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Trouble, Tragedy & Timing

I want to begin with a serious safety and driving issue I only see getting worse. I will mention the specific routes I drive several times during the course of the day, but I have witnessed this problem across our area. As people are so quick to twist things in today’s world, I will make it clear that I’ve seen children, younger adults, and individuals from all walks of life putting themselves in harm’s way.

Particularly as I travel Sheridan and Northway Road near Saint Ann’s Church, across Lincoln to Sycamore Drive. As I drive on Little League Boulevard, the north portion of Market Street, and at different points throughout the city on Fourth Street, I encounter this alarming happening. I always give the individual or group seen the benefit of the doubt; it is by chance. The problem has recently worsened, and I hope it’s due to the warmer January weather we have been experiencing.

I’m sure many of you reading this already know where I’m going with this and have experienced it firsthand. Those that choose to dress in all black or darkcolored clothing. This includes jacket, hoodie, and or hat. Their choice of dress made most dangerous while they walk along the side of the road, and when I say side, I’m being generous; or are crossing the street sometimes at a crosswalk but often where most unexpected. What makes this doubly dangerous is it’s often at night. Many of the children I witness should have adult supervision and never be near a street or highway unsupervised, day or night.

Again, if you’re reading this and want to take it the wrong way, let me make it clear, I could care less what color or type of clothes someone wears and definitely never want to discourage anyone from
being out and about; my intention is to warn the driving public and maybe get a parent’s attention about a possible tragedy that can be avoided.

I also want to remind drivers to keep their heads up and avoid distractions; we all have our moments, whether it’s a cell phone, cup of coffee, or maybe children or pets within your vehicle. The bottom line is no one wants to experience the emotional burden of this situation when something bad happens, whether you’re traveling by foot or by vehicle.

A complete tragedy that has unfolded in front of all our eyes is the murder of the four Idaho University students. I’ve watched news people talk about justice for the families and helping to bring them peace. I can’t even imagine going through this as a parent. I don’t know how you could ever recover from this; it would always be with you, your family, and loved ones. What possible justice could ever bring peace?

As a parent, you have raised your child to get them to this point in their life where they’re out taking on the world on their own and then to have somebody take them away in such a brutal manner. How could you ever get the questions, thoughts, and what-ifs out of your head? There will always be that empty chair at the table.

The victims of the senseless evil act were University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen, and Kaylee Goncalves. As the prosecution of the cold-blooded killer begins, I think it’s most important to remember these are somebody’s children, siblings, and loved ones. They are the names and faces to remember. Again, I can’t even imagine and will not mention the evil individual’s name that will now be heard and viewed so often. There is not sufficient punishment here on God’s green Earth for what he did.

In closing things out this week, there were definitely angels in the end zone for Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin. The former University of Pittsburgh star has made nothing short of a miraculous recovery that included 11 minutes of CPR to bring him back to life. Just nine days after suffering cardiac arrest versus the Bengals in Cincinnati, he left a Buffalo hospital room and returned home.

Damar received unbelievable onfield and medical care throughout this journey. It would be impossible for me to list the team of medical professionals that made this happen. One name I do want to mention, however, is Buffalo Bills’ assistant trainer Denny Kellington. A Syracuse University product, a quick shout-out to the Big East Conference, which seems to be inner-woven into Hamlin’s story in many ways.

Kellington has been mentioned by players, Bills’ head coach Sean McDermott and many of his fellow medical professionals as being a key factor in saving Damar’s life. I watched an interview with Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen in which he said, “God is good and what we witnessed was a miracle.” I will agree with that, along with the thought that most medical professionals apply today’s science for the good of humanity. And are truly angels walking amongst us. What I witnessed was the coming together of prayer, unity, preparation, and the best care possible. If any of these blessings would have been missing, so may be Damar.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb