…and getting to meet my first responder:

When I first opened my eyes, I was lost and very alone. I lifted my head to see my sneaker about ten feet away. I thought that only happened in the movies? I then looked up to see a lone tire, detached from it’s vehicle roll past me. It was at this point that I started wondering if this really was a movie scene!?

And then Dave appeared. I don’t know Dave, but he did everything in his power to acclimate me with the situation. “You’ve just been in an accident, everything is going to be ok”. His friendly face and comforting voice was such a relief in a completely helpless and panic filled moment in my life.

I kept asking that I be blocked from oncoming cars so as not to be run over again, though it appeared that Dave had that under control already. He kept insisting that I stay still, to the point of gently taking my head, placing it straight, and holding it by the chin as a temporary neck brace before the EMT’s showed up.

The ambulance eventually did show up and the cutting of my clothes began. They love that stuff. And, the comfort level remained, a state of mind that was so needed at the time of being involved in an accident. It’s simply impossible to describe just how much it was necessary to have Dave there when my eyes opened on the street. It’s seldom that one is in a situation, in which they could consider an individual, a hero. In this case it was a complete stranger, a civilian and fellow Jersey City resident, however on Thursday evening, Dave was my hero.

“My wife and I saw the accident from our kitchen (We live on Grand and Washington by the monument). All we really saw and heard was the car flying (literally) through the intersection with a cloud of sparks and into the park. I ran outside because I heard someone loudly groan or yell (don’t know if that was you). When I got to you,  you were asking if your legs were okay and something like, “How bad is it?”. I held your head, told you not to move and said, “okay, you know the drill”. Somehow your IPod was still half around you. I also had to yell at a few well- wishers trying to move you. Oh, and you also said, “My head is bleeding, I know my head is bleeding”

Of course I was clenching my iPhone. I don’t know what I was thinking, that maybe I would live tweet my own getting run over!?

Once the ambulance came, everything moved real quick. I started getting poked and prodded from all directions, but was already trying to figure out how I would find Dave. The next day some of my posts from Twitter were used by that NJ.com article and led Dave to see an additional tweet of mine that said “I wish that I could thank the civilian who ran over to help me last night, who held my head to keep my spine straight while lying there.”

Dave introduced himself the next day in an e-mail to me, mentioning a few items that only he and I would remember from the night to exclude the chances of him just being a nut. I was so happy that he made contact, I got in touch with my parents and friends right away to share - I still couldn’t quite grasp why this meant so much to me. In part of Dave’s e-mail to me he said: “You already thanked me indirectly in your Twitter blog even though you didn’t know who I was, which speak volumes about your character. There were a handful of people also trying to help…and then the gawkers, of course. Another guy was also trying to comfort you and some were redirecting traffic, trying to keep the accident footprint intact, etc.”

I replied, not knowing how to thank him - can I take you and your wife to dinner, or something? Instead, they invited me over to their place once I heal, where Dave’s wife believes “that it would be good for you to connect to someone else’s first-person experience with you that night. After all, your experience must have been surreal.” It truly was and I can’t wait to meet up with Dave, who continued by saying:

“We can’t believe that you’re alive either! I had this pit in my stomach as I was approaching you. You were trying to move and when you asked about your legs all I saw was a couple small punctures with blood on your knee and you yourself realized that your head was bleeding. I started to question my self-reporting mechanism and thought, “This can’t be right. After that cataclysm there’s no way this poor guy doesn’t have mashed potatoes for organs”.

There are a few instances in life in which we naturally expect to have someone by our side. When I found myself lying on the street, my legs wouldn’t move and I needed to be reminded to take beep breathes, I had Dave there with me. I look forward to meeting him soon.

Posted Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 10:46 am
Filed Under Category: rhodyram
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