|[Ben]:||Poor girl ... ||Discuss This [0 comments so far] View Comments|
|Today I was coming home from work and was heading westbound on 10th street. The rain was coming down pretty hard and I was stopped in traffic waiting at a light. If you've been through the area recently, I was actually stopped right in front of the old Clark gas station with Jewish graffiti on it. You know, the silver Stars of David painted everywhere ... Anyway, as I was stopped, I caught a glimpse of a young girl dodging between some stopped cars just a few vehicles in front of me. Apparently she wasn't able to see the eastbound lane because a white sedan came zipping by and smashed right into the little girl and her bike. The girl went airborne and crashed down hard on the pavement before rolling into the ditch by the road. Her bicycle tumbled down the road in a cloud of car parts and gravel, finally coming to a rest an amazing distance away.|
At first my mind tried to rationalize that I couldn't have seen what I thought I had. Surely there was a pile of junk in the road and that's what I'd seen get smashed. There was simply no way a kid had been hammered from her bicycle by a car mere feet from where I was sitting. Looking closer, however, I saw a pathetic little twisted figure lying crumpled in the ditch. I immediately stopped my car where I was and jumped out, running toward the motionless girl. For a moment I was sure she was dead. She'd taken an awful hit and had come down sickeningly hard. With relief I noted she was still breathing, although she kept making the same, terrible little noises over and over.
Another guy - who had seen the whole thing - and I were the first to reach the scene. The driver of the car who had hit the girl had jumped out and was in absolute hysterics. I had my phone out but the other guy at the scene was already on hold with 911. Rather than tie up any other lines, I ran back to my car, parked it at the Clark station and grabbed a jacket I keep in there to cover her up and keep the rain off. As I covered her I said something inane and useless like "Hold still ... you're going to be fine," and made myself look her over. She was laying on her left side with her back to me and her head angled toward the road. The first thing that I saw was a nasty gash on her right shoulder blade slowly seeping blood. Blood appeared to be coming out of her right ear and she was twisted in an odd way. While she was bleeding quite a bit, I didn't see any spurting, so in the short term, blood loss wasn't my first concern. The only thing that kept running through my mind was that she shouldn't move and likely had some serious internal injuries.
Immediately several other people stopped and came running over. Before long we had a lady with a big umbrella helping to cover the girl, one gentleman directing traffic, another guy on the phone with 911, and former EMS responder and her daughter helping cover the girl with a blanket. The former EMS responder spoke with 911 dispatch and sorted out which district we were in while immobilizing the girl's head (or trying valiantly to do so).
We finally coaxed a name from the victim - Britney. Britney wouldn't stay still. She kept bending her legs and at one point began kicking to try to get the pain to stop but succeeded only in making it worse. We got her mom's name and phone number from her and I made the call.
|"Hello, is this Amy?"|
"Amy, your daughter Britney has been ..."
"Yes, Britney. She has been struck by a car. She's doing okay and is responsive ..."
"Oh my god oh my god oh my god ..."
"... and the ambulance is on its way ..."
"Oh my god where ..."
"We're on 10th street, right in front of the Our Shepherd Lutheran Church"
"Okay we're on our way!"
If I never have to make a call like that again, it'll still be far too soon.
It seemed to calm Britney slightly when I told her that her parents were on the way, but she was still kicking and twisting way too much. Her parents got there very quickly and came frantically running over, alternately crying, telling her to hold still and telling people that she only had one kidney. The lady who brought the umbrella leaned over the father's shoulder and whispered to him "The calmer you are, the calmer she will be." I've got to give that guy credit, he pulled himself together and immediately calmed down quite a bit. It helped.
I stayed crouched next to Britney and helped hold the umbrella until the ambulance arrived, then I backed away and let the professionals take over. They put a neck brace on her, strapped her onto a back board and then loaded her into the ambulance, assisted by some firefighters who arrived on the scene a few minutes after the ambulance. I stuck around and gave the police my name as a witness to the accident, but the other guy who stopped had seen more than I, so I wasn't much help there either. Finally I headed home, completely soaked through.
If I was shaking, I'm sure it was just because of the cold rain. Sure of it.
I'd appreciate if you folks would keep an eye in the local news for related reports. I'd like to know what happens to the girl.
Poor girl ...