Every time I read about a hit and run accident on the news, I am reminded of the time that I was once a hit and run driver myself.
One evening many years ago, I was leaving the mall on my way to work third shift at a hospital when I stopped at a crossway guarded by a stop sign. Just when I began moving, my car bumped into a pedestrian who was crossing the walkway. Instead of stopping and making sure he was okay, I foolishly drove off to work to avoid being late.
Once I was at work, I began to worry about the pedestrian. I called my answering machine at home to check for any messages and sure enough, there was a message from the police department requesting a call back regarding the incident.
At this point I was terrified, but I knew I needed to call the police department back. So I looked up their number and called them from work to identify myself as the driver responsible for the incident. I don’t remember what happened next, but I think the police contacted the pedestrian and got his number. The police could tell I was very concerned and told me to call the pedestrian at home.
Calling the man I hit with my car was the hardest phone call I ever made in my life. He was understandably upset but decided not to press charges despite suffering a bruise on his leg. I broke down and gave him a tearful apology. He wished me a Merry Christmas and ended the call. I continued sobbing long after I hung up the phone, but I could at least begin to put this nightmare behind me.
Although what I did was stupid, I’m glad I took responsibility for my actions and give everyone closure. Had I avoided making those calls, the events of that fateful night would have haunted my conscience every day for the rest of my life.