It started off like most Sundays. We got up early and made it to church (on time!) Nana took Munchkin out to breakfast and The Man and I headed home after chatting with friends for a little bit. We took the highway home even though we normally take the scenic back road on Sundays.
We came around a curve and saw a car on its side. There were two men around it, trying to get in. The Man pulled the car over and ran to help them. I grabbed my phone and called 911. After 5 rings and no answer, I hung up and tried again. I finally got through and gave them the necessary info. Thankfully someone had already called it in and help was on the way.
While I was on the phone I watched as The Man and the two other men tried to right the smoking car. The Man shouted at me that there was an unconscious man in the car. Two other people ran up and the five of them were able to manually right the car. All the doors were locked. The Man and another man were able to force a door open because it was a little bent. Out of nowhere a women showed up. She was in scrubs and had a hospital ID badge on. There was a blue tag hanging from with proclaiming that was is an RN. She took charge as they pulled the man to the ground and started giving him CPR.
He was an older man, with white hair and a bald spot. He had an oxygen tank and they pushed the air hose out the way. I held a man’s jacket while he took a turn doing compressions on the man’s chest. I was the smallest person there so I didn’t take a turn but The Man did. It felt like a long time before the police and ambulances showed up but in reality I think it was only 2 or so minutes.
The EMTs arrived and took over CPR. The Man came over to me and just held my hand. We stood and watched as they got him into the ambulance. Someone grabbed his oxygen tank and noted that it was empty. We overheard someone who saw the accident describe what happened. The driver was coming across the highway and hit the embankment, the car went air born and landed on it’s side. While we have no idea what caused the accident, we’re guessing it was either a heart attack or caused because he ran out of oxygen. Later on on Sunday we saw a newspaper article saying it was a medical condition.
The Man quietly told me that he thinks the man died before they got him out the car, probably before anyone stopped to help. The Man’s hands were shaking, dirty and had blood on them. He did what he could to try to save the driver. We were both shaken from the accident and it affected our whole day. It’s affect our whole week.
This event has made me think about how short life is. The man was 71, which seems like a long life. Even so, it really isn’t that long. None of us are here for that long. I’m reminded that each day is a gift and one that we shouldn’t take for granted. I’m hugging my family a little tighter. I’m thankful for the time I have with them, no matter how long or short that time may be.