Covered in a White Sheet

Yesterday, on my way to work, there was traffic. Lots of it. As usual, I guessed there was an accident, and there was. Normally when I get stuck in traffic, by the time I reach the area of the accident the most I ever see is the last of the tow trucks pulling away. Yesterday was different.

The bus crested the hill and we could see the cop cars, the ones that had been passing by us for the last twenty minutes. The road is five lanes, two each direction with a turn lane in the center, and the cops have three lanes, the two southbound and the turn lane, closed and are routing traffic through the two remaining lanes. As we approach, I notice that there aren’t any tow trucks, no fire engine, no wrecked cars. As we pass, I see trails of blood on the street, and human sized white lump with tennis shoes sticking out of it. The white sheet is stained with red in places, and the shoes are pointing in directions that two feet on the same person shouldn’t be pointing at the same time. There was a truck and a couple of cars pulled over, and there was a man, the truck driver from his dress, sitting on the curb crying. About a dozen cop cars were around, and everyone was waiting for the ambulance or the coroner to show up. And then we passed and continued down the road on our route.

I assumed that the truck had hit a pedestrian, since he was the one who was crying and being consoled by officers, but I wanted to know what happened. So I started to search the web… all the local news channel sites I could find… nothing. It seems that there was another accident earlier that morning in the Atlanta area, a 19 year old kid who was drunk or high was on the wrong side of the road and killed a woman in a head on collision. I found lots of stories on that, but none on the accident I can seen the aftermath of. Finally I did find something, on Scan Gwinnett, a website where they scan police and emergency freqencies and post stories and recordings. It turns out the truck had nothing to do with it… however, the pedestrian had been crossing the street and was hit by three cars. Police are still investigating, and so far no one has been charged, and they don’t know why the man was crossing the street there and not at one of the nearby lighted intersections.

I’d never actually seen a dead body not in a coffin before, technically I guess I still haven’t since I only saw shoes and a white sheet, and the whole thing kinda creeped me out. I felt sad even though I didn’t know the guy or any of the drivers, and I also felt angry because it was his own damn fault for not crossing at the light. And today I feel… differently sad, because this guy died and three people will live with having hit him, and lots of people saw the accident and the aftermath, but it wasn’t important enough to rate coverage by any of the local news stations. I mean, I can understand having to pick and choose what stories get airtime in the limited broadcast, but there is no limit on a website. Did none of their reporters even cover it? Was a story even written?

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