There was a fatal wreck the other day in my coverage area.
A man driving over a bridge crashed into another vehicle and then hit a guard rail. The impact caused the man to be ejected from the van and he ended up in a river under the bridge.
What’s more, the man was not wearing a seat belt and was speeding when the crash happened and as a result, not all of him went into the water.
Did you catch that? Let me quote a first responder (prepare yourself, it’s a little gruesome), “Angel, the guy was in pieces.”
To most sane people, I assume, this is horrific and disgusting. But, sadly, when I heard that all I thought was, “What a story!”
A guy’s ear is sitting on the bridge while rescue workers are looking for his body — front page here I come.
I retold the story to my sister and she gave me a look of pure disgust and, I think, a little judgment towards me.
It’s true in this business, especially working the cops beat, you get a hard shell. I kind of think it’s necessary to survive.
A lot of stories still get to me, but to get through the day we make light of tragedy.
Is it heartless or just a way of coping?
Before this job, I would have never been excited about the possibility of a man’s finger lying on pavement and never would have gone through the trouble of calling people to confirm the fact even if I wasn’t going to use it in the story.
Yesterday, I did that.
Am I losing my humanity and replacing it for a love of the grim and gross? Is this typical when you work with death and disaster every day?
Or am I just greedy for a good place in the paper and clicks on the website?