Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday morning Sheba and/or Nina picture, without Sheba or Nina

Yesterday, a man almost died in the street directly in front of our house. Not even exaggerating. The husband and I had just sat down to dinner, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of the power/cable/whatever lines to the house jerking around wildly. So I got up and looked out the front window, and saw a telephone pole lying in the street, with an unmoving man. On closer inspection, the telephone pole was actually lying on top of the man's head, and there was a lot of blood.

Long story short, the husband called 911 (as did a neighbor a couple doors down, who'd been watering her flowers outside when it happened), one big fire truck, one little fire truck, at least one police car, and an ambulance all showed up relatively quickly, and eventually the guy was loaded into a helicopter and taken, I assume, to University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City. I asked one of the police officers if they knew anything about the guy's prognosis, whether he was going to be okay, and she kinda shrugged and said nobody knew, that he'd lost a lot of blood and was unresponsive when they loaded him into the helicopter, and that was as much as she knew about it. I don't imagine I'll ever find out, either, because I don't know anything about the guy except his employer. (Also: none of the responders -- fire, ambulance, police -- seemed to be moving particularly fast. I'm not sure if that was a matter of perception or reality, but it was frustrating.) Though I suppose maybe it's better I never find out. I don't know. And then later about six or seven vehicles from the cable company showed up, and a great deal of effort was expended on washing the blood off the pavement, the urgency of which I found puzzling.

The telephone pole, incidentally, looks like it had either only been buried about four inches deep (unlikely), or it had actually rotted out and broke off at a depth of about four inches deep. I didn't go up to look at the base. Either way, it was pretty obviously the pole's fault, not the guy's.

So my mind is not really on the animal photos today.

Since you've come all this way, though:

I'd thought there were only two babies in the nest, because I'd thought there were only two eggs, but apparently one of them was hiding at an angle I couldn't see with the camera, because that's definitely three. I suppose I'm sort of obligated to name them Greg, Peter, and Bobby.


archnemesis_goldenhair said...

With a head injury you don't want to be fast. That leads to possibly jerking around, and possibly making the injury worse. Same goes for neck, and or back injury. They were probably being careful.

Liza said...

Jesus! What an unlucky fellow - who gets hit by a telephone pole?

CelticRose said...

Yikes! I hope the guy made it.

Pat said...

I would want to know. Would the local newspaper not be able to tell you? How cold of the police not to have a system to inform you. In the UK you would certainly know if he died as an inquest would be held and the police would question you until they were satisfied you knew no more. I had to give evidence at an inquest when I dragged a man out of a burning building. He died four hours later but at least he died with his family at his bedside.

From what I know from watching doctors on the telly you don't move fast with head injuries.

From experience a nice hot cup of basil tea as soon as you sit down is very helpful when the shakes set in. One teaspoon of basil in a cup of boiling water.

mr_subjunctive said...

I don't mean they weren't fast when handling him because there might have been a head injury; I mean when they first showed up to the scene, before they could have known for sure what was going on, they were walking slowly.

The husband and I were going over the timeline last night in bed, and concluded that the ambulance was there within at least a half-hour (possibly as soon as fifteen minutes), and it seems likely that he was in University Hospital receiving treatment within an hour after the initial accident. Considering that we're about 20 minutes away from Iowa City, that's a pretty quick response time, but even so -- had people jogged or trotted to him, instead of ambling / shuffling / moseying, perhaps he could have gotten to the hospital a little sooner, is all I'm saying.

Since I am not a medical professional, and I don't know what the 911 dispatcher was telling people (indeed, I don't even know for sure what the husband and neighbor were telling 911), it's possible that moseying was the appropriate response. And I may well be spoiled by TV to some extent. (I do credit years of TV and movies for my ability to look at the scene without being overly squicked.) But it was still frustrating.

mr_subjunctive said...


If he dies as a result of this, it will probably be in the newspaper; if he doesn't, it might or might not be. I don't know if calling the hospital to ask about him would work, since A) I don't know his name and B) I'm not family.

Jenn said...

That's some story.

I don't think first responders ever move like they do on TV.

But it does sound that like guy wasn't likely to survive.

Scary hit-by-lightening kind of incident.

Anonymous said...

Im kinda sad you didnt take pictures of this event.
Nothing exciting ever happens...

mr_subjunctive said...


Maybe, maybe not. Nobody at the scene could tell. I figure at least he had a fighting chance at survival if he made it to the hospital quickly.


I actually kind of wish I'd taken pictures too, but for a different reason (and I wouldn't have posted them to the blog in any case): after it was all over, I found it really hard to remember what had happened and in what order.

Liza said...

I think emergency crews are taught to move slowly and cautiously whenever there are downed power lines. If they rushed over to the guy, only to find a live wire, then they would all end up dead, too.

They were probably assessing the scene as they approached it. It may look like moseying to you but it easily could've been moving with caution and awareness.

CelticRose said...

I agree with Liza. Anytime there are downed power lines involved extreme caution is warranted.