I commute from flagstaff to sedona on a daily basis for work. I am often driving home from work after dark and the drive is through national forests. I often see wildlife and I have been lucky enough to not hit any in the entire time I have been doing the drive.
A few nights ago the person driving in-front of me was not so lucky. I wouldn’t have known there was a hazard if the guy wasn’t shining a flashlight towards the coming cars. The flashlight caught my eye and I hit the breaks just in time… This guy hit an elk with his truck, the elk was in one lane and his disabled car was in the other lane. To get by the accident you had to drive down the center of the road. I initially drive by in shock. When I got past that accident I pulled to the side of the road to try and call for help but my cell phone had no reception. I began to think about the seriousness of the situation that guy was in. I realized I didn’t even know if he was hurt or if he needed any help.
I wanted to go back and offer any help I could but I knew it wasn’t the smartest thing for a young girl to do alone in the middle of the night in the middle of the forest. I grew up in a large city where there was tons of crime, you learn certain things that are supposed to keep you safe.
In this situation I was torn between helping a stranger and keeping myself safe. I just think its such a shame to have to be suspicious and untrusting of strange people especially when they could be in need of real help.
I went with my gut feeling and drove back to the accident to offer my help to the man. He was not physically hurt but he was very distraught and his truck was totaled. He did reach highway patrol and somebody was on the way. He thanked me for stopping and I went on my way. I thought to myself, I would have wanted somebody to stop for me…
It’s interesting how we (as a society) rush through life paying less and less attention to those people that surround us everyday. The need for human contact is in our nature but we get so wrapped up in the here and now that we ignore this part of our nature until we find ourselves displaced or in a life or death situation.
I knew I needed to stop and offer my help, he needed to know that somebody cared about him. It wasn’t the safest thing to do but I was driven to do it and I believe it was the right thing to do. I mean ultimately if you strip away all the technology and material things all we really have is each other and that is all we really need.