My First Clue

The crash woke us both from a sound sleep – it was a loud impact; a car had been hit somewhere in our neighborhood.  Then, came the squealing tires.  We thought of running out front to check it out, but it sounded far away, so we drifted back to dreamland.  The next morning, Kevin opened the front door and I heard him say something that worried me.  I don’t remember exactly what he said, but I remember the tone. Something was wrong. 

That impact we’d heard was right here at our own house!  My Acura parked in front of our house had been hit in front pretty hard, and Kevin’s truck sat sideways in the driveway, the entire driver’s side bashed in and the truck shoved over a good six feet, leaving the front wheels resting in the grass.  There were black plastic undercarriage parts and pieces of red plastic – including a broken red Chevy grill – all over our lawn.  All we could do was stare – OH MY GOODNESS!  It was like a crime scene with all the parts strewn about, glass in the driveway – both our cars had been victims of a hit and run while we were sound asleep the night after our Thanksgiving feast. 

For a little while, we wandered about in a cold rain, in shock, wondering why and how – and who had done this – adrenaline was pumping and I lost my interest in the coffee I’d just poured.  I now had a headache.  We called the police and they told us they don’t come out for “these kinds of things” – unless someone had been a victim.  WE had been the victims!  I called again.  I asked for a supervisor. I told her that someone needed to come – and soon. 

Within an hour, an officer showed up.  He was a nice guy, and a bit dumbfounded at the whole scene.  He said that he’d had an incident a few years back in the neighborhood where someone had run into someone’s house!  That’s what would have happened had our truck not been parked in the driveway.

He said he would take the Chevy grill and see what he could uncover.  We all said how great it would have been if the plate had been attached!  A little too simple I guess.  I asked him his name and he said, Smith.  Do you have a first name? I asked.  He smiled a little, Cornell.  I shook his hand and thanked him for coming.  I offered him coffee, but he declined.  He picked up the broken grill and I had to smile when he stood there holding it and said in a soft, gentle voice, “my first clue.”  I grabbed my camera and took his picture standing there in the street.

After Officer Smith left, we went back in, had some coffee and called our insurance companies, wondering how we were going to fare.  I didn’t have full coverage on the Acura.  We figured the odds of finding the car, or the driver, were slim.  It had probably been either towed, or stashed out of sight somewhere by now. 

Luckily, I could still drive my car, so I cruised the neighborhood, eyes peeled wide for a red Chevy.  No luck.  We both talked to neighbors and told them what happened.  They said they’d keep an eye out.  It wasn’t 2 hours later that we received a call – a mother had called the police department.  My son was involved in an accident; he was scared and he ran.  Thank God.  I called the mother –  I asked first if her son was ok; the impact had been pretty severe.  She said she thought so, but he’d “taken off” because he was so scared.  She had insurance so we were covered.  I talked to her for a few minutes and told her I was sorry that this had happened to her.  She said her Chevy was leaking oil all over her driveway; it was totaled.  He’d taken the keys after she’d gone to sleep.

So, we are inconvenienced for a few weeks while our cars are repaired – mine will probably be totaled due to its age.  We had one upsetting Saturday and a few hours of worry and wonder.  But, for the mother of this boy, things will be hard.  Not only for him, but for her.  I will call her and invite her to coffee. I will be a friend and I will listen to her tell me about her son.  My mother lost her son when he was only 20.



  1. I’m glad it all worked out for you guys! Nice touch on the writting too!

    Ofc. C. Smith #159

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