Monica: A Tragic Romance by Jocko - HTML preview

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"Watch out, Bob!" yelled Monica as she saw the red pickup truck cross the yellow line onto their side of the road. One minute, laughter and gaiety, the next tragedy.

Monica's warning was too late even before she opened her mouth. The truck thundered into the automobile, the two vehicles locked as though engaged in the act of love.

Pieces of headlamps flew into the Saturday morning air, the sun's rays bouncing upon them in firefly fashion. The truck's bumper fell to the ground, mangled. Both fenders of the automobile crumpled giving the appearance of used aluminum foil. Green coolant flowed from the radiator of the auto finding a path through the twisted metal to the road, then trickled off the asphalt to the gravel coated berm.

Spreckles of red and green paint danced together in the air, settling within a few seconds to Mother Earth.

The windshield on the pickup truck was torn from its moorings, the driver hung over the steering wheel, his head seeping red liquid onto the dash. In the automobile, lay two more bodies. Bob's forehead swelled above his right eye, the result of his head hitting the top of the windshield. Monica's yellow hair was streaked with blood from her head wound. The windshield on her side was cracked in spider web fashion. Neither of them was conscious of the sound of a rig rumbling down the road towards them.

The trucker screeched his tractor to a halt behind the automobile, switching on his turn signals as he opened the door.

"My Lord, my God!" he said, running to the wreckage. "No one is moving," he said to himself. "I better see if any gasoline is leaking." He looked around very fast, then scrambled to his truck. His hand reached for the CB microphone.

"Anybody, come in, this is Harry Rhoades on Route 909 where there has been an accident between a car and pickup truck. Please send ambulances. Come in, do you read me, anybody?" He listened for a voice over the radio. None came. He repeated his message once more. "Please send help to an accident about three miles west of the intersection of 909 and 307 on Route 909."

"10-4" came a cracking voice over the CB. This is Trooper Johnson about two miles from your location. "I'll call the ambulances and have them there in a short time. Can you tell me how badly the people are injured and how many?"

"There are three people injured, one in the truck and two in the car--a man and a woman," said Harry. "10-4," said the trooper, "We'll be right there."

With the message relayed, Harry ran back to the tangled mess to see what he could do to help the people inside the wreckage. He reached into the pickup truck and lowered the man back onto the seat.

"Doesn't look like he's breathing. I better feel his pulse."

"Nothing," said Harry after placing his thumb on the wrist of the driver of the truck. "Boy, he sure smells of booze." It was then Harry noticed the broken bottle of liquor on the floor of the pickup.

"This makes a lot of sense fellow," said Harry, "killing yourself and maybe two others because you had to drink while driving."

Harry ran to the automobile carrying Bob and Monica. Without hesitation, he felt Bob's pulse, then Monica's. Both of them are still alive, thank God." He looked at the blood oozing from Monica's head and tried to see the cut. He pushed back the drenched hair and found the slit, applying pressure with the fleshy palms of his right hand to the wound to stop the bleeding.

The grass blowing in the breeze, the chirping of a bird in the brush on the hillside did nothing to prompt the stillness of Harry's thoughts.

"Seems like hours have passed and I've only been here a few minutes." He slowly raised his palm from the cut, to see if the blood had coagulated.

"Looks like I can remove my hand, now. I don't think either of you are going to wake up very soon," Harry said, moving away from the car to look down the highway.

The silence in his little world was broken by the long and short blasts from sirens. Each blare began to get louder and louder. A few more seconds passed before he saw the noisy vehicles coming into view. The police car was leading the brigade of three, which included two red and white ambulances.

Within seconds, the officer and paramedics lighted from their vehicles. There were two paramedics with each ambulance. One group ran to the pickup truck while the other ran to the automobile.

One of the men dressed in blue reached inside the pickup to feel the driver's pulse.

"We can't do anything for this fellow," he said to his partner. "Let's go see if we can help with the other two victims."

"Looks like this man had more than one too many," said his partner, pointing to the broken bottle.

