The Greenville LEC has a unique situation. The space is shared by both the county sheriff’s office and the city police department. Their jurisdictions are different, but their officer desks are directly across from each other. When we arrived, no one was manning the city police desk which is where we needed to report. But the officer at the sheriff’s desk asked if he could help.We explained our story to Deputy William Davis. He was professional, courteous and friendly, but explained that we indeed needed to file the report with a city officer. He detailed what to do in order to make that happen. He also assured us we were taking the correct action for the situation.
It was the day of a Clemson football game, and both my daughter and I wore our team colors proudly. Before we walked away, Officer Davis took the opportunity to give us a little ribbing over our team choice. He was an obvious USC fan, Clemson’s biggest rival. It was all good-natured and we poked fun at each other as every USC and Clemson fan does throughout the season.An officer with the city appeared and we spoke with him. He took some action, dispensed some advice and walked us to our car. We went on our way feeling relieved and thankful that we have a police force that is approachable, conscientious and empathetic. A couple of weeks went by and we breathed a sigh of relief as it appeared the officer’s action had resolved the issue.
The day after Christmas, while most start winding down from the holiday, we were gearing up for the birth of my older daughter’s baby. I spent the afternoon with the very pregnant mama seeing Les Miserables. We enjoyed the movie while eating popcorn and nonpareils. After the movie, I kissed her goodbye, told her to get some rest and that I would see her the next morning at the hospital. I myself was ready to get home, get comfy and enjoy a relaxing night in anticipation of the big day.I wasn’t home but five minutes, barely slipped my shoes off, when the younger daughter called. After saying hello, she told me to “hold on.” I heard a male voice say, “Are you sure you’re ok? Did you hit the steering wheel?” It didn’t take a brain surgeon to quickly surmise she had been in an accident. But I also knew by the fact that she called me and sounded very calm, she was ok.
She told me her location and I was back in the car in a flash. When I arrived to the accident scene, I was a little taken aback by the number of police vehicles and blue flashing lights. There must have been six patrol cars as well as an ambulance. I was immediately approached by a police officer and identified myself as “the mother”. The officer assured me my daughter was ok but that she was in the ambulance keeping warm. Seeing her with my own eyes brought a rush of relief and the EMT’s gave a run down on their assessment. They said she would be sore for a few days, but nothing was broken and she was fine.We climbed out of the ambulance and I took a moment to survey the damages to her car. Well, no wonder there was so much brouhaha – the other vehicle was a Greenville County Sheriff Department cruiser. The obligatory Crown Victoria was entangled with her Honda Accord. There was a lot of damage.
“Mom, the officer who hit me was the same one who helped us when we were here,” my daughter explained. Sure enough, there stood Deputy William Davis. I walked over to him and asked if he was ok. He said he was and immediately apologized for the accident. “It was an accident and the important thing is that both of you are ok,” I told him. And then I boldly poked my index finger into his chest (which he probably didn’t feel through the bullet-proof vest) and said, “But do you know why this happened?” He looked at me wide-eyed while the officers around him took a more rigid stance. “Because you made fun of us for being Clemson fans,” I explained. Deputy Davis broke into a big grin and the other officers relaxed their stance, laughed and joined in on the ribbing.The cars were towed, the Highway Patrolman handed out copies of the accident report and the officer-in-charge assured me that everything would be processed by the county as needed. He handed me his card saying, “If you need anything, just call me.” I felt like I had just gotten the “Get Out of Jail Free” card from the top of the Monopoly Chance pile.
Over 400 deputies work for the Greenville County Sheriff’s Department. What were the odds that the same deputy who had assisted us one month ago would be the one who t-boned my daughter as he attempted to make a left turn into the LEC?People come into our lives for a reason, though sometimes it is not unveiled at the moment. Coincidence is but one factor in the grand scheme. Like a giant puzzle, people, places and events find their interlocking partners. Only after all the pieces are in place can we step back and see the complete picture. And sometimes that’s when you just gotta say, “Hmmmm, now I get it.”