too little, too late

I’m not sure how to even start this.

Last year, right around this time, I was going through a pretty rough phase in my life.  I went through a difficult breakup and moved out on my own with very little stuff and even less cash.  I was strapped in every conceivable way. It was one of the worst times of my life.

Shortly after the move, I was driving around 465 on rush hour near the Michigan Rd exit when my right front tire blew out.  I pulled over to the side of the road– I didn’t have a cell phone, I didn’t have cash for a tow truck, and I sure as hell didn’t have the strength to change a tire on my own.  I panicked and (yeah, I know) started crying.

As I’m sitting in my car freaking out, an unmarked cop car pulls up behind me and two people get out.  One was a uniformed State Trooper; the other, a kid with a close-cropped head and a suit.  The State Trooper offers to help change the tire, which turned in to a 45 minute ordeal because of my oh-so-lovely car.  The kid introduces himself as a recruit for the state Police Academy, and neither of them would accept my help (or my money).  They stick on my spare tire, tell me to be careful and not to speed, and they go on their way.

I remember writing the Indiana State Police to get the addresses of these two guys, in order to send them a thank you note, but I never got around to sending the note.

And now I’m crying again, because the State Trooper that helped me that night, Lt. Gary Dudley, died yesterday when a truck hit the group he was riding with for a charity fundraiser.

Thank you, Lt. Dudley.


3 Responses to “too little, too late”

  1. Omigosh!! 😦

    I’ve been trying to ignore the news about this accident yesterday because it reminds me and saddens me of how vulnerable and dangerous it is to be a cyclist. I hope it is a grim reminder to those in automobiles to be more aware to share the road (which is where we as cyclists belong) and be more freakin’ careful!

    I’m sorry you had to learn about your bestest friend on your horrible day on his most horrible day. In his service I’m sure he helped many just as selflessly just as he was trying to do in this cycling trek around the state for charity. Himself and his comrades paid the ultimate price hopefully to save the lives of cyclists in the future through there tragic accident. But unfortunately I have my doubts.

    Hope your OK.

  2. Thanks for sharing the story. It certainly provided a more personal take on this tragic event. Shows what a great human Lt. Dudley was.

  3. That’s a great tribute to Lt. Dudley.

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