I love my job. I get to experience some really great things. Unfortunately bad things come with that: crime, accidents, death, disasters. Life is a wide gamut of happenings...
On my way back to the office from an assignment in Wisconsin Rapids, I was called about a possible fatal accident on the freeway on the north side of the city. I didn't have a radio with me so I didn't have much information other than an approximate location.
It was a situation where you really don't have a way of getting information at the scene. It's in the median of a highway – it's loud, you can't cross, authorities won't really go out of their way to help you this early in the investigation. All you can do is shoot what you see and ask questions later.
Back at the office we got the official press release from the state highway patrol and the gravity of the situation set in. What we thought was a collision between two cars actually turned out to be a collision between a single car and a pedestrian who entered the roadway.
According to the release, a man blew out a tire, pulled onto the shoulder and then got out of his vehicle to remove debris from the road. At that moment he was struck by an oncoming car driven by a 16-year-old girl.
It bothered me.
Usually you view a crash in terms of whose fault it is. You can point a finger. You can condemn somebody's actions as irresponsible or reckless.
This time I really didn't know who to feel more sorry for. The man was killed while trying to do something responsible. And the whole experience will certainly occupy the mind of that teenage girl for a long-time... the crash being something she may not have been able to avoid.