Monday, November 14, 2011


Tonight I called 911 for the first time in my life. I was driving in the left lane down Kirkwood Road (a major street) between Target and Sports Authority. I slowed when I noticed traffic - three cars - stopped in the right lane. As I drew even with the stopped cars, I realized that there was a man lying in the street in the middle of the right lane. And the waiting cars were honking.

I don't know. Maybe the guy was playing a prank and lying in the highway for fun. But I kinda figure that if a pedestrian is lying in the street he deserves the benefit of the doubt that there's a good reason he's there other than that he's just trying to delay your trip.

I stopped, pulled out my phone, and called 911. A man stepped out from a nearby bus stop/shelter, walked up to the man lying in the road, and dragged him to the curb. Now both lanes were "clear" and it didn't seem to make sense to continue blocking all southbound traffic, so I proceeded slowly while still talking to the dispatcher. I gave her my name, confirmed my phone number, and answered her questions. She assured me that she would send police to check it out.

I stopped off for coffee at Dunkin' Donuts, and when I got back to my car I saw two police cars, two ambulances, and a firetruck. The man from the street was sitting on the curb as medics brought over a gurney. Maybe he was "just" a drunk. Maybe he was homeless. Maybe he was ill. Maybe he was struck by a car.

But for heaven's sake, why on earth were people honking their horns at him and why hadn't anyone else already called 911?!


Rob Monroe said...

Thank you, on behalf of that stranger, for calling. We had to do that when we were in Maryland last Thanksgiving. Not fun.

Sarahlynn said...

All yesterday evening I felt out of touch with my surroundings. I felt completely out of step with the people at my committee meeting and everywhere else . . . this was an extreme example of the same thing. Surreal night. Really hope the man is OK.