“He’s breathing OK.”
The teenage kid in the Lakers jersey is peering through the driver’s window of an old Cadillac that happens to be wrapped around a pole at the corner of Northeast 99th and Glisan. The driver’s unconscious and unresponsive.
I make sure that 911’s been called, while a heavyset man persuades the kid not to touch the driver. I stoop down to get a better look at him—he is indeed breathing fine, and there’s no external bleeding. He’s in his 20s and it’s Saturday night, just another young idiot who’s probably a bad drunk and a bad driver even without putting the two together.
A crowd’s formed behind me, and the bystanders’ conversation confirms my suspicions—the guy was weaving all over the road prior to crashing. Probably asleep the whole time.
I give a little grunt of disgust, and look up at the pole and the signal it supports. Everything seems to be fine, and the heavyset guy looks like he knows what he’s doing. There’s no point in my standing around watching some fool sleep in his car when there’s good money to be made from people smart enough to call a cab.
I actually smile as I get back in the car. I don’t have much sympathy for the driver, but the tableau of good Samaritans gathered to help him is practically heartwarming, even if one is a Lakers fan. And when it comes down to it, it’s better he hit the pole than me.