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  1. #1
    Senior Member mpop's Avatar
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    Helping after seeing a car crash

    Wondering what you all would do in this case. Monday while biking home after work, I was in witness of a major accident (bad enough that one of the drivers had to be taken out on a stretcher)

    But my question is this, right after the accident 2 US marines and I were the first there (well first that stopped to help if needed) Well the marines start to take control till the police come by, and I am told to help them direct traffic (so I compile, I must have looked stupid standing there in my bike shorts, jersey, and my helmet on) well at one point as a bus (school bus) as she drives by gets pissed that I am not a police officer directing traffic.

    So what would you guys all do in such a situation. Would you have directed traffic.

    I don't believe I did anything wrong as when the police came by he thanked me for helping.
    Michael P. O'Connor
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  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    You did the right thing..
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    You always stop and help when people need it. It's always the right thing to do. If it were you that needed the help, you would have wanted someone to do exactly what you did.

  4. #4
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    I would help, until police fire, etc get there and then give my statement and get out of the way.

    I did this just yesterday (i was driving)..... fortunately despite a person running a red light and hitting another car, no one took an ambulance ride.

    The cops said thanks......

    A couple of things to remember, keep yourself safe first, unless the cars are burning etc, best to not move any body .....people who are amped on adrenilin and in shock may think they are not hurt.....

    you did good
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  5. #5
    Senior Member mpop's Avatar
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    I am not asking if stopping to help (that is a giving you should stop), but asking should I have done the helping on directing traffic, but not sure if I would have been any help if I did not do that.
    Michael P. O'Connor
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  6. #6
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    If you think directing traffic was helpful, then by all means, you should have directed traffic.

  7. #7
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    As long as you are comfortable directing traffic, then yes that's what you should have done in this case. Good job.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  8. #8
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    as a person with both first aid and some modest traffic directing experience, yes, I would not have had any issues helping. I do understand the implications of directing traffic while not wearing full traffic direction get up- you just don't look offficial. I was on site first aid at the end of a big construction job and way towards the end I was just spending a lot of time "spotting" man lifts hangin out with "flag girls" so I would cover for them on pee breaks or helping move the lifts etc. its kind of a wierd feeling just walking out into traffic and putting your hand up to make people stop. (especially when you arn't even bothering to wear a hard hat or reflectors as would be y;our case
    All You Haters Suck My Pawls.

  9. #9
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    attitude of random school bus driver<act of stepping forward to help strangers in crisis

    Good on you.

  10. #10
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    There is nothing as creepy as an accident scene before emergency response arrives. You just do what you can. Of course your experience highlights the absurdity of the human condition. One person's serious accident is viewed as a mere inconvenience to others.

  11. #11
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I probably would have taken the helmet off, but other than that you do what you have to do. FWIW I almost always have a highway worker type reflective vest with me, even when riding a bike. Throwing one of those on is a definite plus and will help. As far as the bus driver with a pissy attitude? I would report her to district she drives for.

    You did what needed to be done. My biggest concern around accidents is that the damned drivers are paying too much attention to what happened rather than what they need to be doing to get past it safely.

    Aaron
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  12. #12
    LCI #1853
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    "... 'but a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. ... Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor to him tht fell among the thieves?' And he said, 'He that shewed mercy on him." Then said Jesus unto him, 'Go, and do thou likewise.'"
    Just a little reminder from Sunday school, but we don't do much wrong when we help a neighbor or evena stranger who has fallen into misfortune. Part of my job requires it, but I keep my first aid and CPR certification up to date, and I often stop to at least check on another rider whether it's a flat or other misfortune. I carry a first aid kit pert near any time I'm riding.

    At any rate, you done good, and that's never bad.

  13. #13
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    I think you did fine. Even if you had emergency medical training, job one is minimizing risk of more damage. Traffic control is part of it. Mental health intervention for the school bus driver would be far down on the priority list.
    George
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  14. #14
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    you done good.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  15. #15
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Always chose to be a force for good, you did us proud.

    FWIW A come back I have been thinking about "If this is what you have to complain about you must live a blessed life."
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  16. #16
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Sometimes I think it's easier, as a cyclist rather than a driver, to get involved in such a situation. Being in a car passing by a major accident it doesn't help to stop, pull over etc if the simple fact of your car being in the way may will make it more difficult for emergency personnel to get to the vehicles and people involved. But the bike can be quickly stashed out of the way and the cyclist can provide some assistance.

