Back from vacation but that will have to wait.
Yesterday tragedy struck in D.C. I was fortunate not to be involved. Thus far it appears none of my family or friends were involved. The morning commute has been crippled as fire, police, city and Metro officials try to sort out the disaster and try to figure out what caused the worst accident in Metro's 33 year history.
So much we take for granted. I used to ride that red line every day. Once the kids started driving to school, I stopped taking metro and instead let them practice driving to school then continued on my way with the car to work. I had decided that in the fall, I would go back to metro, having the kids drop me off as they pass on their way to school. Metro is fast, less expensive than driving and parking at work, "green," and normally, predictable. Yesterday changed all that.
But what irks me the most? People. Blood thirsty, gore-fascinated people. Rubberneckers. Gawkers. I almost ran a few over last night in my annoyance.
Last night I left work a little early to get to my summer soccer game. I am managing the team this summer and so have to pay refs and get people organized. I figured it would be good to arrive at least 5 minutes early rather than the quick slide into the game we usually do.
As I approached an overpass, I noticed helicopters circling overhead. 3 or 4 firetrucks had zoomed past. Police cars were coming from all directions. Clearly something bad was happening up ahead.
Then came the media trucks, zooming around everyone like they were entitled to. I noticed the Crowd, the Commoners, and pedestrians all abandoning their cars on the overpass and the surrounding areas so that they could rush to the side of the bridge with their cell phone cameras to have a look and get a photo. WTF.
I still didn't know what had happened. I had the news on but nothing had come over yet. Then an alert came in on the blackberry about a Metro train crash. And it dawned on me that the majority of the people creating a traffic jam on the overpass, impeding the progress of the myriad of rescue vehicles who might actually be able to help the people trapped below, were simply rubberneckers trying to get a view of the gore.
I was and obviously still am appalled. If I thought I could help, I would have stopped to help. But I realized my car would only add to the mess, keeping more fire trucks and rescue vehicles from getting to the scene of the accident. Instead I tried to keep an eye out for approaching rescue trucks to let them pass while trying to vacate the area and reduce congestion.
Now I understand why police directing traffic around an accident get so annoyed.
The latest count is 7 dead (down from the 9 originally thought) and 2 in critical condition, 72 taken to the hospital. I prayed for the families involved, for the people injured and for those who experienced the trauma of the accident. And I prayed for wisdom for the stupid people who didn't know enough to stop gawking and get out of the way.