Guest editorial: Bad luck, great help
By Clay Schuldt
Special for the Argus
After a long wait the first significant snow fall came to Houston County. With the return of snow it was only a matter of time before some unlucky soul slid off the road and into the ditch. I became that unlucky person. Not only did I go into the ditch, but I went off the road in possibly one of the worst locations to have car troubles: Badger Hill.
Anyone who has lived in Minnesota long enough knows how to drive in bad weather: snow equals slow. This is especially true when driving on a twisty road.
Unfortunately while attempting to use the brakes, my car’s traction control system kicked in and instead of decelerating my car started sliding. All attempts to steer out of the slide failed. Next my vehicle began to spin around and my car began sliding down Badger Hill backwards.
My car went off the road and came to a stop in the nearest ditch. Unfortunately I was stuck in the ditch and would require a tow. It was simple bad luck that could have happened to anyone. Ironically, it happened the day before Friday the 13th. However, I still feel fortunate as it could have been much worse.
My car slid off the right side of the road. If I had slid off the left side, my car would have crashed through the newly installed guardrail and fallen into a deeper ditch.
When I spun out no other car was on the road. If anyone had been following or passing by, there could have been a collision. Most important, I suffered no injuries and my car had little damage. I had service on my cellphone and I was able to call for help. However I had another source of good fortune: the goodwill of the community.
In the 20 minutes I waited in that ditch at least 25 people stopped to offer assistance. First they asked if I was hurt, then they would offer to call for help and last they would offer me a ride back into town.
I recognized none of the people who stopped and I doubt they knew me. Since I went in the ditch on a blind curve, everyone who stopped was risking their own safety as well. I tried to wave the Good Samaritans away, but they still stopped to check on me.
Despite the cold temperature, this gave me a warm feeling. Complete strangers were willing to extend a helping hand without hesitation.
Since my accident I have heard dozens of similar stories from people who have experienced car trouble on the highway and were helped by those just passing by.
I wish to thank all the people who stopped to help that day. I did not need assistance, but the situation could have been much different and it is the thought that counts.
We’re all lucky to live in a community with people so willing to lend a helping hand.