Many stories about acts of heroism start off with an act of villainy, that's the case here. A lady 72 years young was pushing her cart east along State Street in Scottville, near High Street at about 2:45 PM on Tuesday, February 16th. Even though it's one of Scottville's two main streets, she had no sidewalk to walk on, just the slushy street. The three lanes allowed vehicles to safely pass her on the roadway that she had every right to be on.
One driver, for whatever reason, didn't decide to safely pass this lady and ran head-on into her. This was not an act of villainy at this point, it became that when the driver didn't stop to help her and contact the authorities for medical assistance. They continued on leaving this seriously injured older woman lying in the slush.
Exit the villain, enter the heroes. A group of four young women from the eastern part of the county were headed home after going out to West Shore Community College and passed this scene. They stopped, called 9-1-1, and went over to assist the prone victim.
The damage was rather severe, it looked as if she had suffered a skull fracture, broken ribs, a shattered ankle, and more. It wasn't pretty and these women were likely not medical professionals due to the tenderness of their ages.
Yet, they helped this suffering stranger by providing her their jackets, keeping her out of the cold muck as much as possible, talking encouragingly to her to keep her alert/optimistic, and waiting many long minutes before help finally arrived. All while risking their own lives by doing all of that on the very street the victim was hit.
These four women proved by their selfless acts that heroism is not accidental, it's within all of us rising to the occasion when it would be easier just to keep driving on. Like the villain.
If you accidentally run into these women thank them for their heroic actions that day:
I see 3 at faults regarding this situation. 1. The driver that hit her should receive jail time for a hit and run. 2.The City of Scottville should be sued for not providing sidewalks. 3. The woman must take responsibility for walking on a busy street under poor road conditions.
Hit and run is a very serious offense especially when someone is injured. I hope the acting City Manager can find the time to do a complete investigation, if he hasn't forgotten how to do is main job.
Scottville should make plans to install sidewalks on all City streets especially busy ones.
Did the woman who was injured have any other way to get around? Friends, family members, neighbors? Everyone has a responsibility not to put themselves in dangerous situations and she must be held responsible for her part in this. I hope she is going to be OK. Those ladies should be lauded for their actions.
If one assigns blame in this incident it should be suitably weighted. According to the reports I've heard:
3) the woman was walking lawfully on the 'city street', against traffic as close to the road edge as practical, can we fault her for trying to get from point A to point B in perhaps the only way possible for her? We shouldn't lay blame on a person solely because of their mode of transportation if they are doing it as safely as conditions permit.
2) the City has a degree of complicity for allowing an unsafe condition to persist in that area. I worked for the bean factory Stokely back when they were on the footprint of the current mushroom factory, and walked or rode bicycle to and from work along that portion of road; I also regularly rode on it for years when delivering papers around Scottville as a kid. I recognized it as risky back then when I was a teenager, I would be surprised if the smart people on the city commission of the time (and since) did not. This accident should spur a conversation to address that problem, and if they dodge the issue, they should be held to account in future accidents that will happen on this stretch.
1) the driver had an additional lane to pass, the pedestrian would have been visible in an early afternoon without snow, and they hit the woman, then decided to leave the scene. 911 radio traffic indicates the person was guilty of two alcohol related driving citations in the past. There is plenty of blame to put upon this person, and the only issue is that it totally clouds out the other issues which should be discussed that you touched upon:
a) the stretch is risky to walk upon (especially in winter)
b) the city is not addressing that risk in an acceptable way