Blog Post

Cause of Death: Unintentional Injury by Motor Vehicle Traffic—Athena Aguiar

I am following my normal daily routine; class has just gotten out, so I head outside, and after greeting my friends, decide to head home. I watch as reckless teenagers driving expensive cars that they don’t deserve almost crash into each other in the parking lot. Heading past them, I pause at the entrance from the back parking lot to the front one. I allow a couple of cars to speed past before crossing the crosswalk. I decide that I am going to stop at a grocery store close to my school, and pick up some food. As I am walking, I decide what I am going to buy. I stop at the crosswalk and press the walk button. When the light turns green, I walk across the street, checking to make sure no cars are ignoring the lights.

I walk out with a salad in my left hand a fork in my right. I press the walk button again and eat as I wait for it to change. I look up when I hear the automated voice message change. I begin crossing, but as I am not even halfway across the street, a car slams into me. I forgot to check for cars, the last thought I will ever have forms in my mind.


o o o


“Oh my god!” The driver steps out of their car and walks over to see what he has done.

“I’m calling 9-1-1.” One of the passengers has joined the driver, staring at the blood-spattered street. The light turns green and the street fills with the sound of honking horns. The passenger is forced to begin shouting into her phone. Some of the cars begin taking roundabout and often illegal ways around the scene, eager to get to their destinations.

Eventually, an ambulance arrives on the scene. One of the paramedics began performing CPR. I am loaded onto a stretcher and carried into the ambulance. A trainee asks the driver how they know I am not dead. The response is that a doctor is supposed to declare the time of death. Everyone present understands that I am a waste of time and energy. I am probably already dead; in fact, I may be taking an ambulance away that could be saving someone else.

The ambulance arrives at a hospital, and a doctor takes over for CPR. The paramedic tells her that I am already dead, and time of death must be declared. She quickly declares and moves on to the next patient. A nurse begins to wheel my body away. I am wheeled to the morgue.

After a few hours, a mortician begins to try to determine my identity. He looks through my bloodied backpack after slipping on a pair of gloves and finds my wallet. He opens it to find that I am a student. He turns on my phone and is able to access my emergency medical information. He calls my mother and tells her that her only child is dead.

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