I made it to Banff tonight. I’m here to present at CNIE. It has been a crazy trip.
On the way here, we were a minute behind a semi truck hitting a compact car, trapping two occupants, and it appeared that one person flew out into the ditch. We pulled over, ran to their assistance, called 911 (the semi driver didn’t have a cell phone), and using my GPS was actually able to tell emergency services pretty much exactly where it happened. It looked really grim at first, after seeing the car I figured there was no hope. I tried to comfort the victims in the car, telling them that help was on the way. Claudia got some blankets from the semi-driver and comforted the other woman in the ditch. About 20 minutes, a police car pulled up. I yelled at the officer to come down to the ditch. As he walked down into the water, he started talking to the people in the car. That’s when I noticed that the officer was a student that I had once taught as a preservice teacher (he became an RCMP officer after he got his B.Ed). In the insanity, we quickly recognized each other but didn’t talk about it until the ambulances arrived, and after I gave my statement. The whole incident … incredibly surreal.
I am thinking that everyone will be OK. The woman in the ditch had the worst injuries, but she received attention excellent attention when the paramedics arrived. I am so happy that help came soon.
Here is a photo I took after everyone was being cared for.
So after all of this, on the way home, two things come to mind.
1) As much as I am enjoying the 3662008 project, and actually starting to think like a photographer in some ways, I couldn’t imagine being the photographer that takes photos of people while they suffer. Remember the fate of Kevin Carter?
2) As much as I tout online social networks, I have been having these really weird coincidences lately, meeting people on the road, in places where neither of us should logically be. In the last few months, I’ve had at least 5 experiences with old connections like this. What does this mean? It’s kind of freaking me out!
3) Hug your family … hard. In fact, my little girl is sleeping on my lap as I type this. Tragedy can happen at any moment, and we are lucky to have every second we can with our loved ones.