Wednesday, September 7, 2011

U Is For Unimaginable

The following story is based on an actual event that took place in Tigerton, WI in 1981.

The first time I saw a dead body, I was nine years old. We were visiting my mother's aunt in Tigerton. She was residing in a nursing home and enjoyed having visitors even if we were naughty. We were all outside enjoying the warm summer evening. Crickets were chirping and the smell of lilacs lingered in the air. The street lamps were beginning to turn on. My sister and I were in the back yard chasing a kitten, when we heard brakes screeching and then a loud thump. We ran around the corner of the building and saw a car stopped in the roadway. Everything was silent. Then there was screaming. People were running down the hill toward the road including my mother. Naturally we followed, although our great aunt told us not to. We could hear the piercing sounds of sirens wailing. What I saw haunted my dreams and will stay with me forever.


Love Lives On. Three small words inscribed on a tombstone of a mother and daughter I only met through death. She was 19. Her daughter 2.

When we got to the road, I saw a man throwing up in the ditch. He was sobbing. He chose to drink and drive and his actions ended the lives of two young people. Her body was laying in the road, covered in a sheet. Blood was seeping out from under her. I never saw the baby. Just a black Mary Jane shoe laying on the sidewalk.

I don't remember much more of that night. We drove home in silence and I don't recall my family talking about the accident after that. In fact, I never knew the victims names until I started to do some research for this blog. Tigerton is a small town and in that year there was only one fatal accident: 3 persons involved: 2 of them fatalities and 1 drunk driver. This was the accident I witnessed. I was also able to find a list of people buried in the cemetery and found the victims names, ages and what was written on their tombstone. Love Lives On. Three small words to remind you of a family's loss and how one person's decision can affect the lives of so many people.

Please don't drink and drive...

linking to Jenny Matlock

Jenny Matlock

11 comments:

Barbara F. said...

So terrible to have witnessed this. The memory stays with you. I am always amazed (and angry) that the drunk driver always walks away. Visiting from Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday. xo

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

Your story is well told, esp. with the personal perspective, and is a good reminder to all that every action has a consequence.

Gattina said...

What a shock that must have been for a little girl ! Apparently it still remains present in your head.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I had a similar experience as a young woman. My husband and I came on a horrible accident. The wife was pinned under the car and the husband had been thrown out and was dead. I'll never forget it, I didn't sleep for weeks....

Alcohol was involved in this also, the husband had been drinking, it was New Year's Eve. so sad...

jen said...

New follower from Alphabe-Thursday. Nice to meet you.
This is horrible. I can't imagine how that imprinted on your mind.
Amen.
Don't drink and drive.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

So sad, and something completely avoidable.

Judie said...

I think the drunk driving laws are nearly as tough as they should be. If you kill someone with your car when you are drunk, it should be considered a homicide, plain and simple.

I once saw 4 year old hit and killed by a car. It was very traumatic for me, and I will always remember it. I didn't even know the family, but I felt compelled to go back that night and take some food and a case of cokes. The mother drove a school bus and the father was not living with his family. Soooo sad.

Stef said...

That had to have been pretty scary as a child to see that. Ugh. I can't even imagine.

Vicki/Jake said...

I lost an awesome cousin to a drunken idiot...and I've worked as an EMT. There are way too many lives lost this way. Sorry you had to see that at such a young age. Still a good U post...reminds us all.

Kerri said...

How awful! I also find it incredibly interesting that you found all of this information via researching all these years later. What a poignant inscription. Love does live on.

Jenny said...

What a moving and powerful link this week, Becky.

I used to be very active in fund-raising for MADD. I think I need to do that again. They can never be harsh enough in attempting to control this. If you are foolish enough to risk your own life, that is one thing. To risk the lives of everyone else on the road is a totally different matter.

Thanks for sharing this.

It was very thought provoking.

A+

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