Thoughts about the accident

    On Thursday night, Emily and I were driving along a five-lane road when a truck in front of us suddenly squealed its tires, jerked hard to the left, hit some debris, and then sped off. My first thought was that something had fallen out of the back of their truck, and so I slowed down to avoid whatever it was that had fallen out.

    Then I saw a backpack. I was still slowing down when I saw the body crumpled in the road.

    I stopped the car, and started fumbling for the hazard lights.

    We were in the right lane, the body was in the left lane, and cars were approaching behind me. I was terrified they were going to come speeding through and hit it again and again. I began blaring the horn.

    The cars behind me slowed and stopped, and I jumped out and approached the body. Emily was out of the car, dialing 911.

    After that, there were a lot of events, a lot of people, a lot of questions. It was a 25-year old boy, and he had apparently died on impact. When I got to him, he was completely motionless, not breathing, not pulsing. He wasn't even bleeding, something that would have seemed more alive at that moment. I kept thinking that if the emergency people could just get there, they might be able to save him. But that didn't really make sense - he was already gone.

    Those are the basics of what happened. Here's what I want to say about it.

    I am sad for his family. I am sad for the person who hit him. I know that they probably panicked and ran off, and are now hiding somewhere, scared and isolated, not knowing if there was anything they could have done, not knowing how to process that horrible accident.

    But I am so grateful that no one else hit him. I am so grateful that no one else had to question whether they were involved in his death. I am so grateful that we were able to stop in time, and were able to stop the rest of the traffic.

    I am thankful that he didn't suffer for a long time, there on the road, unable to move. I am thankful that his death was quick and quiet and as dignified as you could hope for in that situation.

    It was a terrible and tragic event, but in the face of all that could have gone worse, I have so much gratitude.