It was Spring 1996. I was driving southbound on the Dallas North Tollway in Addison, Texas. A sport utility vehicle passed me on my left. As it got further up ahead, it suddenly lost control. It struck the median and rolled multiple times. I avoided it and immediately pulled over. I didn’t think about it. I just did it. Other drivers pulled over as well. We were the first responders. A ten year old girl was hanging upside down by her seat-belt on the passenger side. Several of us held the van steady so it did not roll while others extricated the unconscious girl from the vehicle. I was scared. I was worried about the van catching on fire. Others were as well. We did what we had to do. Get the girl out. Tragically, she died there on the highway. The vision of a doctor on the scene bawling like baby because he could not save her haunts me to this day.
I came upon a life or death situation. I made a split second decision to help. Many drivers drove on. Would I do it again? I’d like to think I would. I have no idea. There was no thought process. It was a reaction. I’d like to think I am a superhero. In reality, I am just Brian, a flawed human who gets scared. Maybe next time, fear and indecision take over and I drive on. I don’t know.
Fast forward to December 3, 2012. Ki-Suck Han, is pushed onto the NYC subway tracks by a homeless man. He was struck and killed while trying to climb back onto the platform. It is unclear if there was sufficient opportunity for someone to help him. What is clear is that no one did. What would you do? What would I do? Here is my take: