*After a few hours of driving around, I decide to take a break and get something to eat. I pull in and stop at a Mooyah and head inside. I turn on my portable radio so that I can hear it, but not that it's so loud that air interferes with the other people eating. I walk in and order a burger, drink, and sweet potato fries. I fill up my drink at the machine on the wall with some tea before I sit down against the side wall and I wait for my food to come out. A few minutes later, it does and I start eating. I get about halfway through the burger when I hear a smash outside. Instinctively, I look outside where I see that there was a cash between two cars in the parking lot. I sigh, take another big bite from the burger and I figure that I'll take it with me. I start to wrap it up in the wax paper when one of the staff members walks over. She doesn't look to be over 17, so probably a high school job.*
Staff: 'Are you going outside with the wreck, deputy?'
Me: 'Yep. Duty calls.'
Staff: 'Well we can get you a new burger when you come back if you want.'
Me: 'No, that's all right. Thank you though.'
Staff: 'No, it's not a big deal at all, deputy. We'd be happy to.'
Me: 'Well thank you then. That's really kind of you.'
Staff: 'Oh, it's our pleasure, deputy.'
*I take another big sip on my tea before I carry it out with me as I walk outside.*
Me: "211 to County Ops."
Ops: "Go ahead 211."
Me: "Ops, I'm at Northland Plaza in Crescent Falls. Be advised, I have a two vehicle MVC in front of the Starbucks. I'll advise further."
Ops: "Copy 211."
*I walk over to the two drivers who have now started to exchange information while standing at the base of one of the light posts. The cars are out of the roadway enough so that other cars can get past them, so that's good at least.*
Me: 'I'm Sergeant LeBlanc, is everything going all right over here?'
Female Driver: 'Well I guess as good as can be expected.'
Male Driver: 'Other than the accident...'
Me: 'Okay, is anyone hurt?'
*They both tell me that they aren't as I look over the damage and key the mic.*
"211 to County Ops, 211 can handle. No injuries at this time."
*I take the few steps back over to them.*
Me: 'So who was in which car?'
Male: 'I'm in the Black Tahoe.'
Female: 'Mine is the green Civic.'
Me: 'Okay, and it was just the one of you in each car?'
*They both nodes I keep going. I get my pad out and I mark down some basic information so that I can do the report later.*
Me: 'Okay, I'm going to need your individual statements. M'am, we'll start with you.'
*I pull her off a few feet away before I start questioning her.*
Me: 'So M'am, what happened?'
Woman: 'Well, I was backing up out of the spot and I swear I didn't think that anyone was coming. I mean I looked both ways several times, but I just didn't see anything.'
Me: 'Okay, and then what happened?'
Woman: 'Well, I heard a thud and I got pushed forward when he hit me.'
Me: 'Okay, so you were backing out of a spot, turned into the roadway, and he hit you?'
Me: 'Okay, and you didn't see him?'
Woman: 'No, I didn't.'
Me: 'Okay, so how fast do you think that he was going?'
Woman: 'I don't know, but I don't think that he was speeding.'
Me: 'Okay, thank you m'am. Just stay here for a second, please.'
*I draw a line on my notepad to denote that it was the end of her statement before I walk over to the man who was driving the SUV.*
Me: 'Okay sir, can you tell me what happened?'
Man: 'Yeah, I was driving and all of a sudden she backed into the lane and I couldn't stop in time.'
*I glance over to the road and I can see the skid marks. That checks out.*
Me: 'So you're saying that she backed into the roadway and you hit her?'
Man: 'Yeah, what are you calling me a liar? That's what happened.'
Me: 'I understand, sir. I'm just trying to get your side of the story so that we can figure out what happened.'
Man: 'I'm telling you the truth, no matter what that lying bitch says.'
Me: 'Woah, sir. Calm down. It doesn't matter what she said. I'm just trying to find out what happened. Fair?'
Man: 'Well if you really want the truth it's fair.'
Me: 'I really want the truth.'
Man: 'If you say so.'
Me: 'Why's that? Do you have something else that you want to add?'
Man: 'No, that's what happened. The dumb broad was probably texting.'
Me: 'Well, we'll see. Did you see her backup lights, sir?'
Man: 'Yeah, butI thought that she would stop before she backed into the damn road.'
Me: 'I understand sir. I understand. I'm just trying find out what happened. Did you hit your horn?'
Man: 'Yeah but it was too late at that point. I couldn't stop then.'
Me: 'Okay then, thank you sir.'
*I. walk over to the woman after I think that I have a good idea of what happened.*
'Okay m'am. I understand that you said that you didn't see him, but you backed into the lane that he was traveling in, so you are at fault. However, I'm not going to write you a ticket, okay? I see where the confusion came in, so I'm not going to cite you. Sound fair?'
Woman: 'Oh, thank you officer. That means a lot.'
Me: 'Just do not let it happen again, okay m'am? This is all getting written out in a police report.'
*I get her information and I basically send her on her way. She calls AAA to come and get her car while I walk over to the guy and explain everything to him. He's not happy that I'm not citing the woman, but I really could care less, and honestly, so should he. I basically send them on their way as they call for two trucks to come and get their cars while I key the mic.*
"211 to County Ops, the accident scene has been cleared. Drivers are leaving the scene shortly. Show 211 available."
*I walk back into the Mooyah and I see the same young girl at the counter. I order the same burger and I pull out my wallet again.*
Me: 'So how much do I owe you?'
Staff: 'Again deputy, it's not important. It's on the house.'
Me: 'Are you sure?'
Staff: 'Sure, no problem.'
Me: 'Well, thank you.'
*I put my credit card back in my wallet, but I pull out two fives and I go to hand them to the girl. I don't want to put them in the tip jar where someone else might just take them, but I want to make sure that she gets something. She takes the money while the rest of the staff cooks me a new burger. As I get ready to walk over to the counter to refill my tea, I turn to the employee.*
Me: 'And what was your name?'
Staff: 'It's Ellen.'
Me: 'Nice to meet you, Ellen. I'm Hailey.'
*We shake hands and stand for a few seconds before Ellen points me to a seat where I head over and take a seat, waiting again for my burger.*