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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Victoria Classic Boat Festival cancelled due to safety concerns

Organizers say Inner Harbour doesn’t provide enough space for physical distancing

Owners say loss of parking pushes businesses to the brink

New Penny Farthing patio ‘will be like New Orleans, or Las Vegas’

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight in Victoria

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

Saanich woman says sexual assault was dismissed by police because of her ‘body language’

Patrol officers investigate sexual assault files, make decisions on what goes to Crown counsel

Greater Victoria housing market sees positive bump in June

Sales up by 76.8 per cent compared to May

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Man who rammed gate near Trudeau residence with truck faces multiple charges

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

Playing his tune

Musician Daniel Morel breaks out a tune with his harmonica in front… Continue reading

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Most Read