Saturday, October 30, 2010

One Brief Moment

I heard the sirens screaming as I scraped the frost from my windshield yesterday morning. There were many of them and they were close - and loud - a sure sign that something very bad had just happened not too far from my Windsor Road home.

It was an hour later when Missy called that I learned a 42-year-old mother had died and her eight-year-old daughter was airlifted to Maine Medical Center in Portland. Given that the accident occurred on a span of roadway between the Chelsea School and the Veterans Administration Hospital at Togus, Missy was part of a phone tree of Chelsea mothers who were calling each other to see if one of our school's families was involved in the crash.

More details emerged later in the day. The mother, Noella Peabody, lived in the neighboring town of Randolph; her child apparently attended that community's school. This information does nothing to relieve the heartache I feel for both families...the Peabodys and that of Arnold Bickford, the driver of the dump truck the Peabody vehicle struck.

I know from my past history as a newspaper reporter that it can sometimes take days or even weeks for police investigators to sort out the details of a fatal car accident. For me, all of the details are inconsequential except for two - that a mother my age lost her life less than two miles from my home and that two families have been forever changed. All this...in one brief moment.

Knowing what transpired on the Togus Road yesterday morning, I took a slightly different route home from my Augusta office late yesterday afternoon, one that had me pass by the accident scene. Aside from a few marks on the asphalt and a trench gouged into the ground just off the roadway, there was little to indicate an accident had occurred.

After easing my van to the opposite shoulder and parking, I paused to offer a prayer for the families involved in the crash and all the emergency personnel and medical providers who responded to it.

They are in my prayers again this morning as I type this post and think how one brief moment can change the lives of any of us.

I hope you'll keep them in your prayers too.

1 comment:

  1. How horrible - my heart goes out to all of them.

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