12 September, 2007

We just wanted to go to the bank

"No tengo papeles. ¿Qué hacemos?" He asked. "Esperamos. Nececitamos esperar" I answered.*

We just wanted to go to the bank! I'm still in shock at this and how it played out post-wreck. We were hit by an illegal with no papers of any sort today, only a Mexico license. BUT he pulled up into the parking lot and STAYED; he did not flee. Dear daughter got his license plate taken down, just in case he did flee.

My poor dd has been in more wrecks by the age of 16 (all of them the other drivers' faults) than I have been at forty-something. Three pieces of hardware from the truck's license plate are embedded into the side door.

It doesn't look so bad from this first shot, since no glass broke, and the lighting is dark. But I can't really get the doors open. I'm afraid I won't be able to close them again, if I force them anymore. The driver's door wouldn't open for me, but the guy who hit us helped pry it open.

I know it could have been worse. Thankfully we were proceeding slowly and cautiously toward the intersection, as pre-rush hour traffic is already pretty thick here. I think I was doing about 25 mph in my right-turn lane. As I was just driving past the entrance of a gas station, I saw a truck turning at a decent clip and he smacked us full-on. He felt so bad. He confessed it was his fault (in Spanish) and was very sorry. He asked for no police. What's a gal to do, when she knows the driver doesn't have insurance and has no way of trusting one's word that he could indeed pay for the damages. It was a struggle for me to do the right thing. What would you have done?
I told him (in Spanish) that I know it is difficult, but that my husband (with whom DD was talking on my emergency cell phone that dh and I finally knew we needed) didn't know if he would pay or not, that we had no way of being assured of him paying. I told him that I had to call the police (which DD did right after getting off the phone with Hubby) in order to have the right paperwork to file an insurance claim with our insurance company.

The particular intersection where this happened is becoming extremely bad. There are near misses there every day, and wrecks every week.

Just weeks ago a motorcyclist was hit here just like my daughter and me. His was a hit-and-run. He had no protection of a car frame, of course, and was completely knocked out for a very long time on a very hot asphalt pavement. I did not know if he lived or died.

After the police came and got a translator to take the other driver's story, the policeman handed me the slip of paper to file with our insurance co. and let us go. I felt awful. I knew that the driver would be taken in and probably deported ASAP. There are other details of our Spanish conversation that would just take too long to type here. He is a believer who attends a congregation in our city. Please keep this man and his family in prayer, please.

We finally made it to the bank. I was still shaken and visited with our bank lady inside. Would you know that she knows the man who was in the motorcycle wreck several weeks back. He is a client at the bank. He lived and can walk, but he is torn up pretty bad. I told her to tell him that another bank customer is very happy that he lived, since I was there right after his hit-and-run.

I am upset about our country's double standards regarding illegal immigration. It affects us all, whether you live in a border state or not. Something has to be done to support these families back in their home country, and to hold a higher standard of accountability here! And the honorable, hard-working folks who are usually the ones who pay the highest price. I've seen the poverty in Mexico...I teach Spanish and compassion. We know and work with first generation and now legal aliens who worked hard to become legal the right way. We know illegals, too.

I sympathize with and totally understand wanting a better life! I ache for this family. BUT I am also mad at a government who enabled so much dependency for far too many decades that it is just a deep hole in which we find ourselves. I blame businesses here who hired illegals without some tougher standards AND without more of a practical hand in helping people to become legal the same way any worker from Africa, Asia, Europe or any other country has to do! No constant freebies, just honest help. But when you are burned so many times by dishonest folks, it's hard to separate the honest from the dishonest.

¡Aye, aye, aye! I am still stunned but thankful. Pray for the other family...sigh.

Señora Javamom
*"I don't have papers. What do we do?" he asked. "We wait. We need to wait." I answered.


Donna-Jean said...

I am so glad you and your dd are OK. I'm sorry about your car. And I'm very sorry about the whole situation. It could be multiplied over and over, all over the country. It's all just wrong, on so many levels.

Your post on this was important.

Anonymous said...

Kim! I'm so glad you are OK. We are torn on this issue over here. I'm amazed that he stuck around. I'm praying for him and his family.

Angi L.

Abiding said...

I am really sorry to hear about this but am glad you guys are okay!

In our part of town police won't even come to the scene unless there is an injury. I won't go into all the reasons why we know this to be the case, but we have almost replaced the body of one of our vehicles! Ryan has not wrecked......yet. Am I too pessimistic or realistic? :) Time will tell.

I am sorry!!!

Birdie said...

I'm so sorry that you guys were in an accident and quite happy to read that you are all okay!