    Last year around this time of year there was a major crash on Storrow Drive, which runs right along the bike path I ride on, it happened only moments before I pulled up- in fact, I watched it happen from a distance. No one was taking charge so I did. There were children in one of the cars and the adults had been rendered unconscious and/or injured but the kids were shaken up but okay. We got them out of the overturned car and away from further danger and a couple of women immediately tended to them and got them settled. It's often not good to move people that look twisted or in precarious positions unless there is a danger of fire but it's worth it to make sure nothing is obstructing their breathing or, as in this case, if the car is turned upside down to make sure they are not being strangled by a seat belt or even their own clothing. With some direction people were more than willing to make sure those people still in the cars were breathing/able to breathe and if conscious, someone to reassure them that help was on the way. Because there was some leaking gas we sent one person along the line of cars for a fire extinguisher, which I was surprised was quickly made available from someone in a work van, another person was directed to put sand on the fuel, which they scraped up from the side of the road. All of this happened remarkably fast once people started to get in motion.

    By then it was obvious traffic on both sides of Storrow had basically come to a standstill as people watched and no emergency vehicle would be able to get through. I was still wearing my yellow bike helmet and reflective vest so it made perfect sense for me to direct traffic and get things moving. Within minutes of my doing so emergency vehicles were on the scene. At that point I cleared the area, got to my bike and got out of there to leave the rest to the professionals without me being in the way.

    I can't imagine not lending some assistance as long as I wasn't in the way.

    Basically, my long winded way of saying I definitely think you did the right thing.

  17. #17
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    I don't get involved. Someone involved in the accident may be from this forum, in which case, they'll have some reason to complain about being helped.

    -Kurt

    P.S.: A&S humor aside, nice work there, Buzzman.

  18. #18
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    I've done the exact same thing at an accident scene, so how could I do anything BUT commend you for it? You did the right thing.

    People like that stupid-a** bus driver need the grow up and realize that someone doesn't HAVE to be an authority figure to tell them to do the right thing.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Maybe a note to the school district mentioning time, place, and comment by the driver would be appropriate.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  20. #20
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    OP you did good. +1 on reporting the school bus driver.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Shadowex3's Avatar
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    OP did the right thing, it's sometimes easy to fall into second-guessing yourself like this but you shouldn't. It's a universal constant that people wish the world was a better place... well, what you did was help make it one.

    So what would you guys all do in such a situation. Would you have directed traffic.
    I would have done whatever I was qualified to do for as long as I was capable. I'm kinda biased on this though since it's not just a strong recommendation for me but an order straight from the top.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Sometimes I think it's easier, as a cyclist rather than a driver, to get involved in such a situation. I can't imagine not lending some assistance as long as I wasn't in the way...

    Basically, my long winded way of saying I definitely think you did the right thing.
    100+ All the above posts in this thread are good answers. In particular I think the following was insightful, and isn't this what we often think of as a cager mentality?:

    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep View Post
    There is nothing as creepy as an accident scene before emergency response arrives. You just do what you can. Of course your experience highlights the absurdity of the human condition. One person's serious accident is viewed as a mere inconvenience to others.
    A well-known curmudgeonly talk show host in Boston has an adage, "No good deed goes unpunished." I don't subscribe to this philosophy, and I have helped motorists (and cyclists) in distress, but wouldn't it be a bummer if some creep stole your bicycle during the chaos of an accident scene? I'm just sayin' be careful out there.
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 04-17-10 at 05:08 AM.

  23. #23
    DON'T PANIC!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpop View Post
    But my question is this, right after the accident 2 US marines and I were the first there (well first that stopped to help if needed) Well the marines start to take control till the police come by, and I am told to help them direct traffic (so I compile, I must have looked stupid standing there in my bike shorts, jersey, and my helmet on) well at one point as a bus (school bus) as she drives by gets pissed that I am not a police officer directing traffic.
    In an accident or emergency situation one person is in control; usually those with the most experience in the incident ( random person < police < medical personnel < fire cheif < .... ). You follow their direction ( within reason ) until told otherwise, they could tell you to juggle on the street corner and you should until told otherwise.

    You did the right thing and I'm sure had the bus driver known the situation they would not have complained.

    I would have done the same.

  24. #24
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    I would do the same thing you did

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    A couple of things to remember, keep yourself safe first, unless the cars are burning etc, best to not move any body .....people who are amped on adrenilin and in shock may think they are not hurt.....
    In CA there is one case where a good samaritan was successfully sued in court by a party involved in the accident so it would be wise to be careful of one's actions in such a situation.

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