For Whom The Bell Tolls

Topic 30189 | Page 1

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Chief Brody's Comment
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Some of you may know the meaning of that phrase, and therefore the content of this post. Considering the number of miles that we drive, we are bound to encounter, personally, many things happen on the highways that many others only hear about. Yesterday, I came upon a fatal accident.

I was traveling on Utah 14, which I have posted about before. I decided to take Utah 14 because it was the quickest, albeit somewhat challenging, route. And since I was not pressed for time yesterday, I wanted to get some photos and videos of the route. I will post those in the Postcards from the Road Thread as soon as I can get the videos to upload.

While approaching one of the many curves on Utah 14, I saw a guy waving his arms up and down indicating me to slow down. As I rounded the corner, I saw an obvious accident scene. After further survey, I could tell it involved motorcycles. The accident must have just happened because I was one of the first vehicles in the stopped traffic.

I saw some people standing around a figure laying on the ground. No one in the group appeared to be administering first aid. So, I grabbed my first aid kit and went to see if I could help. As I walked toward the group, I could see a wrecked Harley Street Glide in the ditch. When I got to the group of people, I saw the figure laying on the ground had his face covered with a sweatshirt. Although the meaning was clear, I asked the group if he was dead, and a guy in motorcycle leathers said yes. I asked if there was anyone else who need medical attention. The guy in the leathers said it was just him and the guy on ground. So, no.

I walked further and saw another motorcycle that had crashed into a fallen Aspen tree. It was the bike of the guy who told me about his friend. The tree, and bike blocked the left lane and most of the right lane. One person in the group said there was a construction crew with a Bobcat excavator that was going to move the tree. In very short time, the Aspen was pulled into the ditch and then the excavator operator used the blade on the front to clear the remaining branches.

I and three other guys helped the motorcycle rider pick up his bike and move it off the road.

After talking to the rider and the other people who witnessed the accident, apparently the high winds had blown over the Aspen right on the lead rider, pulling him off his bike. The trailing rider was able to mostly stop, but still ended up hitting the tree.

I got back in my truck to finish the last few miles to Cedar City. You can see the first responders coming from Cedar City in the videos linked in the Postcards from the Road thread.

While driving along, I reflected on how quickly a life can end. I didn’t know if these two riders were locals or had come out west to ride the desert back roads. Regardless, what had been a leisurely ride through some beautiful scenery ended in tragedy. I also thought about how the dead rider’s family or friends probably still did not know what happened and how much the news would change their lives. I’m sure it would be a while for the surviving rider to deal with the accident scene before he started calling family and friends. And the details of the accident scene that I had witnessed first-hand and immediately, would slowly unfold for the dead rider’s family and friends, along with the shock of their loss.

Many know of Ernest Hemingway’s book “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” but you may not know that the book got the title from a John Donne poem “No Man is an Island.” I have copied poem below.

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were. as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

That is a horrible thing to have to witness, even after the fact. I highly respect that you were willing to offer any help you could. It takes a brave person to approach a scene like that and try to help. Were you a first responder of some kind before you started driving?

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

That is a horrible thing to have to witness, even after the fact. I highly respect that you were willing to offer any help you could. It takes a brave person to approach a scene like that and try to help. Were you a first responder of some kind before you started driving?

I did get my EMT Basic license but never used it. I basically got it as a super Advanced First Aid Course.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Chief Brody, thank you!

I’m eternally grateful for the life we live, the tragedies we avoid and the goodness we can give. As tragic as a life lost is, I pray I can go doing what I love, and as swift as this one did. 🙏

Scott M's Comment
member avatar

Chief Brody, thanks! Very sobering account, but real life, and something we all have to deal with. A 1/2 mile from my house I came across a motorcycle death, one vehicle only. It too, had just happened. 2 cars had stopped. 2 men were standing there waiting for police and emergency vehicles. They covered the man with a small blanket, with both legs exposed. Something happened to the man, maybe heart attack. He was in his 50’s. I never heard if autopsy was done. He drove into right ditch, then crossed the road, drove into left ditch. I’m sure it happened quickly. A lady, friend of deceased, stopped by my house. I told her exactly what curve where it happened.

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

Chief Brody, thanks! Very sobering account, but real life, and something we all have to deal with. A 1/2 mile from my house I came across a motorcycle death, one vehicle only. It too, had just happened. 2 cars had stopped. 2 men were standing there waiting for police and emergency vehicles. They covered the man with a small blanket, with both legs exposed. Something happened to the man, maybe heart attack. He was in his 50’s. I never heard if autopsy was done. He drove into right ditch, then crossed the road, drove into left ditch. I’m sure it happened quickly. A lady, friend of deceased, stopped by my house. I told her exactly what curve where it happened.

Rob

Scott M., I just read your bio and realize we have three things in common: 1) trucking, 2) from Missouri (Ballwin here), and 3) got the proverbial "letter in the mail, go to war or go to jail" in January 1991. I was living in Orange County, California at the time. Ended up spending three weeks in Hawaii

Rob. D.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Wow, Rob D.

This gave me chills. Tom had been in a similar situation in 2006, 3 years new. It's nothing he'll forget.

Reminds me of John Donne's Sonnet 10, as well.

Thanks for sharing,

~ Anne ~

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