Was Bush an Accident Waiting to Happen?
I truly want to find a way to somehow spin this into a positive post, but I can’t.
I am not only appalled, but I am both emotionally angered and saddened simultaneously with the recent events involving Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Matt Bush. I hate to admit it, but this is clearly a definite third strike against a guy who has tried to face his demons on his own, and now might be mandated legally to force-feed himself some real medicine and counseling to help deal with his issues.
I am a compassionate human being who truly want to stand up for Bush and his actions, but the reality is that I could not even look him in the face right now for the vile and angry triad that would spill from my lips. I want to show empathy for his past, present and future struggles with alcohol and it’s dependency issues, but to me, Bush broke what I consider the fundamental cardinal rule.
Matthew Brian Bush got willingly into an automobile knowing he was impaired and drove not a few miles, but at least a half hour on US 41 North from Sarasota to Port Charlotte, and in the process Bush could have easily impacted countless additional innocent lives or untold damage before this final horrific event unfolded in front of his Dodge SUV.
That angers me to a state of rage that is not fit for print, and shows the lack of concern or even basic principle of common decency and responsibility that we all assume when we collectively get into our vehicles and take to the roadways. What angers me more to the core is the fact that Bush had an alert to his inebriated state when he hit a pole during his blurry travels back. This first accident should have jolted Bush back into the reality of his state of mind, but Bush still drove on. And that is where my anger increases tri-fold because money for cab fare, a hotel or even the distance should not be the issue for ignoring this basic safety issue.
Getting into a car after even feeling a bit tipsy in my opinion is asking for something bad to happen. I know personally if I go over my predetermined 2-3 beer limit I have alternative solutions to a safe night home. My salvation is a cab ride , a designated driver or non-drinking friend or maybe even a Good Samaritan. These are the options I have laid out for myself in the even of a tipsy evening. I wonder if Bush had any inclinations to any of these secondary actions, or if he just ignored them like that incident with the pole. You do not get into a car impaired because you could effect and change another life, not just your own.
When the Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy asked Bush if this was his “serious awakening”, Bush responded in his arrest report, “ It wasn’t, he had ‘already been there’.” To compound the issue, Bush admitted to the arresting officer he had “stopped and bought a few (adult beverages) and kept driving”, a clear sign of his addiction consuming him. Seems as if things were piling onto Bush with a vengeance prior to this final accident, but he did not heed their signals.
Some of you might not know this of my background, but my father owned a towing service when I was young and I did a lot of the accident calls with him, even at night. I also worked for several police rotation and towing services from 1987-1994 were I got to see the aftermath and destruction first hand. I even had the unfortunate event of having to hold an elderly woman’s hand back in 1988 as the life was leaving her and I was helpless to help her since she was impaled and pinned into her car by the steering column after a head-on collision with a drunk driver. That is only one story of the many I have witnessed first-hand where the effects of alcohol took the wheel and severely changed people’s lives in an instant.
I understand addiction. I want to have empathy for Bush, but even after his horrific crime, he drove away completely oblivious that his SUV had rolled over the helmet of a downed motorcyclist. Even less of a defense is his blood alcohol limit of .180 which clearly is 2 times the Florida legal limit. Truly Bush’s demon was firmly at the controls.
I wonder what broke Bush? Was it the clarity that he might be back in Triple-A Durham and not sitting in the AC confines of Tropicana Field? Could all the expectations, responsibilities have somehow descended on him that day and plunged him into this liquid abyss and Bush knew of no other alternative.
For his ignorance Bush now sits behind bars currently without an attorney and not eligible for bail an a elderly motorcycle rider fights for his life at Lee Memorial Hospital. How his evening would have been different if Bush had been forthright and just picked up his phone, call a teammate, a friend, a Rays clubhouse attendant…..a cab and admitted he was not fit to be behind the wheel. This angers me to the core because this not the road a baseball career, or a life should ever travel.