called 911 because a cop car pulled up about five minutes later. I just sat in my car and cried.
After checking on the other vehicle the cop put on his neon vest and made his way across three lanes of traffic, in the rain, to see if I was okay. Thankfully the damage was limited to my car and I was fine. He asked multiple times if I was okay and did I need an EMT. No, I was fine. I was just scared and didn’t know what to do. He said he called a tow truck and they could take me where ever I needed. He was so nice to me. Another officer arrived a few minutes later and once he saw the condition of my car he asked again if I needed medical attention.
Over the next 30-45 minutes (time kinda ran together over the next 2 hours or so) everyone I came in contact with was SO nice to me. The police officers, the state trooper, the lady at AllState, and even the tow truck driver. I was 250 miles from home and so scared. I have no idea what I would have done without the kind people I came in contact with. I am so grateful for them. But as I started to calm down and get things handled I started to get mad.
The ONLY people that took time to help me and be nice to me after my accident were the people that are PAID to do so. No one ever stopped on my side of the highway to see if they could help. Even when I was standing on the side of the road with the first officer, people were still flying by in the left hand lane at 80 mph. Even he got angry that people weren’t getting out of that lane. It wasn’t until there were 5 emergency vehicles on the sides of the road that people started slowing down and getting out of the lanes closest to the wrecks.
A woman traveling alone, in the pouring rain, on a holiday, got in a wreck and NOT ONE PERSON stopped to help. What is going on in this world? I was so lucky that I wasn’t hurt. Later that night when I was sitting alone in a hotel room in Adel, GA it all finally hit me. I could have died. As my car was spinning down the side of I-75 I wanted the car to come to a stop, but at the same time I didn’t because I wasn’t sure how it was going to end. Was I going to be okay? Were the airbags going to deploy? Was my seat belt going to keep me safe? I didn’t know. I sat alone in my hotel room and I cried and cried and cried. I could have died in my car and no one would have stopped.
I’m not writing this for your sympathy. I don’t want you to feel bad for me. My car can be fixed or replaced and I’m physically fine – I know it could have been SO much worse. I want you to think about the situation. I want you to think about what you would want strangers to do if YOU were in this situation. Or if your mom, grandma, sister, aunt, niece, or best friend was in this situation. I’m not a religious person but I strongly believe that you should treat others the way that you want to be treated.
If the truck hadn’t pulled up on the other side of the street to check on the car in the ditch I would have made my way over there to check on them myself. When I finally noticed the other car I instantly worried that my car spinning out of control had caused their wreck (thankfully it had nothing to do with me and they just had a similar situation in about the same spot). But that doesn’t change the fact that even as I stood on the side of the road crying next to my wrecked car I was worried about them and that I may have caused their accident. Because that is what a human being should do. It is called kindness people.
As I let my friends know what had happened I got so many offers of help. Friends from Atlanta, Orlando, Daytona Beach, and Tampa all offered to drive 250-300 miles to get to me. People offered to order me food, come stay at the hotel with me, and drive me home. THAT is what you are supposed to do. I declined all the offers because it made sense to just stay where I was to deal with my car, but the offers meant so much to me.
So the next time you see someone in distress, PLEASE DO SOMETHING. Please don’t assume that it has already been taken care of or that someone else will stop. If you aren’t able to stop, use the Bluetooth function in your car and call 911. Slow down to see if you can help. Do what you would want someone to do for you or your family. We are all so lucky to live in the amazing country that we do, so do something to show that you deserve it once in awhile.