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What do you do when you witness an accident?

Illustration for article titled What do you do when you witness an accident?

This past Sunday I visited a friend of mine an hour into a touristy town outside the city. On my way back I’d hit gridlock on the highway from tourists with boats, campers, nice cars and families.


The normally 50 minute trip took me nearly 5 hours with 3 of them actually moving in the vehicle. There were 5 accidents on the first highway alone and I’d witnessed two of them. The first a small fender bender rear where a civic rear-ended an escape. I know for a fact the vehicle ahead of me saw what had happened as he served around and kept going. The two cars pulled over on the left shoulder (large enough for even a big rig to pull over) and I joined them to make sure everyone was okay and left my name and number to the one who got rear ended incase she needed a witness.

About 20 minutes later 5 cars in front of me piled into each other involving two heavy duty trucks. There had to be a other drivers had to have seen it happen. Again I stopped and not a single other vehicle did which shocked me since it was a severe accident. I was driving a current gen Escalade and blocked both the lane it had happened in and adjacent lane since some of the vehicles were forced over the line and it was clear they were non-running from the damage. There were a lot of drivers yelling at me in anger. I don’t know if they thought it was some jerk in an Escalade just blocking lanes for the hell of it but I made a judgement call which the police thanked me for afterwards.


I got out and ran over, every vehicle’s airbags had gone off. There was a Ford 500 stuck partially under one of the HD trucks and all the doors were jammed shut and there was antifreeze leaking out which was a concern. I asked them to hold the lever open and used the spare tire tools from the Escalade to rip open the door and help the passengers out then proceeded to splint broken limbs other drivers had from airbags etc and ensure they were okay until first responders arrived.

Regardless, in both cases I was the only witness to have pulled over and only person to have provided assistance on a grid locked highway. It was one of the worst days of my life for a number of reasons and this contributed to it. What’s wrong with people? Why didn’t any other drivers help or even drop a card with their number?

So my question is, what do you do when you witness an accident? Do you pull over to help out? If not why?

(image not of either accident, I didn’t have a chance to take any photos)

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