Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Few Minutes on a Friday Afternoon

It just seemed like another endless traffic jam. The Intrepid Junior Blogger and I were on our way down to interPLAY, anxious to find some mini-donuts and check out the set-up for the festivities this year. It didn’t take long as we travelled down Thickwood Boulevard to find ourselves snarled in traffic, and the hold up seemed to be around the bridge, as usual. We don’t bother much with impatience, and so we passed our time chatting and joking – right until we reached the source of the traffic jam, and saw the reason for the delay.
A semi-truck, the load it was carrying turned on its side. I glimpsed a second truck, and while I could not make out all the details the IJB said it looked like part of the second truck had been crushed. I had glanced over at the scene as we drove by, and I saw the construction workers standing still, looking pensive. I saw one worker with a walkie-talkie, and she was running. And I saw many, many emergency vehicles, fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances. I turned to the IJB and told her I had a terribly bad feeling about it all.

I was deeply saddened when it was confirmed that one man had been killed in this incident. I don’t know the details, and it is still under investigation. I do know that when I drove by a day later the work site was quiet, all work halted as the investigation continued and fellow workers no doubt contemplated a Friday on the job that ended in tragedy. And I thought about the impact these incidents have on this community.
It appears the deceased man was a resident of this community, and no doubt he has family and friends here. He has co-workers, too, ones who witnessed a tragedy unfold and who will now live forever with those memories. It is horribly sad, and I extend my deepest sympathies to all who are impacted by his loss.

I will not forget driving by that scene on Friday evening, and how even in my excited rush to get to interPLAY I felt a cold wave of dread when I saw it, and how I sensed the serious nature of the situation. The IJB and I discussed it yesterday, and she commented on how when some complain about traffic and being late for things they may not even realize that the incident that has caused them some minor delay and consternation has cost someone else far, far more. I wonder if those who grow angry at these delays ever feel shame or regret on learning that what has delayed them has been a loss of life.
It was a sobering start to the weekend, and I anticipate the investigation will reveal the causes. Regardless of the cause, though, the end result is the loss of a precious life, and the impact that will have on all those who knew him. Today I think about that individual, and those he has left behind, and I send them my sincere condolences and thoughts as they face a future forever changed by a few tragic moments on a Friday afternoon.

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