02 April 2010

My Fair City

Just when we start thinking about what a busy and uncaring city Calgary has become, we are met with a rapid response and helpful strangers.

Yesterday, my son Parker was hit by an SUV on the McKenzie Towne traffic circle... just blocks from our home.

He's OK everyone... his bike is toast, but his body is fine... just a couple of bumps and bruises - he got off lucky.

I don't know much about the woman that hit him, only that we got her information and she's been cooperateive... so, I can't comment on if she was helpful or not, or even how helpful I would've been if I had been in her situation - hitting a kid on a bike is probably one of the worst things that can happen behind the wheel. And, I'm sure that she was pretty shaken up herself, I know I would've been. Her actions or reactions are not what this is about though.

I'm referring to the help that was given to my son at the scene and following by complete strangers.

My son was crossing the traffic circle when this happened - he was on his bike and was not wearing a helmet (one of the few times that he didn't put it on). Despite our efforts in teaching him the proper bicycle etiquette, he, like most kids don't dismount prior to crossing.

He waited for the cars to stop, then proceeded to cross the road, he passed the first vehicle but the second vehicle, an SUV, perhaps didn't see him and accelerated, hitting my son and running over his bike.

Traffic stopped immediately in both lanes, blocking the intersection for several minutes, much to the dismay and aggravation of drivers behind the accident. What happened next made me realize that there were still some caring people left in our city.

So, I would like to thank the witness, a man in the vehicle beside the one that hit my son, for stopping and helping sort things out. Many other people would've just driven by, and I'm sure of that based on the fact that my son reported people behind the accident honking in frustration as this accident held them up from things for a few minutes... a disrupted commute is something to be angry about, I guess.

This stranger got out of his car, checked on my son, retrieved his bike from under the SUV that hit him, gathered the details of the driver that hit my son, silenced the honking horns behind him and provided his information to my son as a witness. A heads up move on all fronts and makes me wonder what would have happened without his involvement and help.

The help from this stranger alone, gives us all hope that there are still some thoughtful and caring individuals out there.

We took Parker to the clinic last night, and he checked out fine, just some bumps and bruises. Like I said, he got very lucky.

Also, today, we contacted the police to make the formal report... the police station was closed for Good Friday, so we phoned with a non-emergency call, within 15 minutes there was a knock at the door and within minutes, a policeman was taking down our information and statement. This was also encouraging because our expectation was that we wouldn't hear from them until much, much later and likely in the middle of the dinner hour. Not that we think the police service is slow, it's just a realistic outlook based on the fact that today is a holiday and it was not a priority call in the scheme of things.

I guess it sometimes takes an unfortunate event like this to see the true colours of people, and from what I saw, I'm impressed.

So, kudos to the stranger for putting others (namely my son) ahead of himself and to the Calgary Police for their quick response and help with the process.

And, to my son - wear your damn helmet!

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