Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Good Samaritan

One of my favorite blogs is A Trail Runners Blog by Scott Dunlap. While on a long bus ride a few days ago, I decided to scan through his last few entries. I soon came across a post about his experience at the Diablo 50K which provided a detailed account of the burden he was carrying into that race. I will not go into detail, other than that he happened to witness the immediate aftermath of a cyclist vs. truck accident and was a first responder. The post details a heartbreaking report of what ensued and how he dealt with the lingering emotional upwelling (be sure to read all of the comments following the post). While reading his narrative I was reminded of a time as a child when my Dad found himself in that same situation. We were driving on I-94 through Milwaukee when a dump truck lost its footing on a graded hillside on the opposite of the highway as we were passing by. I remember the massive beast tumbling to its side and finally coming to rest upside-down, wheels spinning and diesel fuel spilling to the ground out of a punctured gas tank. I recall my dad swerving to the shoulder and bolting across several lanes of traffic, running up this hill to the overturned truck, then pulling the bloodied driver out of the cab and harm’s way. I don’t remember much after that, only the unconscious speed at which my Dad responded. I haven’t made any rescues of quite that magnitude, however, I did experience a slightly more subdued incident about 10 years ago. I was driving the Jetta in a heavy snowstorm, returning east from Glenwood Springs on I-70. I had my mom, one of my sisters and her infant daughter in the car with me. We were passing through Vail as a Chevy Astro spun off the road into the median about 300 yards in front of us. The van slammed into the ravine dividing the four lanes of highway, resulting in a blast of fresh snow shooting in all directions. I immediately pulled over and sprinted toward them, not knowing what I would discover upon arrival. There, I found a young couple with a very small child groping their way out of the vehicle. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and we were able to give them a ride to a gas station in Vail. Of course, this is quite tame compared to what Scott and my Dad experienced, and I wonder how I would have reacted in their situation. I guess you never know until it happens to you.


Scott Dunlap said...

Thanks for the kind words about the blog entry. It was a crazy experience, but it sure helped to get all those comments. Unfortunately this kind of thing isn't uncommon.

You'll be happy to know that Debby is doing quite well these days. It's amazing how the body can heal!

Cheers, SD

funkylegs said...

Thanks for posting, Scott!

I’m grateful to hear that Debby is recovering nicely. You are a true trail angel. Best of luck to you in ’08!