At four in the morning on Dec. 20, 2003 my view on life took a drastic change. My uncle, Officer Raymond Plymouth, is a Philadelphia police officer. He was responding to a hit-and-run call near Dave and Buster’s on Delaware Avenue with a rookie officer. As they were investigating the crime scene my uncle drove his cop cruiser to set-up a roadblock on Delaware Avenue. As he sat in the driver’s seat talking to Sullivan, a drunk driver came speeding down Delaware Avenue out of nowhere. The driver slammed into the cop cruiser causing my uncle to be trapped inside. Paramedics, police and fire fighters rushed to the scene to cut open the top of the cop car to free the two officers. I was woken up around 4:30 a.m. to be told that my parents were leaving to go meet my aunt and cousin at Thomas Jefferson Hospital.
The next five weeks would be something that I wouldn’t forget. I layed in bed that morning with this indescribable feeling in the pit of my stomach. My brother and I kept getting phone calls almost every hour about my uncle’s condition. They didn’t stabilize him enough until 10:30 in the morning where he was placed in surgical ICU in a medical coma. It wasn’t looking good and I prayed to God that he would let my uncle live.
I couldn’t tell you what it felt like to know that the best Christmas present I received over winter break was that my uncle was alive. He is now in a rehabalitation center.
Now I’m not here to make anyone cry or get any kind of sympathy. There are a few points I want to make out of this incident. My Uncle Ray had an outstanding known record for capturing DUIs and getting them off the streets. We found it ironic that a drunk driver hit him. The guy who hit my uncle was 23 years old. Not too far off in age from all of us.
I know that we’re college students and we like to do our fair sharing of partying and drinking but please don’t drive drunk or let anyone else for that matter. I know that it happens everyday and you could tell me that as much as you want but when it hits too close to home it’s so much different. It’s also a different story when you hear it from your family but when you flip through channels 3, 6 and 10 and go on their websites and see your uncle’s face and the accident plastered all over it’s a punch in the gut. I watch the news almost everyday but when you see your family on there it gives you another view on the life of being a journalist. I’m all about getting the great story and the best pictures but when I saw my uncle being pulled from the wreck and then being wheeled on a stretcher into the hospital it made me want to be sick. I couldn’t be angry though because the news reporters were doing their job but what bothered me was the media following my aunt around at the hospital.
Everything that has happened that surrounded this moment in my life has affected my view in so many ways. In just a split second someone made a decision that could’ve killed themselves and two other people. I think about that night everyday now and it still has so much shock value to it. Cherish the days that you have and the ones that you love. I know it may sound cheesy or clich