Did this really just happen to me?
On June 15, the hot summer sun and the clear blue skies shone brightly as I walked home from work — with no one in sight. Walking my way home after working in the John L. Clarke Building sewing lab, I approached the roundabout with the broken crosswalk light on South 2nd West Street — the one between Subway and Milano Flats.
Before crossing, I quickly looked left, right and left again. It was clear, so I started crossing it. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a small, gray car plowing through the roundabout. My heart stopped. I thought to myself, “This is how I’m gonna die.”
I froze, realizing I cannot run fast enough to avoid impact.
“This is it,” I thought to myself. “My life here on this earth is over.”
I made direct eye contact with the young, white male driver as he slammed his foot on the brakes. His car slowed down enough to only ram into my legs, throwing me off balance. I pulled myself off his vehicle and moved to the side of his car, where I exchange a few un-Christ-like words such as “are you serious right now?” just to give him a sign of my ‘undying gratitude’.
The man drove off without a word, only giving a cold, comical shrug, acting as nothing had happened. He seemed to think, “Oops, my bad.”
Thankfully, I did not get injured, but it left me boiling with anger and shocked at what just happened to me. My first response was to call my father, who instructed me to call the police to report it.
I thought and pondered to myself that there were no witnesses; I did not get his license plate; there were no cameras to record this incident, and I wasn’t injured. After these thoughts, I decided not to report the hit-and-run because of the little evidence that I had.
Two days later, I spoke to some of the professors in the Home and Family Department.
“You know you should report this,” said Kelly McCoy, a faculty member. “So they form a stat, or they can fix the cross-walk light.”
Finally, I had enough motivation to get in contact with the Rexburg Police Department. I was directed to a dispatcher officer, where I told him about my experience. With little evidence, the officers would not be able to find this guy who hit me. I already knew this but hoped nobody else would get hit at this crosswalk.
In March, The New York Times reported that “an estimated 6,227 pedestrians were killed in traffic in 2018.”
“I’ve been in this business for 36 years, and I’ve never seen a pattern like this,” said Richard Retting to The New York Times.
Could this happen in Rexburg as well? For now, stay aware, put your technology down and do not be afraid to use your voice and report what you see.
The dispatcher said he would keep it on record and check out the broken crosswalk light. Now, there are neon orange flags to cross South 2nd West because I had the nerve to report my incident. Next time, when you are walking on South 2nd West, just think of me.