I jumped over the cement barricade again and took off running back across the freeway towards the SUV. I could hear a helicopter approaching and it wasn't long before he was overhead. I looked up and a news-copter was circling about. Still no sign of the police. The driver of the SUV was off of the phone, standing besides her truck watching the whole thing unfold. As I neared she raised her voice and asked:
I was out of breath by the time I got there and responded quickly.
I think so. Did you see anybody get ejected from the car?
Really? Are you sure? He's asking about his friend. This guy didn't have his belt on so I assumed somebody was ejected.
I didn't see anybody, it happened so fast though.
"Weird", I said to myself.
Ok. Just to be safe, call 911 again and tell them that there is another person that was ejected from the vehicle who hasn't been found yet. We might need more help. I'm going to start looking.
She pulled her phone from her pocket once more as I ran across the off ramp again. Once I made it to the barricade I started working my way against traffic through the debris field towards the origination of the skid marks. I wasn't long before I had briefly scanned the entire area and found no sign of anybody. It was then that it occurred to me for the first time that maybe there was no Jeremy. Maybe our survivor had been drinking or something and with a keen sense decided to come up with a story to make it appear as if he wasn't driving. It seemed impractical for this guy to be thinking on that level so soon after waking up and pulling himself from the wreck but who knows? Besides, my search revealed nothing and our lone eye witness didn't see anybody get ejected. I wasn't sure what to think. I didn't get very far in that train of thought before the first NHP cruiser barreled around the curve. Being downstream from the Honda I was the first person he came to, so he pulled up to me and rolled his window down. I decided to leave my speculations out of it.
Officer, looks like this guy is going to be ok, he crawled out of there under his own power. He still needs medical attention though. He's asking about his friend "Jeremy", but he was the only one in the car when I first got there. I haven't found anybody else yet. The driver of that SUV witnessed the accident and if there were any other vehicles involved they are no longer here.
Ok, you said there is another person somewhere?
Well I don't know. The guys first words to me after he crawled out of the car were "Where's Jeremy". He wasn't wearing his seatbelt so I assumed somebody was ejected. I ran back and asked the witness and she said she didn't see anybody get ejected but that she didn't get a good look either. So I'm down here searching...that was 30 seconds ago.
Ok sir, thank you for your help.
With that he drove the 40 yards or so up to the Honda funeral site. For the next few minutes I continued looking for Jeremy as fire and rescue arrived along with a host of other squad cars, all of which ignoring me on their way to the scene. If Jeremy was indeed out there he was in some dire need of help because he is nowhere near where this accident occurred. The longer I looked the more my speculations overtook my mind. But more importantly, nobody else seemed concerned in the least about this "search". I thought maybe there was something they knew that I didn't but how could that be? I finally gave up and began walking back to where all the action was.
The firemen are tending to the car and there are officers and even more onlookers milling around. Our survivor was sitting in the back of an ambulance being looked after. I stuck my head in and told him:
Hey man, I couldn't find your friend Jeremy, I looked everywhere.
I wondered if he would recognize my voice, he just looked at me with a blank stare and said:
Weird. Perhaps our guys injuries were more than just skin deep. Nonetheless, my job was done here and I was through trying to make sense of this.
I sifted through the police and fire personal looking for the original officer I spoke to, simply to make sure I was free to go. I finally spotted him and as I walked over I noticed that one of the looky Lous that was standing around before was talking to him. As I got closer I overheard the guy tell the officer that he was a "off-duty metro officer".... Ok jackass, what good does this information do anyone now? Better yet, what the fuck where you doing standing there with your thumb up your ass while I was trying to talk this guy into breathing for a little while longer? What the fuck were you doing while I was searching for other survivors? I didn't say any of that however and after I inquired, the NHP officer thanked me again and informed me that I was free to go.
I jumped over the barricade for the last time and began walking over to where my cab and the SUV were parked. I removed the larger remains of one sign from the road as I went. The lady was still standing by her truck.
I told the officer that you witnessed the accident so they may need to talk to you, I would check with them before you leave....You did a good thing.
You did a good thing
I suppose I did, I don't know. I'm not a hero though. It's important that I make that clear. I think we all know who the real heroes are. The heroes are those police officers who come running without question or judgment every time you call. The firemen like Nathan, who kick down the door of that burning building in search of you, without thinking once about it. The brave members of our armed forces who live and die everyday fighting for our country. The single mother who takes the bus everyday to work her two jobs so her child can have opportunities that she didn't. The father who teaches his son discipline, accountability, and respect for women. And the doctor who nurses the dead hearts back to life to name a few. No no, I'm no hero, just a well to do cabbie living in a constant battle between the shrimp cocktail and the caviar, the money or the morals and good-vs-evil.
I walked back to the cab and waved goodbye to the lady as I opened the door. Before I even got in I could hear my radio blaring with dispatch trying to find me:
FOUR AND A QUARTER?........425?....last chance: FOUR TWENTY-FIVE your ears on Andrew?
My microphone wasn't on the hook. It was dark in the cab so I had to follow the cord from the radio itself to find it and soon discovered it was laying on the passenger side floor mat. I picked it up and pressed the button.
425 I'm here, sorry about that I had to step out of the cab for a minute. You can give me that location now.....
Back to work.