Disclaimer: I just want to start this blog entry by disclaiming that perhaps this is more an observation of humanity rather than something specific to Belgrade, however the specific event that prompted this blog post occured in Belgrade, hence why I am writing about it here.
Yesterday, I was walking down Savska Street in Central Belgrade towards the main police station, having just finished parking my car. To paint the picture, I was approaching from the row of shops on Savska, approximatly 50 metres from Technomajia on the corner. There were, by my estimation, around 25 other people walking along the same stretch of Savska, along with a fair amount of traffic on the road.
There I was, walking along the street when I hear an almighty crash, whip myself around within half a second, to see a large 18 wheeler truck slamming into a small red car and proceeding to push it a good 40-50 metres down the road. About half a second after the impact, I was running towards the scene of the incident certain I would be presented with fatal injuries that would require my 7 year old RAF Air Cadet First Aid training to be used. The crash itself however isn’t what shocked me. The thing that truly shocked me was the fact that out of the 25 – 30 people that had been walking on the same stretch of road as I, only one other person had run across the street with me to offer assistance.
Not only this, but the vehicles that had been driving behind the truck and the red car, proceeded to drive onto the central reservation and continue on their way, instead of stopping (as required by law when witnessing an accident) and waiting for the police to arrive and take their statements.
It got me thinking, what is it with the mentality these days, where 90% of people turn around and walk away when there is a person or persons are in need. If YOU were involved in an accident, would you not want people to come and help you? Its a worldwide problem – I remember watching a scene in LOST a few years ago where a woman was being mugged in an alleyway and only one person came to her rescue. The man said “I just did what anyone would do” to which the woman responded: “Three people walked by the alley. They saw me. But they just kept on going. “
I remember thinking to myself at the time how sad that was and yet, in most cases its very true. Perhaps my view on the world is too pristine but I like to think that people should help other people in need. We are all members of humanity and regardless of our background, color or creed, we are all equal and worthy of a little common decency, so I beg of you all, if you see a person in need, please go out of your way and at least offer your help. Do not walk on by like its nothing to do with you.
Amazingly, the women driving the small red car was not injured at all aside from a little bit of whiplash. I asked her to get out of the car as soon as I saw she wasn’t seriously injured because the truck had hit her car at a fairly high speed and for all we knew, the car could catch fire at any second. I gave her some water and called for police and an ambulance (both of whom took over EIGHT minutes to arrive which is fairly bad in itself, especially given that the main police station was less than 150 meters away!).
The Truck driver attempted to blame the crash on the women, however myself and one other person had seen most of the incident and it was fairly clear that the truck had been attempting to move from the right lane into the left lane, hadn’t seen the red car, spun it out and pushed it down the road. Both myself and the other witness gave statements to that effect although I am not sure what is going to happen to him. I think the Truck Driver was just as shaken as the women and I think it was a genuine accident so I hope that he does not loose his license or anything, but I do hope that he learns to check his mirrors a little closer before changing lanes!
How would you have reacted in this situation? Would you have run over to help or would you have kept on walking? Leave a comment and let me know!