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PSA: Get your thinking straight – now!

Lead Summary
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

Most of us would say our life is more important than material goods. However, here in our neighborhood, two people have lost their lives in the last six months because, in a rapidly developing situation, they thought saving material goods was paramount. They didn’t have time to think it through.

The first was an Uber driver. Early one morning, he had picked up a passenger near here and was headed to the airport. While crossing a guarded railroad crossing, he got stuck between the crossing bars as they came down. How that happened, I am not sure anyone knows.

The train was coming (obviously, the crossing bars are down, and the lights are flashing).

Somehow, his truck got stuck or he was afraid to drive through the crossing bars. His passenger wasn’t. The passenger got out of the truck and got away from the scene. The pickup truck was demolished, and the driver was killed. The train knocked them both about a block down the street.

In an emergency stop, trains take about a mile to stop. The laws of physics are in charge here. In the moment, the driver mistakenly tried to save his truck instead of himself.

The other incident took place about noon on a Sunday at an upscale gas station in an upscale neighborhood. A man stopped to put air in his tires. This particular brand of gas station is known for free air and other amenities.

A car full of thugs approach him and tried to steal his car. One of the thugs got in the driver’s side of the car and the owner got in the passenger side, trying to fight off the thief. The thief shot and killed him.

The thieves fled the scene, for another car had pulled in behind the target car, waiting to get air as well. It was boxed in.

In both these cases, in the heat of the moment, the deceased chose to save material goods over saving their own lives.

Who knows what kind of situation you can find yourself in. However, it is important for you to firmly think ahead, now, as to what you will do if suddenly found in a situation where it is a possibility to save your life or some hunk of iron, or plastic, or wood.

It is one thing if you are trying to save another human, but if the item in jeopardy is just a thing, think through what you will do and imprint it in your mind now.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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