I'm having a very eventful week. I rang about the buzzard this morning. She's had her wing set but they've realised she has internal damage, which isn't great news. We don't know how bad it is, but she isn't standing and they are having to feed her, so it is touch and go. The next few days she'll either pull through or slip away.
I walked the hounds first thing (feels like several days ago now), then drove towards town to drop L at the bus stop for college. We'd only gone about a mile down the road when we came to a queue of traffic. Assuming mobile works, we sat for a couple of minutes, but then people began getting out of their cars so I realised it wasn't road works. Telling L to stay put, I walked down the road and discovered a pretty terrible car accident which must have happened only moments before.
There was debris all over the road, one car skewed across the road and another upside down in a ditch with the front rammed against a small tree. I didn't realise at the time but the driver was still inside.
A man, clutching a small child and looking very dazed was walking up the road towards me, crying. I put my arm round him and asked him what had happened. He was fairly incoherent but managed to tell me he'd been driving the car that was skewed across the road. He was really worried about his little one, but she seemed fine, only confused about why her dad was in such a state. I got him to sit down and checked where he was hurt. There was some blood on his knee but it didn't look urgent so I told him I was going to check on his girlfriend who was also crying into her phone a bit further down the road and that we'd get the medics to look at him as soon as they arrived. As I ran down to check his girlfriend, I saw a man carrying the trapped driver from the upturned car to the side of the road. I reached the girlfriend and ascertained that she wasn't hurt, so I turned back to the driver who by now was sitting on the verge.
She was conscious but she was shaking and very dazed and not really able to talk. I wrapped my coat round her as someone else called an ambulance and the lovely chap rang her mum. Just then a car came flying down the road, so I leapt up and flagged it to stop. Out jumps this guy. I asked him whether he was a paramedic but it turned out he was CID, who just happened to be passing. He rang the accident in and a little later a policeman turned up who was super and very efficient. He got the road sorted; cones out, cars moved, everyone who was standing around watching was told to get on their way. I moved my car out of the road and onto the verge and got L to come and wait near me. I was worried another car would come flying round the corner and hit mine, although I think the police had another car out further back managing the traffic by that point. Luckily, L had some chocolate on him so we gave a piece to the lass from the upturned car which seemed to help the shock and rally her a little, she was able to talk more coherently after the sugar at any rate.
Bless her, she was so worried about the other people, so we reassured her they were walking wounded and no one had been seriously hurt. The chap who'd been driving the other car appeared and asked her if she was OK. He was looking a bit better by this point but I was worried his daughter would get cold so L took them to my car and she sat in there while we all waited for the paramedics to arrive. We asked the lass on the verge what had happened but she couldn't remember anything. At that point her mum arrived. Poor lady, she was frantic and it didn't help seeing the state her daughter's car was in. She sat down with her and started to shake and cry as well. I put my arms round both of them, trying to offer some comfort and reassurance and told them that the ambulance was on its way. We gave the mum some chocolate as well and after a bit she stopped shaking.
It seemed ages until the paramedics arrived, but once they were there they were brilliant. The chap who'd got her out of the car explained what he'd done and said he knew it was risky but she was so distressed he couldn't leave her hanging upside down in a crashed car. They reassured him and he then went on his way. He was so great with the lass who'd been driving: calm, friendly, reassuring, telling her he'd totalled a car when he was 18 and was now a driving instructor. I think he was a bit of a hero, to be honest.
The medics assessed her neck and spine, put on a neck brace, took blood pressure etc, all the time chatting easily away and explaining what was happening. They were so reassuring, so kind, so competent. She kept asking me what would happen next and was worried about what would happen to her car, so we reassured her a garage would take it away and let her mum know where it was, that it would all be sorted out and she didn't need to do anything or worry about it. Eventually, when they were satisfied it was safe to move her, the medics got her onto a stretcher, I retrieved my coat and left my number with her mum so she could let me know later how she was, then I got back in my car and finally dropped L at college about an hour and half after we'd set off.
I checked L was OK because it was a pretty awful thing to witness, but he assured me he was and to be honest, being at college busy with his friends was probably the best thing for him. I wondered briefly after it was all over whether I might have a delayed shock reaction, but it's not the first time I've had to deal with the aftermath of a serious car accident and growing up in the country with animals means I'm used to wounds and injuries. Riding horses as a kid also meant witnessing some pretty horrid accidents, a number of which ended up with folk being carted off in ambulances. As long as none of my family are involved, I'm usually pretty reliable and calm in a crisis.
I'm just so relieved no one was seriously hurt. The policeman took one look at the car and said she was lucky to be alive. I told her she'd had her angel with her. Poor lass, what an awful thing to happen.
So that's two rescues in three days. I sincerely hope there isn't a third. Perhaps I'll stay indoors for a while :o)