The day was like any other out on the highway. Some traffic passed quickly by and disappeared over the horizon as they headed to some unknown destination. The sun was shining and the road itself was in good condition. A few potholes and cracks in the pavement making the tires give a thump, thump, thump, sound as they rolled over them. I had the honky-tonk turned up and the DJ was playing some southern rock. My fingers drummed along on the steering wheel as I listened. After an hour, I could hear some drivers on the two way radio squawking about a truck wreck up the road. I turned the stereo down a bit so I could glean whatever information I could about the crash.
Questions like was anyone injured or was the road closed. I could make decisions with that info.
Another thirty minutes and I happened upon the site of the incident. The tractor-trailer appeared to have driven out of a truck stop driveway and failed to negotiate the turn into the lane of travel and then continued till it drove straight into the ditch and almost completely off the road. The back of the trailer was still up on the shoulder, partially blocking the eastbound lane.
I slowed and pulled into the truck stop to grab a quick coffee top-up, use the facilities, and do a walk around. While I maneuvered into a parking spot, the comments were somewhat shocking. Well, not really. But to someone who hasn’t listened to truckers on the radio lately, it would’ve been. Some went on as though they were Crash Scene Analysts. And others shot vulgarities out about the driver’s race or abilities based on the 30 seconds that they saw the crash as they passed by.
To say the least, it was appalling behaviour. And even more shocking was it went on for the next few hours as I continued on my way.
Rewind back to when I was in the parking lot.
Emergency Services arrived while I was inside.
It turns out what the peanut gallery didn’t know was the driver who had a wife, two children, and four grandchildren had suffered a heart attack and was clinging to life.
It was just a reminder to refrain from calling someone’s misfortunes out and or casting derogatory remarks about them. Showing a little humanity and compassion should have been the order of the day.
It also reminded me of this wise quote:
“It’s better to appear a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”