This morning as my co-worker and I were out on the road driving between jobs, his ham radio crackled to life, and we heard a local police dispatcher calling for response at a crash site only two miles from the farm we had just been at. I had heard his radio many times before, but for some reason this time it affected me like it rarely does.
It seems these two vehicles had collided at a ‘T’ intersection out in the county, one we were both very familiar with. It sounded like one vehicle had turned in front of the other and got T-boned. We could hear several deputy sheriffs responding, as well as several State Patrol officers, and they were calling for an ambulance.
Then I heard the first deputy’s desperate voice, as he said, “We’re gonna need the jaws! This guy’s trapped in there, and I can’t reach him!” We heard the dispatcher calling out the fire dept. and saw their truck heading out of town, red lights flashing and siren howling.
A helicopter was called to transport the victim to a hospital in the Twin Cities, and we heard the State Patrol trying to coordinate how they would guide them in to land. The local hospital was calling, wanting to know how many injured there were. The answer included, “One critical.”
Then we heard the dispatcher say, “He’s flatlined! They can’t get a pulse!” And several minutes later, “They still can’t get a pulse.”
After that things seemed to quiet down. We heard someone ask, “Where do you want him transported?” The answer, “The funeral home.”
Who was this man who died out there on that country road this morning? We’ll probably know in a day or two, as the news comes out on the local TV station and the newspapers. At this point, I don’t know if he was old, young, or middle-aged. He could have been some old grandpa in his 90s, who shouldn’t have even been driving any more; or it could have been a nice young man in his 30s, like my son, with so much living to do and so much to live for. Did he have a wife? Did he have children? How many people will his death affect?
It was a beautiful, sunny morning, so different than we had been having lately. The temperature was rising, and it would soon become a lovely autumn day. My co-worker and I were talking about how quickly it can happen, that your own life can be snuffed out. We so arrogantly say we’ll do this or that today, but we don’t know if we will. We don’t know if we’ve been granted that time or not. I even say, “After work I’m gonna go home and sit in the recliner and watch the Twins play the Yankees.” But I don’t know that. I’m not in control of my life. I only have what the Lord gives me, and you never know when your life will be gone.
So don’t be afraid to let people know you love them. Spend time with them, quality time, especially with your loved ones. You never know when your soul will be required of you.
(UPDATE: For those who are interested, the local newspaper this morning said the man who died was a 50-year-old man from a nearby town, driving a small economy car. For some unknown reason he had drifted over the centerline on a curve into the path of two oncoming vehicles, the first of which swerved and missed him, the second sideswiped him and he rolled into the ditch.)