Wednesday, May 04, 2005

No police

It's been a wet spring in Northern California but today's shower was particularly annoying because it really started coming down as I was walking the two blocks from my office building to the parking garage.

While trying to avoid the puddles along the sidewalk, I heard a car on my left sliding on the wet surface and then a loud thud followed by the sound of small pieces of glass and plastic bouncing around on the asphalt. I turned to see that a Honda Accord had buried itself in the rear bumper of an older BMW. Steam was already rising from the hood of the Honda.

I stood in the rain to be sure no one was hurt and both drivers got out and appeared to be ok. The driver of the Honda, an Asian boy in his teens, seemed to be pleading with the older woman from the BMW. I couldn't hear what they were saying but I could tell she was upset so I walked into the street to see if I could help.

The Asian boy's English was quite poor but he was begging the woman not to call the police because he didn't have insurance. She asked me what to do and I told her to call 9-1-1. This made the Asian boy more upset, he pleaded, "no police, please, no police!" The woman made the call and afterwards thanked me repeatedly for stopping to help. I hung around for a couple of minutes to be sure everything was alright and then went on my way.

Now I can't help feeling sorry for the Asian boy and a little guilty for having the woman call the police. Did I make the right call? What would you have done? What would have happened if she didn't call the police?

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