Today on Hillsborough Avenue I saw the most tragic thing I have ever seen.
I was at the intersection of Hillsborough and Lois Avenue and I noticed about ten people were standing in the center lane of Hillsborough. The people who were in the center lane to the left of me (I was on the right) had on their right turn signals to merge right. So I was wondering why, and then as they merged, I saw it.
Someone was lying sprawled in the middle lane. Apparently a vehicle had hit him. The vehicle was in the left lane & its front windshield had shattered. The other people were standing around him to prevent other motorists from running over the injured young man.
He looked pretty young, I'd say no older than about 26. Tall, average weight. He could still talk (or rather, I saw him moving his lips as if speaking, and I assume he was speaking) and was still conscious thankfully, but one side of his face was really swollen and he looked to be in a great deal of pain. No blood that I could see, either--thankfully.
The police came and parked a patrol vehicle in front of him so people would know to go around (I dare say a patrol car would offer more protection than a circle of ten people). I guess they were still waiting on an ambulance.
That makes me so sad. I cried a little. I feel really bad for that guy. I admit, jaywalking across busy intersections isn't a smart idea. But we as motorists here in Tampa know that there are a lot of pedestrians here. We should pay more attention, especially if we see someone standing on the median. It's so odd that I was thinking earlier, "A lot of people here aren't safe drivers. Apparently wherever they have to go is more important than their safety, their own vehicle, and the safety of others around them."
We all want to get where we're going. And it's human nature to want to hurry. But I daresay that wherever one has to go, be it work, to pick up a child, or to the grocery store, isn't so important that we must drive like inconsiderate maniacs to get there.
Maybe we don't realize just how dangerous operating a vehicle can be. When we do things like weave in and out of traffic, speed heavily, or become oblivious to what is happening around us, it's a recipe for disaster. Cars are a great convenience, but when handled improperly, the consequences are great. Vehicle damage. Totaled vehicles. Of course, cars are replaceable. Human lives are not. So much can be lost just from one driving mistake . . . normal brain functions, the ability to walk or even move . . . even your life.
So please, everybody. All I ask is that you pay attention to what's going on around you. Put down the cell phone. Use your rearview and sideview mirrors--that's what they're there for. Some pedestrian might be grateful to you for doing so.
Love, peace, and grease . . .
p.s. This will be staying public. I want as many people to see this as possible.