Wednesday, August 07, 2002
Don't Stand by Me
I saw my first dead guy today.
It was bound to happen eventually, but it's not something one thinks about every morning when they get up. "Wonder if today's the day I'll see the dead guy?" is a phrase that doesn't really come up.
But I knew that the odds of seeing one on the side of the highway were good. Driving two hours a day on the highways is going to significantly increase the probability of witnessing a fatal accident at one point or another. Five years into the drive, I may have seen a few crash scenes that had fatalities in them, but because I tend to drive in the lane furthest from the accidents (if I can help it; I hate gawkers), I never saw the dead guy.
Traffic was backed up on Northbound 294. This happens a lot just before the toll/90 split because the toll backs up. Out of habit, I shot over into the furthest right lane to avoid the back-up since the two right lanes exit onto 90 (the direction I needed to go in). Then the right lanes start crawling, and I'm wondering wtf is going on, when I notice the emergency vehicles up on the right. With the number of emergency vehicles, I was expecting a pileup, so I was shocked to see that the first car I came across (the car furthest to the rear of the accident) only had a small dent in the corner of the bumper. The front end wasn't even caved in, which is odd, because for the most part, unless it's an SUV, the car in the back is usually the one that initiated the rear-ending contact. Then there was an emergency vehicle blocking the view of the rest of the cars.
I could barely make out a man lying on his back with his shirt off by looking under the emergency vehicle (the ambulance had quite a bit of clearance). Then his legs started convulsing, and I thought "oh god, this is the dead guy." As I came around the side of the ambulance, I could see the paramedic with his rubber gloves on administering CPR. He was in the middle of the 12 pumps of the heart section, and this is what was causing the legs to look like they were convulsing. Oddly enough, the man was apparently undamaged. His shirt was off, which leads me to believe that either he had received a few small wounds to his chest and they needed to remove it in order to determine the extent of his injuries, or they needed his shirt off for the crash cart (which I didn't see at the scene, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there). I'm leaning towards the crash cart because there was zero blood at the scene.
Which makes me wonder just what caused this guy to arrest? There wasn't any damage to his vehicle. I'm doing a little bit of profiling here, but he was fairly overweight, with bluejeans and black gym shoes, so I'm assuming his was the extremely large four seater white early 90's pickuptruck with the sky blue trim, and not the late 90's model Saturn sedan. He looked like the pickup driving/pork rind eating type. So did he have a heart attack? Maybe he went into cardiac arrest from the shock/fear that he hit another car?
I have no idea. I just hope the guy didn't die.