Roman: He ruined his truck, but this motorist’s attitude was admirable to a T


You never know how people are going to react at traffic accidents. Some people fall apart even though the damage was minor, and others take it in stride.

Every once in a while a person will knock down a pole and take it like a champ. You have to admire a guy who can walk away after destroying his truck and then joke about it.

A few weeks ago, I met a guy like that. He had turned too fast and ran off the road. He struck the curb, a street sign and knocked down a light pole in a gas station parking lot.

His truck ended up in the bushes and caused a minor power outage. He stood there like nothing happened when I arrived.

While I was talking with him I noticed his shirt said, “Deathwish” on the back. I pointed out to him that he drove like he had a death wish and then asked, “Can I get a picture of your shirt?”

He was more that happy to pose for a picture and turned around for me. He was such a good sport about the crash and the shirt, I figured I’d ask him for another picture.

“How about one in front of your truck where we can see your shirt?” It didn’t hurt to ask.

“Sure,” he replied.

He turned his back so we could see his shirt and gave me a thumbs up. The thumbs up was the best. Combined with the shirt and the crashed truck, it was priceless.

When it was time to leave he shrugged his shoulders and said, “I guess I’ll go look for a new car tomorrow.”

Editor’s Note: John Roman is a traffic officer for an Orange County police agency who writes a blog, Badge 415. His posts focus on the human side of police work and safety tips. Roman, a cop for more than 20 years, has handled more than 5,000 accidents as a collision investigator. shares some of his columns.