"From the smell his body generates, I'd say you're not exaggerating. He has taken care of all his problems, but we still have two people, I hope, that we can do something for over in the auto."

The two then went to the aid of their comrades.

"Your man doesn't need any help?" said the tall member of the other ambulance group as the two approached him. They shook their heads in unison.

"You can help us get these two out of this wreck," said the tall man's partner.

Ever so easily and gently, the paramedics removed Monica and Bob from their circumstantial prison. The policeman and Harry pulled the buggies from the ambulances and already had wheeled them to the area where the two prone bodies lay.

"Let's get them on the carts," said one paramedic," and see if we can find out more about their injuries."

The tall paramedic looked at Bob first, observing his body for wounds

"This fellow only has a lump on his forehead and doesn't appear to be hurt in any other spots, although internal injuries are difficult to diagnose," he remarked while watching the other paramedic examine Monica.

"This woman has a bad head wound and may have a fractured skull," said her examiner. "She is lucky not to have been decapitated. My guess is that she very definitely has internal injuries judging from the way her body was twisted in 'the seat. I think we better put the board under her back. Let's get them to the hospital where their problems can be taken care of in a little better fashion."

"Right on," said one of the medics while searching for one of the straps to pull the buggy.

As he started Bob's cart, Bob began to move his hand. His eyes opened and he peered into a white collared blue sky. Either he was spinning or the picture he viewed was, regardless, he wanted to stop the revolving.

"Let me off!" he cried, trying to raise himself from the cart only to find his efforts were futile fighting the straps binding his body to the buggy.

"Off, off, I want off this damn merry go-round!" he yelled, rolling his shoulders from side to side while shaking his head up and down in a last ditch effort to free himself from his encompassing bonds.

"Take it easy," soothed the paramedic, "you have been in an accident and we are taking you to the hospital."

"I don't want to go to any hospital, I just want to stand on my own two feet," blasted Bob.

"Okay mister," said the medic, "we are going to give you something to calm you down."

One paramedic already had the shot ready and without further hesitation proceeded with the injection into Bob's arm. "You can't treat me this way," Bob grimaced before he settled into silence.

Monica had been placed into the ambulance and now it was Bob's turn. The men moved quickly to load him so they could get on their way.

On of the paramedics crawled in with the two sleeping victims, while the other got in the driver's seat and put the gearshift in drive, then started out slowly, picking up speed as he continued down the highway.

"I'll call into the coroner to pick up the body in the truck," said Trooper Johnson.

"Since we are not needed anymore, we will move on," said a paramedic from the remaining crew. "Okay, fellows, thanks a lot," said the policeman. "I'll look after things here."

The flashing red light on the ambulance gave all the other drivers on the highway notice that something was awry on that morning of May 28, 1977.

Most motorists in front of the ambulance pulled over to the side of the road upon viewing the fast moving van, which signaled its presence by a revolving ray of light.

The vehicle entered Oakmont, Pennsylvania, moving rapidly down Hulton Road to Allegheny River Boulevard.

The paramedic riding in the back of the ambulance recalled another time in his life whenever he was in the back of a car racing down the steep hill to the Boulevard. He and another young fellow, both were fourteen at the time, were hitchhiking a ride to the movie theater in Oakmont.

They were picked up by a fellow from the patch where they lived and as the auto proceeded on its way, another passed theirs, making the driver of their car very mad. This event took place near the country club on Hulton Road. In an effort to tell the driver of the passing auto what he thought of him, Ollie pushed the gas pedal of his old Packard to the floor, but never did catch the passer.

Nevertheless, he drove down the steep hill with the gas pedal to the floor scaring hell out of his teenage passengers. "Here I am now, racing down the same hill and getting paid for it," he whispered, "but for a much better reason."

The ambulance driver switched on the signal to make a left onto the Boulevard. He slowed down, then wheeled the vehicle onto the red and yellow brick roadway.

He pressed on the pedal to feed the engine more gas, then slowed down for the first intersection he reached until he was sure all other drivers were going to let him through.

