Saturday, December 02, 2006

Just when you think human beings couldn't be more callous....

Woman Arrested in Boy's Dragging Death
A 40-year-old Maryland woman driving a Dodge Ram pickup struck a middle-aged woman and her 3-year-old grandson. She kept driving even though the stroller, with the child still in it, was stuck in the undercarriage of the truck. She continued driving for three quarters of a mile, until the mortally wounded toddler fell from the undercarriage. Whereupon the woman stopped, dislodged the stroller, and drove home.

Imagine that child's pain and terror. The unspeakable anguish of his family. And the utter and absolute failure of the driver, Lazara Arellano De Hogue, to exhibit a shred of concern or compassion.

We're supposed to pray for our enemies, and that includes people who exhibit the moral sensitivity of a great white shark. But you can't expect better from a shark. From a human being? Stopping your f***ing vehicle when you've hit somebody is Morality 101. This isn't some high and holy duty we can expect only from those blessed with more than ordinary grace. This isn't laying down your life for a stranger, or facing torture rather than betray your beliefs. It's just basic human decency. It doesn't seem like a whole lot to ask.

The man who struck and killed my friend stopped immediately and called 911 with his cell phone. He stayed at the scene, shaken and stunned, until the police had come and the dead man had been taken away. My heart breaks for him. I pray for him all the time. I wonder if he's okay. I wish him every good thing. His name is Ken, if anybody wants to add him to their prayer list.

The truck driver who ran over Rich Mullins stopped. Rich's mother asked the mourners at the memorial service to remember him and pray for him. And I do. That's got to be hard, to swerve to miss an overturned vehicle and instead end up running over a man. Still, he stopped. And evidently he summoned help, saving the life of Rich's friend who lay unconscious on the side of the road. He didn't just keep driving and leave Mitch to die.

But this woman. Was this panic?

When Sandra Kaiser threw herself into traffic, the man who hit her stopped immediately. He stood near her, waving his arms, trying to stop other traffic. A woman saw him, but didn't see Sandra lying on the road. She ran over the girl and drove home. But she told her friend something strange had happened, and together they went to the scene to find Sandra being loaded into an ambulance. The woman who ran over Sandra panicked, but she did right when she came to her senses. I often think about her, about the man driving the first car, about the people who had to deal with that tragedy. And I pray for them.

This woman? What in the world was going through her head?

In the mean time, prayers for the family, the cops, the EMS workers, the witnesses to this brutal crime. Their sleep will be haunted for the rest of their lives.

May De Hogue have humanity enough to hurt over what she's done. That much I can pray for.

UPDATE: De Hogue was sentenced to ten years. An autopsy found that the child, Elijah, had survived the initial impact, but suffered fatal injuries during the dragging, which ripped the flesh right off of him. He was still alive -- barely -- when a police officer, following the trail of blood and shredded clothing -- found him.

De Hogue's priest said that she cries all the time and asks for prayers for Elijah and his family. So the prayer is answered -- she did find enough humanity to have remorse. After it was too late to be of any good to anybody but herself.


Unknown said...

Praying for all these who've been so devasted by these circumstances. Life can bring such pain. Real peace is found in Jesus.

Amy Ann said...

Just to clarify… Rich Mullins died instantly when he was ejected from his Jeep. He was already dead when the semi truck hit him, so the driver was not responsible for his death. Thanks goodness the driver stayed to call for help and save the life of Mitch McVicker!