There was a terrible accident this morning in New York City’s Lincoln Tunnel that involved a motorcyclist and three buses. It occurred at about 7:27 a.m., nearly three-quarters of the way toward Manhattan in the tunnel that connects New Jersey and New York City.
The motorcyclist is said to be the most severely injured as he was trapped under a bus and is currently listed in critical condition. At least 30 other injuries have been reported concerning people who were on the buses. NJ Transit operated two of the buses and a Monsey Tours was the third bus involved.
As one would expect, traffic was disrupted and the morning commute was still going on at noon. Luckily there have been no reported deaths.
What disturbed me upon hearing this news all over the television programs today was the complete lack of empathy for the people actually involved in the crash. There was about a five-second spot saying over 30 were injured and the motorcyclist was in critical condition and then the coverage went straight to the traffic tie-ups and wasted two minutes interviewing people stranded in their cars. Most complained how they were sick of being in traffic, how they were late for work, how they had been inconvenienced. Not one commented on the accident itself or the people involved in it.
This is nothing new. Just look at the next time television news covers accidents, even fatal ones. They invariably mention the accident and then go straight to the people in traffic.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the frustration of the people sitting in traffic for hours, but the way TV tends to tell the story places such a selfish view. It almost dismisses the injured parties. I understand that the news has to appeal to everyone, attract viewers, and also let their audience know about disruptions, but that can surely be a follow-up story outlining service disruptions, after reporting the accident itself. I don’t think we need to hear how irritated the people in traffic are at being held-up.
I remember one time watching another accident report a few months ago, when the newscaster asked an older man sitting in traffic how angry he was about being stuck. The man replied that he was surely better off than the people who were hurt and he hoped they would all be OK.
That was a considerate thought. No one likes to get stuck in traffic obviously. We try to teach our kids everyday to be considerate, to help others, and not to always think about themselves first, yet everyday we see examples of adults doing the opposite. This is just another thing to add to the list. I know it’s not a big thing and some of the newscasters probably aren’t even aware that they are doing it, and have no ill will, but it’s something that I find absurd.
Traffic is said to be easing up now and hopefully all the people who were hurt are recovering. While none of the thirty bus injuries were thought to be life-threatening, the motorcyclist was the most severely injured and could definitely use a few good wishes and prayers.