The other day I was driving East on the 10 freeway here in Los Angeles when I noticed some commotion up ahead. Cars were changing lanes rapidly and suddenly, thirty, forty, fifty of them. I moved to the farthest left lane to stay out of the melee. As I approached the area, a white car was completely stopped in the middle lane, her hazards blinking. A woman was in the driver's seat, just sitting there; her hood was dramatically dented and it was obvious she'd just been in an accident.
It was alarming seeing her there in the middle of the freeway, not even trying to pull over or get off at the nearest exit. As I drove past, I thought surely someone had called 911 already. I kept driving, and a few seconds later I thought. Wait, what if everyone assumes that someone else is calling?
I dialed my cell.
The operator picked up.
"911. What is your emergency?"
I started with, "I'm sure you've received a hundred calls about this, but..." and explained the situation. She asked for details I hadn't noticed, the make of the car, the license plate, the severity of the accident. And then I could hear typing in the background.
"Ma'am," she said. "You're our first call about this. We're sending police now."
The first call? Wow. Hundreds of cars had whizzed past her, and I'm sure hundreds more were about to. What if every single person thought someone else was surely going to call 911?
This was such a lesson on actively engaging instead of passively assuming. Hopefully the woman is okay.
I have been blogging over at my website: MelissaClarkWrites.com
I'm not sure how much longer I'll be contributing to this Connections Clark blog, there are just so many things to keep up with. Thank you for following me here for all these years. This blog started as a way to chronicle my involvement in the Obama campaign so many years ago. It's hard to believe that his Presidency is nearing its end.
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