There was a horrid accident last weekend, caused by a drunk driver running down a pedestrian. Leaving the victim lying on the hood with the head stuck clear through the windshield into the car. The driver not stopping but driving on a few hundred meters and then trying to run away after being stopped by another car. As far as is known, the victim fights for his life in hospital after suffering severe head injuries.

The incident was mentioned in every town newspaper the following day. But while the so-called serious papers brought a written note, the widely read BZ (Berliner Zeitung) brought it on the front page and – right after a two-pager on the Clinton-Trump debate – made it their second, two page lead story. With pictures of the car complete with smashed windshield and a full page photograph of the culprit (with a black stripe across his eyes). This picture clearly was taken on a golf outing of the man, wearing golf gear and holding a driver in his hand.

To be exposed in such a way I think is disgraceful. He was described in a way, that everybody can find out in two seconds, who he is, giving his first name in full, his second with the first letter, his occupation, sneering at his way of life. What a horrid thing to happen to anyone. Drunk driving, causing another human to almost die, is bad enough. But I can not fathom him trying to run away on purpose, it must have been shock. Just imagine, there is a head stuck through your windshield, bleeding on you. Who wouldn’t panic. If it weren’t for shock, everybody in their right mind would have called for help, rang the ambulance, somehow tried to help the victim.

Don’t get me wrong. I feel like everybody, it is inexcusable to risk other peoples lives, driving under the influence. As far as I’m concerned, not only the victim’s life might be over, the same happened to the culprit. He is going to be charged with hit-and-run as well as negligent assault, even negligent homicide,  if the victim doesn’t survive, the paper says. Fair enough, no problem there. I don’t think he will ever be able to sleep well, after this. Fair enough. But after this public exposure, so much more is ruined. He doesn’t have friends in the media, so much is clear after this report.

Why do I mention this incident here? Because I am in two minds. I first thought, this would pass. But it doesn’t. The thing keeps creeping back into my mind. Not only is the image of the industry, I work in, smeared again (oh, those rich, reckless golfers). That’s a minor disruption. I know the man causing the accident in person, he is a regular guest at my workplace. And I have to say, I never liked him at all. But I drive sometimes with one glass too many, too. This makes me feel lousy. Guilty. And at the same time lucky, because I have not caused an accident so far. I have to seriously re-consider my own behaviour. And second, albeit disliking the man in question, I can’t help but thinking, that noone can wish ones worst enemy such a thing to happen to. Somehow, I feel sad for the guy causing such a horrible thing. This really is the first positive emotion toward this individual, I am able to remember. I really don’t understand myself.

2 thoughts on “horrid

  1. You know I am not religious (either) but there is a powerful sentiment: “There, but for the Grace of God, go I.” I think your reaction means that your ability to empathize with others is so strong that you suffer with both victim AND perpetrator. That is a wonderful thing about you.

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