June 8, 2005
Do the right thing when no one's watching
Does anybody do the right thing any more?
Yes, and a case in point relates to a police report
coming from Texas. The woman who did the right thing
probably will never receive public recognition, but her
story is commendable and reassuring. Over and over, we
remind our readers that character is what folks do when
no one is watching. You can restore your confidence in
the goodness of people when you learn of the decisiveness,
courage and compassion of this young woman. She was driving
early one morning, at the speed limit, about 65 mph,
only to catch in her rearview mirror the sight of two
cars catching up to her rapidly.
She recognized that the speeding vehicles were weaving
close to one another and she became anxious. Noting the
cars were side by side, one in her lane, she knew to
move to the right to get out of the way. As the vehicles
passed she observed the drivers screaming and gesturing
crudely to one another.
Returning to her lane, and proceeding directly behind
them, only seconds later, one car bumped the other hard
enough to knock it sideways and then smash into it again,
creating a horrible out-of control spin and crash.
One car crashed head-on into the oncoming lane, while
the other driver sped away. Using her cell phone, the
alert observer called 9-1-1 and then increased her speed
until she could see the other vehicle, including its
license number. Returning to the accident scene, she
saw police officers removing dead bodies and trying to
reconstruct the accident. She was able to provide valuable
information and learned later in the day that the fleeing
driver had been apprehended.
Who expects modern-day drivers to place themselves
at risk to gather information for those in law enforcement?
Isn't that the job of police officers? In this instance,
the ordinary citizen - a decent and caring young woman
- accepted responsibility for making the world a better
place and went the extra mile, in this case, probably
several miles, at personal risk.
The lawbreaker is in custody. Whatever this individual
says to explain the road rage is simply unacceptable.
Accidental death with a motor vehicle is sickening, but
intentional vehicular homicide is incomprehensible.
The good from this story is the integrity of one young
Her actions are a reminder to be responsive to the needs
of others and a role model to do the right thing, even
when no one is watching.