Saturday, June 07, 2008

Losing Our Way

What does it say about our society that we turn a blind eye or just stand by and watch by the sidelines as another fellow human being is in the middle of the street, after being hit by a car?

Sadly, this isn’t a hypothetical question. Angel Arce Torres was crossing a busy street in Hartford, Conn., where one car swerved to miss him, but a second car behind the first one hit the 78-year-old man and kept going.

But what has gotten Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts so upset was how bystanders walked by and just stood there; gawking at the elderly man as he lay unconscious in the middle of the street. Other cars swerved from running over him and kept going their merry way. Thankfully, police say there were four 911 calls. Torres is listed in critical condition.

(Editor's Note: The following is a video of the accident, released by the Hartford Police Department. Some may find it disturbing to watch, so please use your own discretion. It's advised that young children should not watch the following.)

It’s despicable how a driver can hit anyone, let alone an elderly man, and keep on going. Torres was like a rag doll, tumbling head over feet when the car hit him, and at one point the car carried Torres several feet.

But how can anyone on the sidewalk or other drivers just stand there as precious time ticks away before a police car arrives at the scene, a whole 67 seconds after the accident?

Granted, it has been said that no one should move a person who has been in an accident for fear of causing further harm and to wait for trained medical personnel. But these people just stood there and gaped at him, as if they expected Torres to get up and start walking again. Cars passed by him and one person in an SUV parked to the side of the road right after the accident, but then drove off.

Fortunately, there were quick-thinking citizens who took action and called for help. The others could have stopped traffic to ensure that Torres wouldn’t get hit by another car.

They say that actions speak louder than words. However, these peoples’ inaction is deafening. It’s time that as a society that we start caring for each other and reach out with a helping hand when we can.

We simply cannot sit by anymore and watch another fellow human being suffer and hope someone else does the right thing.