Follow @EllenGrabe Grabe's Gatherings: Hit and Run

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hit and Run

I hit a small child while driving to work today.

I plead not guilty. Here is the scenario. At the edge of my school's playground there is a 4 way stop. As always, I was driving the speed limit as I neared the school grounds. I stopped at the 4 way and looked all directions as I always do with knowledge that children are not always taught to look both ways or 4 ways in this case. Straight across from was another car stopped at the stop sign without any blinkers on, so I knew this car had intentions of proceeding straight through the intersection just as I did. There were also 3 children waiting to cross the street in front of this car. Both me and the other car were stopped and waived the children through the intersection. Apparently. they thought they would be respectful and wave us through instead. We still waited, yet the children were like statues, so we both pressed on through the intersection. My thought to myself was "since this car is going straight, I can also go since we will be crossing the intersection at the same time".

Unfortunately the children did not have the same reasoning as I did. I slightly stepped on the accelerator and crept through the intersection. Without notice, the children ran behind the other car where I could not see them and suddenly appeared in the middle of the street in front of my car. I struck the brake and let out a gasp. The children stopped running and were right beside my car. The oldest of the three put her hand on the shoulders of the others and stepped back. I waived them through and again, the oldest in return, waived me through.

With a sigh, I decided to not fight it and go ahead since I was sticking out in the middle of an intersection. As soon as I tapped the gas, the youngest child tore out in front of me again!! As the eldest grabbed for the hood on her coat, she missed with just an instant. Once again, I slammed on the brake and clasped my hands over my mouth. The next thing I knew I was face to face with a small child who was standing right against the grill of my car. I about fainted, wondering if this child was going to just fall over and die or if she was stuck to the front of my car!

Within a blink of an eye, the small child ran away to the playground and never looked back. I was unable to ask her if she was okay or to apologize for giving her a near death experience. The other two kids took this chance to cross the street and join their sister on the playground. Me on the otherhand, was terrified to drive the rest of the way to school, which was 1 block. I SLOWLY inched down the block and parked my car. As I entered the office at school I calmly told the secretary that if a small child came into the office complaining of pain, bruises, or being hit by a car, to give me a call because I was slightly responsible for the accident. I then went to my classroom with no other explanation.

For the remainder of the school day I was on alert for a small child in the hallway limping, bruised or bleeding from the face. I never saw anything too alarming so I continue to have a high hope that with the inconsistency of a child's mind, the incident is forgotten about and I will not be sued.

In my own defense, I did the hitting, but the child did the running.

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