Yesterday, 38-year-old Matthew Alan Hamilton got a lesson more powerful than any video or class could ever teach about drunk driving. It started around 3:40 p.m. in Beaverton, Oregon, when he crashed his pickup truck while driving down the highway.
The truck propelled through a guardrail and was headed nose first onto the ground below when the wheels caught the guardrail and stopped what surely could have been a deadly crash. But there the truck hung with Hamilton inside, dangling precariously from the bridge, as cars whizzed by on the busy road below him.
We can only imagine how terrified this must have been, fearing that any small movement could send him crashing to the pavement below. I imagine him seeing his life flashing before his eyes, and him perhaps praying. Hopefully, more than anything, he was remorseful about the actions that put him there.
Fortunately for him, firefighters were able to rescue him, but that's where anything fortunate about this incident stops because Hamilton was drunk at the time of the crash. According to the Associated Press, he was arrested for DUI, and after being treated in a hospital for what are said to be non-life-threatening injuries, his next stop is jail.
So any sympathy I had for the man when I first saw the terrifying images is quickly replaced with a feeling that he got at least a little bit of what he deserved. That he got what anyone who chooses to get behind the wheel after drinking and driving deserves -- a terrifying taste of death.
I hope in that hour he realized that as close to death as he may have been, he put so many other innocent people at the same risk when he chose to drink and drive. So many people out there whose lives could be changed because he chose to be selfish and reckless and irresponsible. It's infuriating that people do it, and I wish they could all experience what I imagine he experienced in that hour.
Hopefully, it will be enough for him to never do it again. Hopefully the harrowing images will serve as a reminder to others, especially this holiday season, that the drinks are never worth it when you're driving. Ever.
Do stories like this make you rethink how you drink before you drive?
Image via YouTube