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Something Positive Out of a Tragic Experience

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

A Friends Recent Experience

Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash

I recently had a conversation with a friend revolving around a tragic experience he had encountered.

On a trip home, he was driving his usual route and noticed someone on the side of the road trying to flag down oncoming traffic. My friend’s first inclination was to continue on his way as hitchhikers were not something to bother with. As he drove closer, something compelled him to look further into the situation. From the road, he could see nothing out of the ordinary, but he wanted confirmation.

He quickly threw on his turn signal and veered off onto the side of the road for inspection. It was apparent the person was in distress as they were erratic with their words, but he could make out “accident” and “ejected” and “friend.” Calming the individual down, he was able to get most of the story. The young man, roughly 19, had been involved in a rollover accident with his friend. They were both ejected, and he was not sure where his friend was.

After a quick call to the police, my friend quickly began looking for the vehicle’s driver. It was apparent the accident was recent as the large truck was still making harsh sounds. “How could anyone have survived this crash”? He said to me, but sure enough, the passenger had been able to flag him down. He just remembered how mangled the truck looked. It made sense the driver wouldn’t be too far from the vehicle, but he shuddered at what he might find.

A boggy marsh with trees in the background.

Photo by sofia wang on Unsplash

It seemed like a long time, but he was able to locate the driver. He was quick to tell me the driver was “young.” He had been thrown from the car and was situated in a boggy-like marsh. He looked wet and messy from the ground but was somewhat lucid. My friend quickly took off his coat, placed it on him, and sat near him. He knew not to move him for fear of making matters worse, and his next thought was to keep the young man talking. He let him know help was on the way. As he described to me, ‘the words became less and less and finally help came.”

The paramedics arrived on the scene, carefully loaded the driver onto a gurney, and transported him to the hospital. They were quick to thank my friend for stopping and let him know, “You did all that you could,” “now we will do all we can.”

My friend took it as his mission to follow up to verify all was well. He reached out to everyone he could, along with leaving his number with various contacts. As it turned out, the driver had perished on site. The paramedics made several attempts to revive the young man, but he was declared dead before reaching the hospital, where it was confirmed.

You, as a reader, are saying, “where is the positive in this story”? The positive came when the family received my friend’s contact information. They immediately reached out and thanked him for stopping. They looked past the hurt they were feeling and took solace in the fact a passerby stopped, offered his coat, and spent time with “their little boy.” They were heartbroken but found some peace in knowing he was not alone when he passed.

It did not stop there as they wanted him to know how much it meant to them. They felt he needed to be at the memorial and funeral services. As uncomfortable as he felt, he assured them he would be there. As my friend recounted the experience back to me, I could sense he was struggling to keep his composure. Thinking about it, both the hurting family and my friend needed the time to lean on each other!

Photo by Külli Kittus on Unsplash

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