5.25.2005

hospital envy

so this past weekend, there was a very bad crash in front of our house. the odd thing was that we didn't hear a thing, and seriously, this was RIGHT OUTSIDE our house. this is a testament to the fact that trent watches cartoons way too loud.

we didn't realize that anything had happened until we left the house to take trent to baseball, and 3 blocks in front of our house were shut down to traffic. because my car was in front of our house, we couldn't move anywhere. I had to send trent down a few blocks to be picked up by his dad.

by the time we had gotten out there, the younger and more injured driver was already in the ambulance. apparently, he was in quite bad shape. (later, the EMTs came back to the car looking for something frantically - I can only guess that perhaps it was a missing...um...body part that they needed. I'm thinking finger.) I'm glad trent didn't see the guy, as I'm sure he'd be shaken up. The other 2 people who had to be airlifted out were still being taken out of the other car, and there was one lonely man who had been in the backseat, and who was not hurt, who was milling around, intermittently crying. I felt so bad for him. I really wanted to go over and see if he was okay, but I think I would have been a hinderance since he was desperately trying to make sense of what had happened with the police. I found out that he was the husband of the 81 year old woman who was in the front seat and the father of the driver of that car. I can't imagine what he must have been going through.

I also found out that apparently the 19 year old who caused the accident veered into the other lane after trying to adjust his radio. I don't know how true that is, but I do know that 2 stereotypes may have collided here quite literally, but it might not have been such an issue if people would just slow the hell down.

and I thought about that some more, about slowing down in front of our house, and I realized that I was totally being hypocritical. I mean, I fly through some neighborhoods all the time. what makes me think that other people who don't live here are going to give a shit and slow down? so I've made an effort to be more mindful.

but the thing that really struck me about this whole tragedy is that 3 people were airlifted, and we have what I had been told was a pretty damn good hospital not 5 minutes away from our house. maybe it's like emergency triage and we're not equipped to handle it, but it's a tad disconcerting that in order to get emergency triage care, which I would think is really quite important, we'd have to wait for a helicopter and be flown to philly. there isn't anywhere closer that has that quality of care? that totally sucks.

it took about an hour for the helicopter thing to be over. an hour that one might think may be better spent in a local hospital's triage unit (I mean, our local hospital isn't like M*A*S*H or anything, it's billed as state-of-the-art, so we're not talking about backwoods faith healers or anything) instead of in an ambulance waiting for a helicopter. it's less than an hour to DRIVE to philly. so I just don't get that.

all told, our street was closed from 9:38am when this happened to 1:30pm when the accident investigators were done marking our street all up with various colors of spray paint depicting all the constants and variables that may or may not have contributed to the accident.

I wish that our local paper would print a follow up. I'd like to know if the 2 serious injuries were okay. most of all, I'd like to make sure that the sad old man who looked like he was lost in a sea of misery finally was reunited with at least some of his family.

8 validations:

Jen O. said...

That's damn scary.

It's possible, by the way, that your local hospital was entirely equipped to handle the injuries, but that the ER or triage unit was overburdened with people needing attention.

I know that when I was airlifted, they took me from Burlington, NJ to Camden, NJ -- even though there were a number of "good" hospitals that were much closer. The trauma unit at Cooper was especially equipped for head injuries.

Kelly said...

I saw a wreck once coming out of a race. Probably alcohol-induced. The guy hit a light pole head on right in front of me. In that case airlifting him made sense, because 250,000 people trying to get out of the speedway would have hindered the ambulance some. But it was an eery feeling just being there waiting and watching. I can't stop thinking about the sad old man wandering around crying. That's really depressing.

KATIEmagic said...

Cars are so dangerous. We have such a false sense of security going 70 in our little boxes of glass and metal.

Kodi said...

I am glad your son didn't see much of it. How sad, to see that poor old man wandering the street in misery. I hope everyone ends up okay.
I drove past a wreck on the Interstate once, between a semi and a station wagon. Come to find out later, 2 children were killed. The semi driver was charged with negligent homicide because he had been driving with only a few hours of sleep. I cried.

M.Thom said...

Wow...that is scary. I hope that everyone involved ending up being okay.

I also used to be a driver who was always in a hurry...but now I have slowed down, and it makes for a much less stressful driving experience...as does my iPod adapter for my car stereo!

Jaws said...

Jen o.. Cooper hosptial.. flash back of trying to keep up with my mom-mom ambulane as I drive down hadden avenue in the middle of Camden, white female, brand new car and 17 years old, on Mischief night. Can we say Cracker was yelled at every street corner. Hell ride that was.

I hope everyone is ok there. Sounds like it was a bad accident. I drive alot more careful now that I bounced off a few guard rails back a few years. Before that I was speeding and risking more then I should have.

NME said...

Seeing that man must have been haunting. I'm SO afraid of cars. I feel like at least once every time I get in the car someone driving wrecklessly makes me feel like we won't make it home.

seansylvania said...

I agree with Jen O. It had to be because of an overburdening at our local ER for them to be airlifted to Philly. Central Montgomery Medical Center even has a helicopter landing pad right outside of the ER, and I see emergency casulties being flown in often. It just goes to show you how certain circumstances can determine whether you live or die. Life is a plethora of pivotal moments that can sway our lives in one direction or another.
I really have to be more careful when I drive. Just reading what you guys wrote so far, it seems that many of you had to experience an accident first hand before you wised up. I'm lucky enough that I never had an incident, so I better make damn sure that never happens on my account. Sometimes, one incident is enough to permanently restrict you from living let alone driving. My big flaw is sleepiness at the wheel. Without a Coke, I struggle some days. I need to get more sleep.