It’s interesting what runs through your mind after a near tragic situation is avoided. I had one of those moments on Wednesday, July 10 on McQuarrie Street just north of Las Fuentes restaurant.
Here is what happened. A young boy, who might have been 12- or 13-years-old, darted across the four-lane McQuarrie.
The car I was riding in was being driven by the Wagoner County American-Tribune’s CSR, Channing Wedel.
It all happened so fast. One second nothing is in front of my view, then there is a young boy.
Wedel slammed on the brakes in time. The boy was so close to me I could see his teeth clearly.
The incident should have never taken place. There was no one behind our vehicle and the boy could have waited another second to have a clear road.
But, that was not the case. We were all lucky no one was hurt.
Ironically, the first thought that went through my mind was of sportswriter Steve Schoenfeld. Schoenfeld used to work at the Tulsa Tribune and we knew each other from covering the short-lived Major League Rodeo together.
Schoenfeld seemed destined for bigger things and went on to land jobs in Dallas, St. Louis and Arizona markets.
Schoenfeld covered the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League for the Arizona Republic and later for CBS Sports.com.
On Oct. 24, 2000, Schoenfeld was on his phone when he tried to cross four lanes of road on the Arizona State University campus and was hit and killed by a hit-and-run driver that was never caught.
Why that popped into my mind, I will never know, but that was the first thing.
This young Wagoner boy was lucky, very lucky the other day. He could have become severely injured or killed.
In 2018, 6,227 pedestrians were killed on U.S. roads, the highest number in nearly three decades.
In 2016, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States. That averaged to one crash-related pedestrian death every 1.5 hours. Additionally, almost 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for non-fatal crash-related injuries in 2015.
We hear about drivers being asked to watch out for pedestrians, but young kids need to be reminded of when and where it is safe to cross the street.
For Schoenfeld, he was remembered by the NFL team he covered with the Arizona Cardinals’ pressbox being re-named in his honor.