No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

It’s a cynical way to look at life, but it’s also somewhat realistic. It happened again last night.

It was about 0300 while I was traveling home from work. On a 4 lane undivided surface street I saw the following: a person lying in the #2 lane* Eastbound, a pickup parked about 150 feet behind said person, and two men with flashlights directing traffic. One other vehicle in the #2 lane Westbound, even with the person in the street. I was going West but did a quick U, pulled up between the pickup and the person on the ground, turned on the hazards, etc.

As I exit my car I can tell the situation is under good control. The first Samaritan is on his cellphone, getting PD and EMS to come. I ask what’s going on with the ground person, and he states the individual was staggering on the other side of the road, then walked over and collapsed there. He stopped to keep them from getting run over. (I’ll skip my brief assessment of the person on the ground, but medically needed nothing from me).

The second Samaritan is waving traffic through, and concurred with the assessment of #1. Good, think I, soon EMS will take this person to a hospital, and all will be fine.

That’s when a new SUV hit the back of Samaritan #2’s SUV. Hard, glancingly but hard. Hard enough to deploy the airbags and come to a stop within about 30 feet. Now it was considerably more interesting. The people in the car were all mobile (I stayed with the person on the ground), then Fire arrived. It seems an easy explanation, but it’s got to be a little confusing to get to one scene where there are actually two different problems. Fire took charge, about 6 PD cars arrived. I awkwardly helped EMS get the grounded person onto a gurney, they wanted no information from me, a very polite Policeman asked for ID and a phone number. He confirmed what the others had told him with me, and then politely suggested that I go.

So I did.

I feel really terrible for the Samaritan with the crashed car, though.

fish and fords hardest hit

No good deed…

* Lanes are numbered from the one nearest the center stripe outward.


  1. At least the Texas Good Samaritan Law limits the civil liability of persons administering emergency care in good faith at the scene of an emergency. It makes me sick that medical Good Samaritans have been successfully sued in the past for trying to help!

  2. Bummer. Glad YOU weren’t hit whilst being a good Samaritan yourself.

  3. TheNewGuy says:

    Other drivers are always a danger when you stop to help somebody on the roadside.

    Be careful out there.