It seems like it happens with every long, holiday weekend.
Folks tend to let loose, have a few drinks more than they should and get behind the wheel of a car.
Impaired driving, distracted driving, reckless driving, they all run the risk of seriously injuring someone and damaging their property, leaving the innocent parties asking the question, “why?”
Case in point:
I live on a quiet little street in the Burholme section of Northeast Philadelphia. It’s a single-lane, two-way street, with cars parked on both sides. The traveling lane is so small that motorists have to pull over into a free parking space in order to yield to oncoming traffic.
With such tight parking and living spaces, I feel fortunate to have such friendly and welcoming neighbors.
However, I didn’t immediately feel so friendly when they came knocking on my door at approximately 3 a.m. this morning to tell me that my car was involved in an apparent accident.
“Really, Who is this Guy?”
When I stepped out onto my front porch, the immediate shock of the absurd scene before me slapped away any lingering desires for sleep.
Under the streetlamp’s dim light, I could make out several of my neighbors milling around my car, which was (and still is) parked in front of my house; as well as, around my neighbor’s van, parked perfectly parallel across the street.
They were also checking out the gold Nissan Maxima, wedged in between our two vehicles.
What I didn’t see was any signs of the driver of the offending car.
Noticing the same thing, my roommate asked the question burning in all our minds:
“Really, who is this guy?”
While several of my neighbors, as well as my roommates, heard a loud “bang” minutes before peeking out their windows, no one actually witnessed the apparent accident.
But they think the story’s pretty clear:
The driver of the gold Maxima was heading down our particularly long block, missing every single car until sideswiping the entire passenger side of mine. The driver apparently overcorrected the mistake, and knocked into my neighbor’s van across the street.
Trying to correct that mistake, the driver then backed up, now hitting the front portion of my car, resulting in one stuck gold Maxima.
Presumebly, the driver then gave up, and walked off into the night.
Furthermore, when the Second District Philadelphia Police officer arrived, it was revealed that the driver left everything behind:
- His cell phone
- His cigarettes
- His parking tickets
- His half-eaten Wawa hoagie
After the officer, who I have to say was patient and kind with me, took my report, he went on to take down those of my neighbors. I believe I overheard that the driver actually lives around the corner, just two blocks away from where he left his car. What’s more, I also understand that there’s a warrant out for his arrest.
The Only Thing We Have to Fear ...
I’m glad no one was hurt in the incident (well, I’m assuming if the driver was able to walk away, then he’s ok). I’ve no idea the extent or how much the damage will be. Hopefully, it’s only cosmetic and I can get on with my daily business – just the battle scars most city cars shamefully wear.
And, whether the above story is accurate or not, I can’t say for sure until I get a copy of the police report (the cop went directly to the driver’s residence afterward). However, I’m confident in this conjecture of a story, because, frankly, incidents like this are not so unheard of anywhere you go – which is truly sad.
It’s sad, because you can’t really give this guy the benefit of the doubt.
Leaving all your personal possessions, abandoning your vehicle in the middle of a street, and causing a completely avoidable accident in the first place suggests that the driver was impaired, reckless or distracted (I think that the half-eaten hoagie was Italian).
It’s increased incidents over holiday weekends such as this that law-enforcement personnel work even harder to keep us safe. In fact, several times throughout the year, Upper Moreland Police chief Thomas Nestel often relays to Patch the fact that police will have increased presence and DUI checking over holiday weekends. In these articles, he makes his public service announcement on being responsible and considerate of others when enjoying the weekend – but, unfortunately, incidents such as mine are still rampant.
People still make poor choices.
Like I said, I’m glad nobody got hurt and the damage is (hopefully) minimal, and, I agree with my neighbors, it could have been worse.
But, to the gentleman with the gold Maxima and to anyone else thinking of overdoing it this Memorial Day weekend, please remember: No one should have to live in fear, because of your poor choices.