Sunday, August 18, 2013

Thankfully He's Alive!

Henry Schmidt, KGW

On the news tonight was a story about 20 year old Henry Schmidt, hit by a car and left critically injured in the street. This young man, simply riding his bike home from work, was struck by a person who didn’t care what condition Henry was in after they plowed into him, didn’t care that he could be hit again, didn’t care if he was left alone to die on a dirty road like a possum. 

Fortunately, he was discovered by people on a Tri-met bus before the worst could happen. Emergency personnel was called and he is now in the ICU at Oregon Health and Sciences University. By all accounts, he will hopefully eventually make a full recovery, though he will have to endure months of rehabilitation and possibly a lifetime of lingering pain from his injuries (I’m just presuming this last part; I hope I’m wrong!).
His mother, speaking for his family, is shaken by what all of us affected by hit-and-run are shaken by: a person causing such a serious [crash] and just leaving the scene. Yes, a person knowingly leaving a human being dead or dying. 

In a Trauma Nurses Talk Tough presentation in Clark County, Washington, a nurse explains the “Golden Hour” as the time immediately after a traumatic injury in which it is critical to get help for the injured because things can so rapidly deteriorate. This term was also used in testimony before the Oregon House Judiciary Committee in April 2013 as one reason why hit-and-run is so devastating and must be treated more seriously. The cowardly hit-and-run driver, in saving him or herself, is basically ensuring that their victim will suffer even more, one way or another. 

Kipp Crawford, from
Take the story of 31 year old Kipp Crawford who was killed in November 2009. Granted, it is believed that initially he was assaulted while riding his bike and ended up in the roadway, but then two separate drivers ran him over and left him there. Yes, two different people drove over him and both of them kept going. Ultimately, it couldn’t be decided who was responsible for killing him, so they were both convicted. (The person who assaulted him to begin with has never been found). 

Henry is so fortunate! He has survived and will recover. His parents have not lost their child. Yet even if the cowardly person who injured him so cruelly is caught and questioned, there will never be a satisfactory answer to the question of how they could just leave.

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