Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What Are the Odds?

The chances of being hit by Nasa’s six-ton UAR satellite - about the size of a bus - were 1 in 22 trillion. You’re 700,000 more times likely to be struck by lightning. The odds of getting hit by a bus are one in 500,000. Unluckily for a 15 year-old student in West Milford, the odds were against him.


A heavy fog on Friday morning on busy Macopin Road increased his odds. He was hit by a school bus on its way to West Milford High School when the student crossed in its path. The driver subsequently suffered chest pains. Then the first ambulance dispatched to the scene got into a fender bender in the fog, and a second ambulance was sent out. When the second ambulance arrived, the medics determined the boy’s injuries were severe enough to warrant rescue by helicopter.

Only the fog was so heavy, that the helicopter couldn’t make the flight. The boy was taken to Morristown Memorial Hospital where he is presently in stable condition. The bus driver was taken to Chilton Memorial Hospital and admitted for chest pains. The name of the driver has not been released. The accident is still under investigation but the police are reportedly not considering charges at this time.

We live in a dangerous world, some of us on dangerous roads, and all of us under a debris-laden sky. We face dangers from terrorists, diseases, and weather. The bus-size satellite was scheduled to land in the Atlantic yesterday, along a corridor of highly-populated cities; instead, it seems to have landed somewhere in the less populous regions of Alberta, Canada. There are no reports of injuries.

Instead an unlucky student, having missed his own school bus, darted across a fog-covered, busy road yesterday and got hit by another school bus, instead, sending him and the unlucky driver to the hospital.

All you can do is prepare as best you can for the unexpected: make sure you get up in time to catch your school bus rather than being hit by it, slow down on foggy mornings - most school bus drivers are extremely cautious, especially when they have kids on board; most commuter drivers, on the other hand, don’t slow down for anything – fog, rain, sleet, snow, school buses, pedestrians, ambulances.

With the falling space debris, now not only do we have to look both ways in traffic, but we have to look up.

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