An Accident & A Tragedy

Earlier this month a local man in our area, took his eyes off the road while he fiddling with the CD player in his car.

As A. looked back up, he noticed he had drifted into another lane and rear-ended a motorcyclist, throwing him into the back of a delivery truck stopped in front of him.

The motorcycle driver died at the scene, and the driver of the car, well he died two weeks later when he jumped off an area bridge.

A. was 31 years young.

A. was a good man who loved everyone and would never intentionally hurt a living soul.

But what transpired after the initial accident made life unbearable for A.

Once the news reports hit social media, this young man became the victim of bullying at a level I have seen far too often online, causing me to wonder, is empathy non-existent today?

Facebook feeds of our local news filled with comments to this article. Many comments persecuted and judged this young man without even knowing him or anything about his character.

Comments like: “He was probably texting.”

“I hope they throw him in jail for life.” and much worse.

I wrote a post several months ago on empathy and why it is one of our most important qualities.

I wish the people who left such hateful comments on social media had read it before barfing all over the internet their disgust in a tragic accident.

But instead they sat behind their computer screens like the great and powerful Oz hid behind his curtain. Passing judgement on a person they not only didn’t associate with, but didn’t really care to know.

How many of us can remember a time when we were distracted while driving?

Kids screaming in the backseat, reaching for our cup of coffee, or scanning the radio stations, causing us to take our eyes off the road for just a few seconds.

Most of us have come close to being involved in an accident at one time or another.

I don’t know if A. read the online comments about the accident, but I am inclined to think he did.

I don’t know if by reading the comments, it led to A’s suicide, but I am inclined to believe they added to the excruciating inner turmoil he already felt.

I do know, that if we would remember to put ourselves in someone else’s place, even for a moment, perhaps, we could make our communities a little kinder.

I also know, our community lost two young souls this past month who impacted the hearts of many.

And they will both be missed.

KatieMae is a writer and encourager. She lives in Washington state with her husband and their three dachshunds. You can find her on Twitter @Katiemaeonline, or her website . Her first children’s book is scheduled to be released in 2017.

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