Sunday, April 20, 2008
Red Ferarri vs. shuttle bus for the disabled: Gravelly Lake Drive fatalities
My brother is dying from end-stage liver disease and was denied a liver transplant, because he is too weak, medically too fragile to have any hope of surviving the rigors of transplant surgery. He has been denied shuttle service from Pierce Transit for months and is effectively house-bound unless he can find a good-hearted neighbor who will drive him to the grocery store or to church. We take him to as many appointments as we can and we go out to see him as often as possible.
April 2 while stepping off of a Pierce Transit bus (regular bus, not a shuttle for the disabled) the bus was too far from the curb and as my brother stepped down, his knees buckled and he fell, landing on his head on the concrete sidewalk also injuring his right shoulder and both knees. We have been working ever since to get Pierce Transit to reconsider their denial of shuttle service for him: bad enough that he is dying from liver failure, diabetes, and congestive heart failure, but then to land on his head on concrete could have hastened his death.
I baked a penne pasta dish in our Auntie Mae's old Corningware lasagna pan late this morning to take to my brother's home for a shared Sunday dinner today.
As we neared his home a few blocks off of Gravelly Lake Drive at about 1:15 p.m., we encountered an accident scene and a roadblock that forced us to detour off Gravelly Lake Drive. When we emerged south of the accident, we could see part of the crash scene: a shuttle bus for the disabled had been involved in the crash; it was off the roadway and into a hedge on the east side of Gravelly Lake Drive, not far from the entrance to Lakewold Gardens. Police were on the scene. There were no fewer than six other vehicles (mostly what appeared to be supervisors' vans) from Pierce Transit and TransPro at the scene.
We eventually worked our way around the side streets to find my brother's house over by American Lake and didn't think about the accident scene again until after we had left his home 4 and 1/2 hours later at 5:30 and we once again encountered the roadblocks and utility crews cleaning up after the accident scene; all the Pierce Transit vehicles were gone then.
I got out of the car and asked one of the workers who was cleaning up the crash site what exactly had happened. He related that a young man who lived in one of the lovely homes along Gravelly Lake Drive decided to take his red Ferarri out for a spin and wind it up to see how fast it would go. He said that a shuttle bus had been T-boned by the racing Ferarri and two people were killed. He described seeing the aftermath, and described the carnage as "...horrific. You just can't imagine."
I felt numb with shock and saddened by the loss of life while simultaneously feeling relief that my brother had not been aboard that shuttle bus today.