Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Adults show mature response to accident
By the Advocate Editorial Board
April 22, 2014 at 4:22 a.m.
Google defines "accident" as "an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury."
While that definition seems pretty clear, at times, our fellow man appears to have forgotten how to respond to an accident. As adults, we tend to immediately become irritated and go into blaming mode, looking to yell and belittle those responsible for this unexpected event.
Sometimes, children are our best teachers. Those who have been around a child who has just dropped a glass of juice on the floor can expect to hear something like, "It's OK, Mommy; I'm OK. We can get a new one." First, assess if everyone is all right. Then, assess the damage and know that most material things can be replaced - the important thing is that everyone is unharmed.
With the media attention that disputes always garner, it's always a refreshing reminder to see these civil behaviors displayed in public. Such was the case last April 13, when a Lincoln Town Car collided with the Hillcrest Animal Hospital. Gloria Aoueille thought her car was in reverse when she hit the gas and subsequently, drove her car into the wall of the waiting room. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
What struck us about this incident was the poise and grace that both parties exhibited in this situation. First, Aoueille immediately owned up to the mistake of having the car in drive when it should have been in reverse. While many may not want to believe it, this is something that could happen to anyone, young or old, in the same situation. And of course, we'll never know how many of those alleged "malfunctions" blamed on car manufacturers might actually be someone looking to redirect blame rather than take responsibility.
And Dr. John Beck was an equally shining example, maintaining just the right perspective of relief that no one was hurt and disarming levity that probably took a bit of the edge out of the situation. He summed it up perfectly with his comment that "her car was damaged, and our wall was damaged, but that doesn't mean anything as long as nobody gets hurt."
Not to let a good deed go unnoticed, we hear that last Tuesday, Henry Aoueille, who was the passenger in the vehicle during the accident, attended Beck's Rotary meeting and publicly expressed his appreciation for Beck's gracious handling of the situation. We couldn't agree more and think it is reaffirming to see two adults working amicably together to deal with an accident. This situation is a shining example for us all and a reminder that there are still people who know how to handle an accident.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.