Hit and Run

Yesterday I received this email from the City of Minneapolis:

On September 11, 2008 around 4:20 a.m. a 64 year old St Louis Park resident with cerebral palsy was struck and killed by a hit and run driver on Excelsior Boulevard less than a block from his place of employment. The male, who will be identified by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, had been employed by the Minikahda Club in the same position since 1962 and rode his bicycle to work along Excelsior Boulevard almost every day around 4:15 a.m.

The victim, who was wearing a bike helmet, was struck by a tan vehicle and that vehicle most likely sustained right front damage. Investigators are asking that anyone with information about this case call Sgt. Bruce Folkens at 612-673-3410 or Sgt. Chris Karakostas at 612-673-3400.

At first this made me really angry, and then really sad. Who does this? Who leaves an injured, disabled man in the street to die?

This evening I’m watching the movie Michael Clayton, which begins with Mr. Clayton “fixing” the problems of a wealthy client who has hit a runner with his car and has left the scene of the accident.  The wealthy client wants to cover it up.  Again, I wonder, who really does this?  What kind of a person abandons another human being after injuring or killing them?  Is it a panicked person, or just a selfish person?  What does it take to stay and be accountable?

I’m sitting here, on my couch, watching tv, not out on a run, or walking the dog, or riding my bike, and the words crossing my mind come from my first writing class in college: There, but for the grace of God, go I.  How many times have I, and will I, ride my bike in the street?  And I realize I hope I never know the answers to these questions, and I never know what it’s like to be involved in a hit and run.

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