I hadn’t known what happened that afternoon. All I knew was that I was trying to get home from work, and my dead-end street was blocked off by a fire truck and a couple of police cars. I contemplated going off-road and getting around the fire truck by driving through the field across the street; there was a cop car hanging out in the field, though, so I just parked the car a good five houses down and walked the rest of the way home.
I started out quite irritated, but felt my face soften when I saw the family huddled together on the sidewalk. Something had happened, I knew — something tragic.
I didn’t find out exactly how tragic until two days later, when a neighbor came to our door and asked for a donation for the family. Aaron and I were taken by surprise, and told the gentleman that we didn’t have any cash on us, before it occurred to us that we probably could have written him a check.
Fast-forward about six weeks. This evening, right before Aaron left for work, the 13 ABC remote van pulled into the field across the street from our house, near the tree where the incident occurred. Let me tell you, it’s a surreal experience to be watching a live remote on the local news, then to look out your front door and see the live remote happening right there.
Our neighborhood isn’t exactly close-knit. I only know the first name of our next-door neighbor’s son because he dropped his driver’s license in the street one day a couple years back. The gentleman who came to our door, who lives a few houses down, has offered to snowblow our driveway for $20 in years past. After about five years in our house, that’s about all the contact we’ve had with our neighbors.
Even so, even though I don’t know them personally, I feel for this bereaved family, and I do hope that they learn the truth about their son’s death soon.