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Help your neighbor

Dear Editor:

Each day I awake and try to see the world with a sense of perspective and a bit of humor. I get up, head to the gym and give thanks for my wife, family and friends, and if my name isn’t in the obituaries, it’s likely to be a good day.

Thursday was one of those days that helped me realize how important this philosophy really is and to take myself lightly, even though I take my life and work very seriously.

While driving in the downvalley lanes near Emma early Thursday morning, I saw a vehicle in a ditch on the upvalley side of the road, which had obviously slid off the road. I immediately called 911 and made a U-turn to get to the car to offer assistance and support. With 911 on the phone, I approached the vehicle, which had slid off the road and into a tree. I opened the door to find the driver, unconscious and nonresponsive to my attempts to awaken him. I checked for a pulse, both on his wrist and on his carotid artery, and there was none.

Within minutes, my friend Christine from the Basalt Rescue arrived, and with another emergency service person, we removed him from the car and began to administer CPR. While taking him out of the car, his injury had bled onto my hand, but this was of no concern. Helping this man was all that mattered at the time.

Other emergency-rescue and law-enforcement services arrived continually thereafter, and he was transported to Valley View Hospital, and I was saddened to learn he did not survive.

What was also very disconcerting is that someone had called in the accident prior to me and did not stop, and even more discouraging was the volume of traffic headed upvalley, none of whom stopped to ask if they could offer support, assistance or help.

Having hailed from Miami Beach and South Florida, that is the kind of behavior I had become accustomed to and found unacceptable.

I encourage others in the community to care about something other than your daily grind and getting to work on time. Caring for others and helping others is what a good community is based upon. “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill.

Let’s not turn our backs on each other and allow ourselves to become another community that doesn’t care about one other.

My thoughts and sympathies are with this man’s family and friends … and with those of you who chose to drive by and not stop, ask or offer assistance to help a fellow human being.

Bennett A. Bramson

Old Snowmass


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