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No heroes in needless death of I-88 motorist

Published: Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, March 10, 2014 1:48 p.m. CDT

The recent, unfortunate death of a motorist on Interstate 88 may reveal an undesirable side effect to the social indoctrination of fear that encourages 911 calls while simultaneously discouraging (amid safety concerns and legal ramifications) further citizen involvement.

Isn’t it rather unconscionable that this simple rescue failed so miserably when multiple callers repeatedly and accurately pinpointed the exact position of a pedestrian (in obvious distress and signaling for help) at, incidentally, the same location that his frozen body was discovered hours later and within a quarter mile of his disabled vehicle?

Did responders (supposedly on the scene even as additional calls were incoming) physically exit their vehicles and thoroughly search the area in question, or did they simply drive by? Common sense would dictate at least one of the callers (if not morally compelled to render aid) would have volunteered, or should have been asked by dispatch, to remain at the scene until help arrived.

No matter how you slice it, in this particular case, somebody dropped the ball, and there were no heroes.

Although “cirrhosis of the liver” seems, somehow, to shift an element of blame to the victim, his alcohol level is largely irrelevant, considering that those experiencing any disabling, medical emergency (heart attack, stroke, dementia, etc.) might, under similar conditions, suffer a similar fate.

I’m sorry, but I was raised in an American society in which no responsible person would even consider the abandonment of a stranded motorist in need.

We’ve become accustomed to big city apathy, but barring any unreported, mitigating circumstances, I must convey my personal shame and revulsion that this needless loss of life occurred in our immediate community.

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