October 31, 2018
Yesterday morning in northern Indiana, at about 7:15 a 24-year-old driver of a pick-up truck disregarded the flag on a stopped school bus and plowed into four children. Three of them from the same family were killed. The other child is in the hospital.
This event takes me back seventy years. I was in fifth grade. One day
my mother and young brother came to visit. They were accompanied by family friends, Mrs. Peiffer and her son Jackie. Jackie and my brother Harold were the same age, perhaps five years old.
At the end of the school day, Mother was going to do something with Mrs. Peiffer, so they let Jackie and Harold go home with me on the bus. At the end of our long lane, the bus stopped to let us out. Jackie went first, Harold second and I third. As we rounded the bus in front, a truck came around the bus and hit Jackie,, throwing him back on Harold and me. Jackie’s face was a stunned bash-in.
The truck driver stopped and the bus driver got out. I decided to run in the long lane to tell Daddy. A long lane. When we got to the buildings, Daddy wasn’t home. Mother wasn’t home. Harold and I were there together, wondering whether Jackie was dead. (A passerby rushed Jackie to the hospital.)
When Mother got home to receive the news, she immediate jumped into the car to get Mrs. Peiffer. Then we drove to the hospital. There it was decided by someone that it would be helpful for the traumatized me to see that Jackie was in a bed, his head totally wrapped. He was being cared for and yes, he was alive.
The next day two police officers came to school to ask me my vision of the event. I later learned that I was nearly summoned to Harrisburg where the legislature was debating the school-bus-stop law. The law passed without my help, and soon many states enacted the school-bus-stop.
Jackie survived but with enduring effects. That is about what could be said of me.