I became passionate against drinking and driving when I ran as an EMT. I saw too many times it was the innocent person not the drunk who was the victim. But on one night…..
…as it was nearing 6:00PM it was getting close to the end of our long 12 hour shift. Everyone had plans for the Saturday night and wanted to get home to get ready to play out the night. No chance of that happening.
The tones went off for a single vehicle car accident. When we arrived on scene along with seeing fire fighters and state police we heard the very obnoxious driver. The drunk had wrapped his fender around a tree which was our first indication that he had been traveling fast. Inside the car the bottom of the steering wheel had been bent towards the pedals and the passenger front window was outwardly spidered; classic signs that the driver wasn’t wearing a seat belt and the he had sustained injuries.
Did I say he was being a total jerk? I put a bandage on his bleeding nose. He ripped it off. I was offended because I was known among other things, as the bandage queen and I thought I had done a fine job.
We tried numerous times to get him on the stretcher. He was refusing all help. The police offered to arrest the guy but then that was nixed after it was found out the drunk was an ex-cop. We couldn’t do anything and the crew chief (wasn’t me, I was still a rookie) signed off the driver. He refused our help. One of his buddies took him home.
Our shift was over when we got back to the station, cleaned and restocked the rig.
Later on in the early morning, I woke up to the tones and dispatch telling the morning crew they had a “Code-10” which in code talk for that area meant, dead person. The address sounded too familiar for me. The drunk driver had died at home. Later we found out that he had died of internal bleeding.
It took me a while to get over that call. Endless strings of “what ifs” kept me awake at night and raced through my mind. My saving grace was thinking, at least he hadn’t killed an innocent person that night and would no longer have the chance of driving a car again while intoxicated.
I.Hate.Drunk.Drivers. Yeah, I’m still not over that one.