Doing the Right Thing

S M Chen
5 min readJan 12, 2021

50-year-old Jose Fuentes was crossing the intersection of 78th Street and Central Avenue one evening in November, 2020, in Florence (south Los Angeles) when a northbound motorcyclist struck him.

The motorcyclist did not stop until some time and distance later. Rather than returning to assist the injured man, the motorcyclist remounted the dark colored sports bike and fled.

Fuentes lay on the ground.

Moments later, a white sedan struck him again. The driver did not stop.

Fuentes was then struck a third time. That vehicle did not stop, either.

Fuentes subsequently died.

Video footage recorded the tragedy.

Here’s a link:

There are 682,000 hit and runs annually in the USA, or 1868/day. Many result in fatalities. About 10% of cases are eventually solved.

What is it that makes one person stop and assist a fallen person and another turn a blind eye and ignore them? For one to do the right thing, and another to do the opposite?

On a smaller scale, perhaps similar to the situation in which one car strikes another which is parked.

Perhaps we witness it out our window from behind a curtain or blind.

We wait to see what the perpetrator will do.

With satisfaction, we see him stop, get out, and leave a slip of paper on the windshield of the car he has hit.

Good for him, we think. He’s doing the right thing.

Little do we know what is written on the note. It might be this: “You may think I’m leaving contact information, but I’m not. This is my lucky day. Yours? Not so lucky.” No signature.

It was a late afternoon when I pulled into the underground parking area of the hotel where I was staying for the better part of a week. I’d put in a long, hard workday and wanted to park the car, go to my room, and unwind a bit before dinner.