Crosswalks are Dangerous

Yesterday, while everyone else was out marching and showing their support for people who come in to this country to do the jobs that “no American wants to do” (such a load of crap), I was actually really helping someone who was an immigrant.
I was walking from from Shalimar on Polk Street and coming up to Pine and Hyde. I suddenly hear this quick screech of tires, followed by a sickening rub and then a voice yelling. I looked over at the crosswalk through all these sounds to see a car at an angle across the crosswalk with a guy holding a little girl trapped under the car. No, I didn’t suddenly get super human powers and lift the car or anything, I just stood there for a brief second like an idiot. Thankfully the guy didn’t get crunched up that badly (as I could tell) and was able to set down the little girl and pull himself out from under the car, minus one sandal.
As this point, I walked up and checked out the guy who looked pretty scraped up and probably had some soft tissue damage by being hit by a freakin’ car. The little girl appeared dazed, but all right. The driver got out and thankfully didn’t drive off as a lot do these days. We all just stood there for a second trying to figure out what next to do. Some other people looked on as well but didn’t really do anything and didn’t hang around. Crappy losers.
Realizing that his car was blocking all three lanes of Pine and that the guy who was hit could stand somewhat, I told the driver to pull his car off to the side of the street. He did that and we all cleared off the street. I asked the injured fellow if he needed help and he got a little upset with me, probably thinking that it was a stupid question. As I looked down and saw he was bleeding, I realize that it was a stupid question and called 911.
Okay, so here’s where I got annoyed with things. The 911 service for San Francisco is, in a word, “fucked”. When you call up, you have to go through this whole recording and it takes something like 30 seconds to a minute before you get to a real person. Not to be dramatic, but really, someone could die in this amount of time. Then, there are also some shrieking modem sounds that were happening as well. My call nearly got lost, but thankfully the operator found me again. This is appalling. I just hope that if I or anyone close to me has to rely on this piss poor system that it gets fixed somehow and soon.
The other thing that made me very annoyed and rather saddened was that the driver tried to offer the guy he hit some amount of money, so that I guess this all wouldn’t get reported. While I was only an observer to all of this, I almost told the driver to shove it because he was talking to a man that was obviously in shock from just getting run over by a car. We all screw up at some point and you simply gotta fess up to your mistakes. At any rate, it was too late, since the cops showed up and it was quickly record at that point.
Long story short, I gave the cops my information, the paramedics and fire showed up, and everyone did what they were trained to do. I now have a new respect for what my brother does, seeing these folks in action first hand. After the cop took my report, I was pretty much useless. I realized that if I did anything, I would be in the way of the four firefighters and four medics who were there to help, so I walked off, just feeling kind of funny about doing that, but I didn’t know what else to do. I even checked with the cop again to make sure that was okay and he told me I should go on my way.
The moral of the story I suppose is that when shit happens, help people out. I’m caucasian, the guy who was hit was Middle Eastern, and the driver was black. You can’t draw any conclusions from any of this though as we’re all fellow humans and we have to work through these things regardless of race.
Another moral is don’t stop looking both ways when walking across the street. You never know when some older fellow in a Chevy four door is going to not see you.