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Sunday, October 28, 2007

RTA

It was about 10am when I heard the crash. Jumping up from my bouncy ball I pulled the net curtain back, and peered out onto the main road. There were a lot of stationary cars, a motorbike on its side, and in their midst, a guy lying on his back.

Seeing this, I dialled 999 and was put through to a man who asked me what the situation was. I briefly explained, asking for both police and an ambulance; at the same time I was trying to clear my head enough so figure out where my jeans and jacket were.

Name, address, phone number, number plates of vehicles involved, description of victim, is he conscious and breathing? Your name? Oh, sorry, I asked you that before.

By this time I was squatting in the road with the biker, David. Beside him, his bike, with the front totally scrunched up, lay bleeding petrol. With me was a man who’s witnessed the accident and parked his van diagonally across the road so as to stop oncoming traffic, and a doctor who’d been passing by (those medical folks really do come out of the woodwork when there’s an accident you know: in the 10 minutes we were waiting for the ambulance, no less that seven people stopped and introduced themselves as either doctors or nurses!).

Dave himself was alright, apart from what seemed to be a broken arm, and shock. The driver whose fault it was was not in such a good space. Pacing up and down the road, repeating “I have to go pick up me nan!” …and sure enough, a few minutes later he made his decision; despite our telling him that he could get in even more trouble for leaving the scene, back into his car he jumped and off he sped. We had his name and number plate though, and when the police finally arrived they seemed to be only too familiar with RTA scenes which were lacking in a culprit.

It was great to see how incidents like that can instantly being people together from very different walks of life. There was Dave, myself, the lady doctor and the van driver, all feeling very team-like. The van driver had also called the police, and seemed to be the only witness remaining. A skinhead, covered in tattoos of the Union Jack and sporting a thick local accent, I thought how much he reminded me of the people who attacked me a couple of years back in the city centre. Yet here he was, kind, concerned, and non-judgemental. I was ashamed by my own stereotyping.

Eventually the emergency services arrived. Once Dave was being treated in the ambulance, and after the Police had taken a look at the mess, we picked his big bike up and wheeled it to the side of the road. I fetched a dustpan and brush, and together we swept up the wingmirrors, speedo and lights. Statements were taken, the traffic moved on.

I was glad that the injuries sustained by Dave were not anything like as serious as those suffered by the chap who was attacked outside our house a week ago. I wasn’t in at the time, so it was only when the police came round yesterday morning that I heard anything about it. Apparently, a single man had been attacked by four other men in the middle of the road. Cars swerving to avoid the fight, the victim ended up with a fractured skull and many other bones broken all the way down to his waist. It sounded like a vicious assault. Despite the fact that it actually took place right outside my window, I still don’t consider where I live to be all that dangerous. Still, I will bear in mind what happened a week ago, and keep my wits about me when making the short walk home from the library late at night.

Anyhow, I’d best get on with the study.

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