My mom told me that the the belly-up, bright blue car, along with one of its passengers, died in the crash. The living brother purchased himself a one-way ticket to a gray, metal cage where the murderers go. It then made sense to me why flashing red and blue lights greeted me as I made my way home with a full stomach, and why cars lined up in disarray behind the lights, unable to cross the threshold to the accident-free zone. I’ll bet my car was the last to pass through, though the cars before me exhibited behavior comparable to mine: decelerate, steer clear of the bright blue shards, proceed.
Like a lifeline, my grumbling stomach propelled me (and my car) forward towards the grease-filled pizza waiting for me. I barely noticed the cerulean car on the side of the road, the two brothers inside of it, and the one brother who can tell the full story today. I dismissed the passionate, remorseful hugs and the workers by the nearby Lexus as they rushed towards the vibrant blue, though reason should have instructed me to pay attention to a car belly-up. I have seen enough bugs in my life to understand that flailing limbs and a stomach facing the sky usually indicate weakness or death. Yet I drove past, only slowing a little, slightly remorseful over the accident, but more driven by my zeal for food. Many would consider my behavior to be comparable to that of a normal teenager, even a normal human being; I find it heartless.
We pass by accidents on the road every day, many of us not even giving them a second thought. The media discusses these accidents, though many of us tune out, as listening to the sad truth is depressing. Perhaps, if we tune in, we will find that these stories exemplify more than 'just another accident,' a statistic floating around in the realm of a myriad of other statistics. In fact, since there is an infinite amount of numbers in this world, there is technically an infinite number of statistics, an infinite number of numbers to boggle our minds.
So here’s a statistic for you now. On average, 3287 people die in car crashes every day. The stranger in the bright blue car is now reduced to a part of that statistic, a number representing the millions of other strangers in bright blue cars who have come and gone without a fair trial.
Behind every statistic, there's a story, and behind every story, there's an event provoking it. We read some of these stories, but we don't truly understand their magnitudes until we experience them first-hand. And even then, we often choose to overlook the trauma in favor of our most immediate needs or our innocence. But there's only so much time in our lives before we witness the spilled blood of others.
In researching the tragedy, I found that the supposedly intoxicated brother was charged with homicide and aggravated driving for the death of his brother, a politician and fireman. I found testimonials on the brothers, many claiming the innocence of the drunk driver and the benevolence of the man who died, a man said to have touched the lives of so many through his selfless work. I did not have to search long and hard to find the story, though I suspect that few took the time to research ‘just another accident’.The living brother was imprisoned on account of his own actions and the dead one on account of his brother’s actions. But I roam free, knowing that I overlooked a tragedy, and that I was not the only one.