The title of this post is NOT about what some of you are thinking about (those of you who troll the Internet looking for salacious material [Hello Anthony, I'm talking to you! Dummy.]). Besides, if it were, there would be an ampersand (&) between the letters. No, a T.A. refers to what the police call a Traffic Accident. The police respond to many of these on a daily basis, this being the Los Angeles area and people are constantly being distracted by a cell phone call, a text, or a pretty girl or guy walking on the sidewalk in a skimpy outfit (okay, that's as salacious as this is going to get). But we Parking types don't really respond to T.A.s unless we need to block a street or help direct traffic around the incident.
The reason I'm writing about this today is, the other day I was the first one on the scene at a pretty bad T.A. that happened right by the police station. Here's what happened: I was heading in to end my work day when I turned up the street and noticed people trying to get my attention and pointing up the street. Usually when people point at me they are using one specific finger, but this time they seemed to be trying to tell me something. I got further up the block and saw just what it was. A car had obviously been t-boned in the intersection and the young lady was still in the vehicle, which was now pulled onto the side street, the one I was on. I pulled over and jumped out of my city vehicle and immediately got on the police radio. I called in and asked them if they had a report on the accident. They said no. I told them about it and that I was checking for injuries. Then I got closer to the girl. She was badly shaken up, had cuts on her face and head, and there was blood.
Now, I like scary movies but not bloody ones. I got a little shaken up myself but I held my composure in order to help her. I asked her if she needed a paramedic. Her answer caught me by surprise. "Do I have to pay for it?" This is what our country has come to folks. I don't mean to get political here but this is telling. I told her, "I wouldn't worry about money right now. Let's worry about your health." I got back on the radio and called for paramedics, I called in the license plates of the two vehicles involved (the cops need this in case one of the parties is wanted), and I called for the tow company the city uses to clean up the intersection of all the debris (glass, metal and plastic that other cars were now driving over).
I tried to keep the young lady calm while she called her father and told him, through sobs and tears, about the accident. Her boyfriend, who was unharmed, then told me what had happened: they had swung wide in the intersection to make a u-turn and the pick-up behind them kept coming (obviously at a pretty good clip) and smashed into them. Then he asked me if it was illegal to make the u-turn there. It wasn't but one of our motorcycle officer told him that all parties in that situation have the responsibility to be safe about it. The other driver, the one with the large pick-up, was unharmed as well. The cops were speaking with him. The paramedics and a firetruck arrived, the tow truck was there and the tow truck driver was out sweeping up. The intersection got jammed with cars and the sidewalk with on-lookers. It was a mess. One of the officers directed traffic and they told me I could go, without so much as a thanks or a "good job." As I said, it's routine for the officers but not for us. Certainly not for me. And blood does bother me, mine or other people's. But, it all goes with the job.
I am part of what they call the "First Responders." I like it better when they say "Everyday Heroes." I don't ever feel heroic on my job, believe me, but that day, I kinda did.