Jan Leow's Press Blog

When something happens, what do you do?

A puff of smoke in the distance. That caught my eye. “What on earth…?” as I lower my gaze from the mushrooming cloud, I could see a heavy truck stuck in the middle of the divider as I slowly made my way from the toll house in Kesas. I was on my way to an appointment in Telok Gong, I could easily just skip any assistance I could render but thought it would be better to stop and give a helping hand.

As I slowly drove nearer to the scene of the accident, I could see another lighter pickup scraped against the divider on the opposite side of the highway that I was travelling on. The heavy truck has smashed through the divider and was now stuck in between my path and the opposing highway which it was traveling from.

Truck stuck on a divider

Rolling my car to halt on the emergency lane, I was still undecided whether to get out of the car to help or not while passing motorist slowed to have a looked at the mishap but not quite stopping to give a helping hand. I looked at the truck again and saw no movement. Petrol was leaking onto the highway.

“Well, better show my good Samaritan side,” I thought, “there was no movement in the truck and the driver could be hurt.”

So I switched off my engine and got off my car. Locked it and slowly walked across the highway full of heavy traffic. It wasn’t difficult to cross as most motorists has slowed down, their curiosity got in the way of good sense, but that curiosity helped me to cross the road safely.

Standing by the side of truck front, the driver’s door was really high up. Another two passerby has stopped their vehicle and crossed the road too to see if they could render some assistance. Jumping up on the giant truck wheel, I grab on to the mini ladder. As soon as I steadied myself at the side, the driver door swung open. A somewhat dazed driver with long unkempt hair peered out. The two guys and I called out to him asking if he was ok or not. Looking a little sheepish and shaken that such a thing would have happened to him he replied that he was alright.

So I jumped down from the truck as the driver made his way down. Since he was ok, I now looked at the other light pickup and asked one of the passerby to go together and check out the condition. It was quite a distance, probably about a hundred meters. Walking quickly over, I could see that the light pickup had scrap against the barrier and the compartment was pretty much out of shape. The driver was holding a pair of dirty cotton gloves on his head with some bleeding. Calling out to him, the driver replied he was in pain and was very angry at the same time. Swearing and cursing that the heavy lorry could even knocked at him while he was travelling at 70kph. After reconfirming his condition, he seems alright with no broken bones except for the bleeding and the feeling of pain.

All the doors could not be open as the compartment was out of shape, the driver climb out from the open window instead. Giving him a hand to help pull him out of his vehicle he stood on the divider still grumbling about his predicament. Well I guess if he could swear he should be alright.

Looking around, I could see many empty gas tank strewn around the highway. A few more other Samaritans were pushing and rolling it to the side of the road as it posed a hazard to the traffic. Traffic was beginning to build up on either side of the divider creating a massive jam as the motorist look on curiously at the scene.

There was nothing else I could do now, and since the drivers were not seriously hurt, I decided to leave them to their own devices. I have an appointment to catch and I needed to be well on my way.

Thinking about it, I felt good to stop by and give a helping hand and not be like a curious onlooker. Of course it so happen that the accident just happened right before me, if I arrived later, there would have been other good Samaritans to give a helping hand. One thing that I noticed that most of the good Samaritans were truckers. Executives and businessman perhaps are too busy trying to make it to their appointment didn’t stop by to give a helping hand or perhaps wouldn’t want their nice clothes to get soiled? Perhaps I was an exception for that day. However I too was rather undecided whether to stop to give a helping hand or to move on that day. Perhaps I am not too familiar about how to go about helping people on the streets. This was not the same like helping a blind man crossing a busy street or going on a Christian mission trip. Supposing the injury was more serious, what would I have done to render assistance?

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