We love Charleston. Everyone loves Charleston. There are too many reasons to count. But one reason that stands out is how friendly and polite people are. That is, until Charlestonians get behind the wheel. I often say Charlestonians are the worst — there is no rhythm, no generosity and no courtesy.

One of the most egregious examples I have ever seen occurred recently on I-26 around 11 a.m. Traffic was stalled near Tanger Outlet Mall because of a two-car accident.

When I got to the accident scene what I saw was shocking. A woman was lying on the side of the road. Another was trapped in a smoking, smashed car, and another was unconscious in the other vehicle.

How do I know this? Because out of the hundreds of people who went by, I was the only one to stop and help.

I checked the unconscious woman, saw she wasn’t visibly harmed so I ran to the other car where a woman was trapped in the driver’s seat. The woman on the sidewalk couldn’t get up and was disoriented. At 140 pounds I opened the car door and carried the woman to the side of the road away from danger.

It was probably only seven or eight minutes but it felt like an eternity. It wasn’t until the police showed up that I realized I was alone. All those cars drove by, slowing, rubbernecking to see the latest tragedy on I-26.

What happened to Southern hospitality in Charleston?

What happened to Southern gentlemen who would open doors for me to my surprise when I moved here from California? Where were the moms who saw their daughters on the side of the road, or their grandmothers passed out in the front seat?

After I left, I was shaking and crying. not because I was scared, but because I was so mad at humanity.

Carolyn Sotka

Adjunct Faculty

College of Charleston

George Street

Charleston