Note: there will be a vigil for Detective Amber Leist Tuesday, Jan 14th at 7pm.
This is definitely a ramble.
When I normally write, I view it as a form of communication to report stories or share my opinion about the world around us.
I don’t normally consider it a form of catharsis, but after having a sleepless night from the passing of Sheriff Detective Amber Leist I just need to let it fly.
Like many parents Sunday, I was returning to pick up my daughter for her 11:15 let out time at religious school.
Right before I left the coffee shop, I stopped to have a chat with another parent from my daughter’s elementary school making me a few minutes late.
As I made my way up Whitsett, an ambulance pulled out of the fire station in front on me heading towards my destination.
A minute later, I was passed by the rest of the unit which I could see pulled over up at Riverside where I was going to turn.
When I arrived, the ambulance was just pulling away making it just six minutes from the time they left the station to leaving this site a mile away.
The police hadn’t arrived yet, but the area was still in disarray.
There was one woman crying by a dented up BMW missing a mirror which I assumed was the driver.
With clothes and belongings strewn about the street, I knew something serious had happened before asking.
Asking around, many of the people there didn’t see the cause, but were still in shock from the aftermath.
You hope and pray that the person has a chance seeing that ambulance speed off, but there some something in the air that felt rotten.
I didn’t even know who the victim was, but I felt their soul as if grief would be striking a whole network of a life someone had built up.
When I got to the school, some of the other parents had seen the first responders give CPR as they passed.
I returned an hour later after a meeting at the synagogue to see the police close down the street to conduct an investigation while the driver was still there in tears.
Asking one of the officers for details, I had no idea that the person who was hit had gotten out of her car to aid someone else.
For me, I’ve been backtracking the whole night.
What if I didn’t send that last Instagram story at the coffee shop?
I wouldn’t have run into that family and would have been at the intersection at the time of the collision.
Would I have been the person helping instead? Could I have been the one hit? Would a life had been spared?
I ask these questions now only because I know someone lost their life.
Had circumstances changed, life would have continued on with no trace of the tragedy that unfolded.
Do I have thoughts about the unsafe conditions on Riverside Drive?
Yes, but that has always been a constant.
Right now, there are a lot of people trying to sort the loss of Amber Leist emotionally.
I don’t know if sharing my experience is appropriate or helpful, but the lines of rationality get blurred in these circumstances.
I’m so sorry for this loss.