Eyewitness!

Intersection CrashI was driving through Nanaimo on a day off and approching an intersection showing me a green light. Just as I entered, I heard a loud crash and glanced to my left. One vehicle had attempted a turn across the highway and had gotten into the way of oncoming traffic.

I glanced into my rearview mirror and watched the car cross over the highway behind me and stop in the ditch. What to do now?

If I weren't a traffic cop, the decision might not be so simple. I went on to the next intersection, turned back, identified myself to the constable who had arrived and asked if I could lend a hand.

What goes through the mind of a driver who doesn't deal with collisions regularly? Should they turn and go back, or is it easier to say "other people have stopped, they don't need me, I'll keep going." What if you don't know any first aid? Worse still, what if someone is dead?

Maybe you can't help with things like this, but you still have something very important to contribute: information. You may be the only witness that can provide crucial information to the investigation that the police cannot obtain in any other way. If you carry on that information will be lost forever.

If you just can't find it within yourself to go back to the crash scene, at the very least pick up the phone when you get to your destination. Call the police and tell them what you saw. Arrangements will be made to take a brief statement from you in the manner that is most convenient.

You will have done the right thing and can now expect that if the roles were reversed, someone else must come to your aid.

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