Letters: The good, the bad and the ugly

Road closure due to accident brings out the best and worst in people

A funny thing happened to me on the way home last week….the road to Sooke was shut down, again.  Riding the #61 home from work, we came to a stop around 4:15 p.m. about 1.5 km before 17 Mile Pub.  Word had it there was a bad accident by the Shell Station and the road may not open till 10 p.m. Having acquired some recent health challenges making it difficult to walk much, it seemed I had no choice but to disembark the bus that was turning around to head back to Langford, and start a walkin’. Didn’t have my meds, a change of clothes, etc… I figured better to take my chances heading home, than spending the night in Victoria.

After stopping quickly at the 17 Mile for some “fuel” to keep walking, a car pulled up along side and the driver offered me a ride. The fellow noticed my limping, and said I could slow-ride along as far as he could go.  We introduced each other and chatted a bit about this and that and about past times when the road closed. He said it was part of the price you pay to live out here. That’s why it’s not so crowded, because a lot of people won’t put up with the commute and delays. We both agreed it was a price we were willing to pay to live in such a beautiful area and hope the road never gets too big or easy.

When the traffic stopped again, he said I might as well keep walking and if he got going he would pick me up again. He was a good guy and I thank you sir. I walked for awhile, starting to get pretty sore, and slowing down.  Then I came to the accident. It was ugly. Not sure how anyone lived through it but apparently all did, thank goodness. As I walked past the carnage, the flashing lights and milling people, the burnt smell of tragedy that lingered, I noticed someone holding a cardboard sign at the end of a driveway.  It said something about $5 and a “route around.” For some reason it took a second to sink in… for $5 vehicles could get around the wrecked cars about 75 feet away by using a private road through a property.

As I kept walking another young man walking along was announcing the $5 detour to drivers of waiting vehicles.  Some moved forward to pay the $5 detour.  I jokingly told drivers I would give them $5 if they turned around and gave me a ride to my waiting truck in Sooke.  I wasn’t joking that much. A truck eventually came along and I stuck out my thumb, desperate for a ride. So did the other young man and the driver picked us both up. As we drove into Sooke the $5 detour was mentioned and the driver had the same instinct reaction that I did. He was nice guy, grew up in Port Renfrew, dropped me off at my truck. I know he was the kind of guy that if I offered him $5 for helping me out, he would have been offended. I just said thanks.

I hope I can return the favour one day, or at least pay it forward.

When I finally got home, we had guests…friends, also stranded by the accident, waiting it out at our place. We shared dinner, and when I told everyone about the $5 detour they all had the same reaction as I did and the guy who picked me up.

I guess tragedy and delay can bring out a lot of different reactions… for many a common bond and unquestioning helpfulness to each other, and for others, an opportunity. Not judging, just saying.

Tom Eberhardt

Sooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Highway 14 (Sooke Road) is closed between Impala Road and Humpback Road following a “major” police incident, according to DriveBC. (Black Press Media file photo)
UPDATED: Major crimes unit takes over after police incident closes Highway 14 through Sooke

Incident occurred Friday night, detour made available early Saturday

(Black Press Media file photo)
Get the word on art on Sunday afternoons in Victoria

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria presents Sunday lecture series in March

Community members Ed Hutchinson, left, Dave Noren, and Pat Graham, president of The Ladies Guild, stand before the new book house outside the Church of the Advent in Colwood. The tiny library was built as a result of the annual Church of the Advent book sale being cancelled due to COVID-19. (Submitted/Joan Hoffman)
Colwood church builds little library

Church of Advent annual book sale cancelled due to health restrictions

To each their own pipe. The new sewer main during staging in James Bay before it was installed in 2018, to convey waste to the McLoughlin Point treatment facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
‘End in sight,’ for Victoria’s annual sewage overflows

Wastewater projects underway should end sewage overflows

(Courtesy Very Good Butchers)
Very Good Butchers brand adds cheese to its platter

The Cultured Nut products to be rebranded under Very Good Cheese banner

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Most Read