, Salem, MA

July 2, 2014

Letter: Hit-and-run driver should go to police

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

My name is Shannon Bailey, and at 2 p.m. on June 5, I was working my job as a school crossing guard in Beverly when I was hit by a motorist driving a black Cadillac Escalade. The man or woman driving the vehicle drove off from the accident. I am writing these words in the hope that this will reach the driver of the truck that struck me.

I want to start by saying I forgive you. I will admit that I was angry for a long time but have come to the conclusion that anger only begets anger and will not help me or anyone else. I don’t know if you feel remorse for striking me and leaving but would like to think you do. I don’t know if you were distracted, texting, on the phone or simply didn’t see me, but it has crossed my mind that maybe you became frightened and fled because it was your first reaction. Yes, it may have been for other reasons, but I want to give you the benefit of doubt here.

I wasn’t badly injured but have received some bumps, bruises and some muscle and soft-tissue damage from the accident. However, I wish to relay this message to you. Please learn from now on be very careful/aware of your surroundings. Yes, I was mildly hurt, but one of the children for whom I’m responsible could have been struck instead of me. While I am thankful beyond words that it was me and not them, I am fully aware that it could’ve been a child and that child, most likely, would’ve been severely hurt or killed. Please keep that in mind whenever you are behind the wheel of any vehicle.

I like to think that you’re not cold-hearted but just scared and do care. That being said, it is my hope that you turn yourself in to the authorities. Even if it’s to just ease your mind and not have to feel guilty about it for the rest of your life. I have no intentions of pressing charges against you. I think that should you do this, the guilt was enough punishment on my end. I don’t know what would be in store for you, but I would like to believe it can’t be worse than not having your conscience being cleared.

I do realize that, even through these words, you may not turn yourself in. If that is the case, then please consider what I said. Be more mindful when driving, because the next time, it may be a child that you kill. Even if you don’t feel guilty about striking me, I cannot think a small child would “roll off your back” so easily.

Lastly, I have no ill will toward you anymore and hope you have learned a lesson from this and will have a great life ahead of you. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and well wishes for you and your family.

Shannon Bailey