The hard things you have to do…even to strangers

Yes, it’s an odd topic, but well fitting, I think. A couple of years ago, we were driving home on a nearly deserted 2 lane highway when we came up behind a vehicle that was swerving a bit more than usual. The third time the car crossed the center line (severely), I told my husband to call the police. I turned off the radio and read him off the plate number. My husband stayed on the phone and well behind the car all the while describing to the 911 operator where we were, and soon enough the police were on the way. At the T intersection to our town, we went left and he was stopped waiting to go right. We pulled out and heard and saw the sirens coming up from behind him. Soon, more police cars passed us coming from the other direction. Luckily, they caught up with the car before it got out onto the other highway, the one with more traffic. It’s a scary thing to think about. What if it was someone who needed medical attention, then it was a good thing we called, and if they were a potential drunk driver, it was perhaps an even better thing that we called. It was a hard thing to do, even to a stranger. But at that time I just wondered, what if he’d slammed on the brakes, what if he’d crossed the line again with another car coming. What if there were kids in that car? Could we live with it if someone died because we didnt’ take action? The answer was no. We made the call. I may not have been brave enough on my own. But at least while we were around, the driver of the car didnt hurt anyone. We never found out what happened. But it doesnt matter. We know that we made the right choice. For the greater good, we did the hard thing, we may have put someone in jail, or gotten an ill person to the hospital, a stranger. No regrets.


  1. last year I was with aunt and cousin driving through a narrow part of the Columbia Gorge that is two lane highway.
    The car in front of us was doing that… eratic swaying. We dialed 911, but we were in an area where the cell coverage was minimal. We got a small towns 911 center and they said we needed to call the State Patrol. We did call – but the car turned off before we could confirm all the info.

    That was on friday. On Monday a car doing the same thing in the very same area caused a 3 car crash killing a young mother.

    I often wondered if it was the same driver.

  2. Jill,
    My dad died in a car accident when I was 12. He had been drinking. I don’t think he was *drunk*, but he’d had enough to slow his reaction time. He hit another car coming around a curve. I have always been thankful that the man in the other car was alright. *I*, even at 12 would have always felt guilt and shame if the other man had been hurt. Instead, I’m just sad my dad had to miss so much of his life, of my life, and ALL of my kids’ lives. He was a great dad and he would have been a wonderful grandfather.

    Thank you for calling that person in. You did the right thing. That person may not realize that they should be thanking you too, but sadly that isn’t the sort of thing you do realize until too late. Maybe you saved some innocent bystander or maybe that driver will just be around to see his or her grandkids.


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