The ambulance continued onward to the next crossing, slowing down once more. An auto coming from the right wasn't going to stop. The small vehicle had its left turn signal blinking.

The paramedic hit the brake in the ambulance just as the automobile stopped. Squinting from the bright orange box was a little old woman. She looked up, raising her head back to peer through her bifocals to see who was blowing the horn.

"Get the hell out of the way!" yelled the medic. "Stick it in your ear," warbled the old lady.

"If you don't get out of the way, I'll push you onto the railroad tracks! " admonished the ambulance driver. "You can't speak to me like that," retorted the woman.

The driver of the ambulance began to move his vehicle toward the obstinate driver, whose mouth opened in crocodile style when she saw that her adversary meant business. She needed no further prodding and quickly gunned her bucket of bolts into a telephone booth.

"I guess I scared the little old lady," smiled the medic, "but I didn't drive her into the phone booth."

"Luckily, a police car happened along and the policeman inside saw to the little orange car and its passenger, enabling the ambulance to continue on to the hospital.

Once more the red light atop the ambulance signaled the necessity for letting the vehicle pass in a hurry. They encountered no more opposition in traffic on the way to their final destination.

Within a few more minutes the driver could see the eight story redbrick hospital and the sign on the front lawn displaying the location of the emergency entrance.

He slowed his vehicle as he approached the driveway, then edged into a right turn toward the emergency area.

Before he had the ambulance backed to the glass doors, two nurses and an intern had rushed through the entrance and were standing on the curb waiting to open the rear doors. The red and white people carrier came to a halt and the medical personnel began the task of removing Bob and Monica.

"The man seems to only have a bump on his head, but may have -internal injuries," said the paramedic who had been riding in the rear of the ambulance. "We did give him a shot to quiet him down, but he wasn't complaining about anything except being strapped on the cart. That's why I don't think he really has any problems other than the large goose bump. The woman has lost a lot of blood, but the flow was stopped due to direct pressure applied by a truck driver who came onto the scene of the accident. She may have a fractured skull and we believe she has internal injuries, possibly to the spine, because her body was twisted in the wreck."

Both nurses helped the driver paramedic push Bob down the corridor to a room near the emergency reception area.

The other paramedic and doctor pushed Monica along very rapidly to the emergency room, where they lifted her onto a padded table. Grabbing hold of the cart used to carry her in, the medic pulled it through the swinging doors back into the hallway.

The intern set about doing what he was trained to do for his investment of forty thousand dollars. He looked at the head wound and called for a nurse to come and clean the scalp so he could stitch the open gash, which had started bleeding once more.

"Yes, doctor," the chubby nurse spoke as she came to the table. "Please clean the wound so I can stitch?" responded the doctor. "Certainly," she responded and proceeded to use a cleansing agent on the wound.

The doctor prepared the stitching apparatus and when he saw the nurse finish, he immediately began sewing, using fourteen stitches to close the wound.

"Now that we have that taken care of, we can check for other injuries," the intern said placing the tools into the nurse's hands so they could be re-sterilized.

He examined the rest of Monica's body finding only bruises and minor scratches.

"I think we better have her X-rayed to determine the extent of the head injury and any other body injuries," he said. "Call and have the technician prepare for X-raying," he ordered the woman in white.

The nurse left the room and headed for the communication station. She rushed back to help the doctor load Monica onto another buggy so she could be moved to the X-ray room. They rushed her through the doors and down the hallway to the elevator, where the intern pushed the button to go down. The doors of the huge elevator sprung open revealing a glowing inside which, almost like a whale, waited to gobble up the soon-to-be occupants. They pushed the cart inside and hit the "B" button.

The elevator moved rapidly downward but came to a comfortable halt, and the door opened. "Get up front," said the doctor, "and I'll push from behind."

"Okay," she said moving to the lead.

They departed to the left down the green colored hallway toward the doors, which read NO ADMITTANCE-X-RAY ROOM, AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY.

When they passed through the combination glass-wood doors, they were met by two technicians, who took over from that point on until the photographs were completed.

The nurse watched the two roll Monica away and wondered about the verdict.