227. The Dead Pedestrian

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She was 31 years old, a seamstress and the mother of two children. Her husband is a mechanic. On a sunny morning, Vicky was walking to work. While in the crosswalk at Wilshire and Hamilton near Koreatown, Vicky was run over by a yellow school bus. An eyewitness said that the driver was laughing and talking on his cell phone. The bus was empty. Instead of stopping, the driver continued driving as if nothing had happened.

"How could he just drive away?" said the witness. "I ran over there to help the woman. She was quiet and still. There was a little blood under her nose. I thought she was just unconscious. The paramedics arrived; they tried to revive her, but then they just covered her body with a sheet. One of them said that she probably died instantly."

Police had to notify Vicky's husband. He and Vicky had been in love since they were 16. His parents are dead; Vicky's parents live in her home country. He is now without his wife and his best friend. Their tenth anniversary was only a week away. Their plans for a house and a future were now finished. After dealing with his own grief, he had to somehow present the terrible news to their two children.

The police found the bus parked a few blocks from the accident scene. The driver was gone. He had been transporting people to the annual Earth Day festival in Koreatown. About 30,000 people usually attend this event. A police spokesman said that the driver would be charged with murder. "If we could charge him with 'destroying a happy family,' we'd do that, too," the spokesman said.


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