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Crossing Crash

I just finished depositing money at my local Union Bank as I was waiting for a commute bus to work when all of a sudden, I saw a truck and a car crash into each other, with debris flying off from both vehicles.

I saw my good friend, Warren, and asked if he was heading to the East Bay with me as well. He replied yes, and I told him that I’ll come back in a few minutes to deposit some money at Union Bank across the street. Nothing unusual happened at first until I saw two cars, a black pick-up truck and an Audi sedan, crashed onto one another, resulting in a door damage on the gray Audi and a bad fender bender for the truck, with substantial debris left on the middle of Second and Hetherton Streets, a very busy crossing near San Rafael Transit Center. I was just waiting for my light to turn green since I was crossing the street when I saw the crash, and feeling panicked and nervous, I immediately called 911 and told them of the accident I just witnessed a few seconds earlier. I was deeply appalled at how the truck heading southbound smashed onto an incoming Audi sedan heading eastbound when the truck’s signal light was red and I was preparing to cross the street, and it really has hit me home to realize why my internship at UC Berkeley has become more important than ever. I am dealing with traffic and pedestrian safety through crossing counts, and that accident on Second and Hetherton has brought a lot of thoughts on my mind:

– What if I was walking on the crosswalk when that truck slammed at me first before the car?

– What if the Audi looked at the speeding truck and instead hit him instead of the other way around?

– What if lots of flying debris hit me as I was waiting at the crosswalk to turn green?

There were so many thoughts on my mind that I asked and imagined if I was on the driver seat and hit the same car… and if I hit a pedestrian in the process. I felt really hurt emotionally because that incident made me disturbed about why people, for the sake of saving time, zoom past traffic lights as if the road was a race track, and what the price of hitting someone’s car or a pedestrian is. It has really brought me home to understanding the true nature of drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists that I now take traffic safety more seriously and emphasize that there is more than just fast driving: there are the slow drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and anyone who happens to be on the roadway. Right there and then have I realized the importance of my internship job: traffic safety should be the number one priority for road users, from pedestrians to drivers to cyclists, and I could not stress enough that for every accident, a life or two can be affected by it. The accident gave me an important lesson in life as well: use crosswalks safely and lessen one’s distraction by looking at the cars if they stop while they see a pedestrian cross the roadway.

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