Late Thursday night, September 19th, my friend Taylor and I found two bodies strewn across 15-501 South on our way home from a show. Ivin Levander Scurlock and Alexandria Nicole Simou. Cyclists. Hit and run. Face down in the road, blood everywhere, bike lights still flickering across lanes of traffic, bicycles smashed so violently together that they looked like one. Must have just happened, because we were the first to stop.
Ivin was already dead when we pulled over; his mangled face and body were warm and we could feel his organs still awake inside of him, but there was no breath, and it felt impossible to accept there was not life still fighting inside of him. Alexandria was unconscious, moaning, wheezing out waves of blood. But she was alive. So we lay with her in the middle of the highway, trying to flag down help, holding her and talking to her and begging her to stay with us long enough for help to arrive. She did. We hope she heard us, and we hope she didn’t feel alone, marred and left for dead in the middle of the road, cars whizzing by as if nothing were happening. She died yesterday at UNC Hospital.
I want y’all to know that I don’t believe in glorifying violence, bloodshed, or focusing on the personal but grotesque horrors of our lives and of our deaths. And I know it was 11:30pm on a Thursday night, and I know these two people were riding down a road with no shoulder. But they had lights, and they had reflective vests. And you don’t just leave people to die like that in the middle of a highway.
I do apologize if this isn’t what you wanted to read today, but it aches and I have got to get this shit out. I want to tell you that accidents happen even to the most responsible individuals, in the seemingly safest conditions. And I want to ask you…
Why test that.
Because nobody who’s texting and driving, drinking and driving, driving while exhausted—whatever the vice may be—NOBODY sets out in their car looking to kill another living being that day. But you are not above it. None of us is. And I can promise you today, as we continue to wade through this grief: it is never worth it.
This experience has changed Taylor’s life and my life forever. I wish we hadn’t had to see it, but I’m glad we were there. I feel a fierce responsibility now to share with you the seriousness of what finding a dead body feels like, what cradling a broken suffering girl in a pile of her own blood will do to one’s heart, and what melancholic permanence is imprinted on this world when someone makes the decision to intentionally distract themselves while behind the wheel.
Thank you all for reading. Much love to everybody. Please use the roadways with all the respect and acute attention they deserve, and please be safe in everything you do…even the most dangerous of things, which make you as brave as I know you are.
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