I was watching the news last night (well, not really watching, more like listening; I was busy finishing up some chores and had the television on) when I heard a little boy sobbing and choking out the words: “He was my grandpa and now he’s dead.” I immediately ran over to the television to try to find out who this young boy’s grandpa was and how he died.
I found out that the boy’s 55-year-old grandpa was one of two local highway workers killed while filling potholes on a busy highway near my home. Apparently, traffic was slowed down to about 45 miles per hour in the area, when a semi-truck driver tried to swerve to miss a station wagon that was slowing down to change lanes. (Another news report said that the car’s driver was actually trying to give the workers some additional space.) Investigators believe the semi driver was caught off-guard and hit the back of the station wagon, then the workers’ truck, and then the two men doing repairs. (Both died instantly.)
The reason this is the topic of a travel blog is that it serves as a reminder about the importance of being a vigilant driver, regardless of where your travels take you. I will be the first to admit that when I see road construction signs I ease off the gas pedal, but often I find myself only slowing down to just under the speed of the car in front of me. And as I pass by at speeds that more than likely exceed the ones posted, I see highway workers to the right and left of me. However, I never took the time to contemplate that these men and women were grandpas, fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters and aunts and by driving cautiously I can do my part to help make their jobs a little safer. What’s more, now I will never be able to drive through another highway work zone without remembering the heartbreaking sobs of that young boy I saw on television.