As I drove home at 9pm Tuesday, it was crystal clear outside and bitterly cold. From the moment the road bent northeast, I could see flashing lights ahead. News of the accident had begun to filter through campus, but details were sketchy. I prayed for the families and the emergency crews still out hard at work in the cold. Traffic was diverted to gravel roads that brought vehicles into Cottonwood from the west and back out onto Highway 23 beyond the chaos. When I got home, the evening news had more detailed reports, and afterwards ran a short investigative report of the bus company, finding a few past safety violations. If a bus has the right of way on a state highway and is broadsided, it's a fairly safe guess that the driver on the secondary route is at fault. The "investigation" smacked of blame seeking and sensationalism, and I wrote KSTP and told them so.
Back to school for one class today. I stopped in Cottonwood on the way home to get gas. There was a news truck from Sioux Falls in the Cenex parking lot. As I left town, there were two satellite trucks, one each from Sioux Falls and Minneapolis parked on the service road alongside the school. At what point does our genuine care and concern for the people involved in a tragedy turn intrusive? All of the local papers yesterday were filled with (mostly the same wire) photos and stories about the bus crash. It's all anyone could talk about in a small town. There but for the grace of God go all parents who load their kids onto a bus any given day. I suppose as we drink in the news and pray for the families, we are able to count our blessings, but perhaps those people would rather we all just went away. Hard to tell. I don't think I've made much of a salient point here, just kind of sifted through some gut reactions to the whole mess. Thanks for the ear.