An ominous Black Friday

Last Friday's wreck. Photo by me. What an ugly scene.

Black Friday took on a sinister meaning for me last week.

No, I didn’t brave the crowds trying to purchase a discounted iPod Touch (although I’d LOVE one of those). No, Friday didn’t turn black until I was on my way to work.

Leaving my home in Abbott, the first thing on my mind was, ‘I need main art for the front,” I was kicking around ideas in my head. Maybe I could go out and take pictures of people building floats for next week’s Christmas parade. Or just go out and get wild art from somewhere.

Little did I know that I was about to stumble upon the worst kind of story you could possibly cover as a journalist.
I could see one vehicle, a Yukon, with a smashed front end. In front of it was a little Mazda, torn in half. It’s front half was in a ditch. Most of the back half was about 20 yards away, crashed into a fence.

You could see parts of the vehicle all over the ditch, and a broken, scared 20-year-old laying in the passenger seat (later revealed to be the driver). He had a handful of people around him, and was crying out to the God in heaven.

“Oh God please, Lord Jesus please help.” Something to that effect. After being told that paramedics and police were on their way, Istayed out of the way due to the fact that I know absolutely nothing about helping people. CPR, basic medical
work, none of it makes a residence in my head.

So I stayed back like a goon, camera in hand, while a nurse named Sandy Armstrong got on the scene, took charge, and started helping the man.

Then they started talking about someone else, and that’s when I realized that there was a girl laying on the ground next to the vehicle, in far worse shape than he or the people in the Yukon were.

“Stay with us Stephanie!” the group of people helping her shouted, while he pleaded with God to keep her alive.
Finally paramedics arrived, and she eventually made her way into the helicopter to get airlifted away. Most people at the scene didn’t think she would make it. With so many injuries (broken neck, broken ribs, cracked skull), it’s a sad but safe assumption to make.

But as of Sunday afternoon, she was responding to verbal stimulation. It’s by the grace of God (and seatbelts) that she and the driver are still alive today.

While paramedics were attending to her, one of the nurses said, “Someone should go talk to him (the driver) and keep his mind occupied.”

I made my way down to the wreckage and opened the conversation with the most ridiculous question, given the circumstances.

“I know this is a stupid question, but how’s your day going?” I asked.

“Pretty shitty,” he said, a response that understated the situation entirely.

I asked him about Stephanie, and he told me that they were engaged. Told me how he had proposed to her (leaving McDonalds, he bent down to pick something up and produced the ring). Despite his broken, guilt-ridden state, he spoke so lovingly of his bride to be.

“Why does it always have to happen to the good ones?” he asked. “Why couldn’t it have been me?” It took me by surprise.

“You are one of the good ones,” I told him. Shortly thereafter, paramedics came and started treating him, so I had to get out of the way, but not before telling him that I was praying so hard for him and his fiance.

I can’t imagine my words were much comfort to him. I wonder if I could have said something different to him, other than “I’m praying for you guys hard.”

I suppose I could have led him in an “Our Father,” or pulled out the Rosary beads. Quoted Psalm 23 to him. Something other than, “I’m praying for you guys hard.”

Regardless of what I could have or should have said, the one thing that sticks out two days later was his asking why the bad things always happened to good people, as if he was a bad person.

We all make mistakes. I’m no stranger to that. I’m sure there are things he wishes he would have done differently in life. I know that falling asleep at the wheel that morning will no doubt live on in his life as one of the worst mistakes he ever made.

I know he had to have so much guilt and emotions running through his body at the time of our conversation (30 minutes or so after the wreck took place). I wish I could have that moment back and come up with something more comforting, something to ensure him that, no, he’s not a bad person.

Hopefully he’s able to wake up at some point down the road and forgive himself for it. The sooner the better.

After all, he’s got a wedding coming up soon.


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    About This Blog

    A blog for the masses, if by masses you mean myself and family members who probably read this out of pity.

    I'm dustin Faber, the 16-bit Catholic. This blog is an amusing, sometimes thought-provoking look at my life and the world around me. Poetry, cooking recipes, gaming, faith, things that make me go awww, things that make me go grrr, and my obsession with a good glass of root beer can be found here.

    If you're looking for gaming-centered posts, check out catholicvideogamers.blogspot.com. If you seek the blog I keep with my fiance, check out thecatholiclovebirds.blogspot.com

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