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This is a picture of a pretty gnarly accident I saw this weekend.

I was driving behind the grey SUV when it made a left turn directly into the driver’s side of an oncoming car.  Squeal, bang, smash, shatter, etc.

My first thought was that the driver of the other car was dead.  It’s not that my mind automatically goes to death (kidding, it does), but you can’t really tell from this picture how violent the crash was, or how crumpled in the driver’s side of the car was.

I pulled over since I was the only one who witnessed the accident.  By the time I reached the scene, passersbys who had heard it happen had come over to pull the male and female passengers from the car.  They were laying on the sidewalk bleeding, moaning, and both, strangely, on their cellphones.

The driver of the SUV, its lone passenger, was fine.  She had blatantly caused the accident and she knew it.  She was trying to pick up her friend, and was likely on her cellphone.  The weirdest part of the situation was that the driver of the SUV kept whining about her car.

This was our literal conversation:

Me:  “I’m so sorry, this must be really terrifying for you.”

Driver:  “I know (tearing up).  Thank you.  It’s just…. my car.”

Other Driver on the Ground: “My leg, I can’t feel my leg.”

Me:  “Don’t worry about your car, you’re alive.  Cars are replaceable.  Don’t worry, they’re gonna be ok, ambulances are on their way.”

Driver:  “I know, I know, it just really sucks you know?  About my car.”

I didn’t know how to interpret this.  I very much wished to give her the benefit of the doubt, so I didn’t say, “what the fuck are you talking about?”  I have to assume there is some sort of psychological reason for this.  Does anyone know anything about post trauma reasoning?  It would be easy for me to rant about soulless cellphone girl who causes accidents and then doesn’t care about the folks on the ground writhing in pain.  But I can only imagine that after the trauma, especially when faced with the potential death of both herself and these other innocent people, she was harping on something trivial like her car?

After I gave my statement to the police I heard another totally reasonable guy giving her the exact same speech I had, “you know, you’ll be able to get another car…”

The things that capital D Death does to the brain are amazing.  Was this girl a death-denying ditzball from West LA who values her car more than human life?  Or was she a terrified creature at the foot of the mountain of mortality, not wanting to admit that she had done anything more than wreck her car?

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