Lucky Escape!

Piglet, Puss and I had the luckiest of escapes this morning.

I was driving back from the vet just after 9am, having taken Pussling along to confirm that she’s more-or-less recovered from her horrible abscess, when on a wet and windy country road a car travelling in the opposite direction suddenly spun out of control on a bend and hurtled towards us. It’s a 60 zone and I’m sure that we must each have been doing at least 40mph, so we were approaching each other at, I’m sure, 80mph+. I couldn’t see any way out of a head-on collision, but I yanked the steering wheel to the right to try to steer around the other car. I almost managed it, but the other car just clipped the back of mine and then, in the rear view mirror, I saw it turn over at least once and land on its roof in the hedge beside the road.

I pulled over and ran back to find what looked like smoke beginning to rise from the crashed car. There was a young man there too, and he was getting out his phone to ring 999. I called into the car to reassure the occupants that we were coming to get them, and a few seconds later we saw a hand banging on the window at the back (I think it must have been a hatchback). We opened the hatch and a young woman in her 20s crawled out. Incredibly, her only visible injuries were some bloody scrapes along her arms. The young woman (Rebecca) was in her bare feet and it was raining, and so we walked over to my car and I settled Rebecca in the passenger seat with my mobile while the young man and I went out to try to prevent a pile-up occurring as more cars came whizzing round the bend.

The emergency services came, and eventually Rebecca was taken away to hospital. Naturally there was some concern about whether or not she might have injured her neck, but she appeared to have survived virtually unscathed.

To the end of my days I’ll have no idea how I managed to avoid a head-on collision. I’ve heard people speak about how quickly these things happen, but I really hadn’t understood what they meant until this morning. One second we were travelling home in a perfectly ordinary fashion, and the next there was a car hurtling towards us on our side of the road with only a second or so to make a decision about how to try to avoid it. Mind-boggling stuff. Rebecca told me that she lost control of her car when it ran into standing water on the bend, and that when she saw oncoming traffic she just closed her eyes and waited for the collision.

Fortunately Piggle and Pussling don’t seem to have suffered any adverse reaction. I suppose they didn’t see anything, though they must have been thrown around a bit in their crate and basket. I’ve not really been able to sit back and relax yet because I’m currently having a new shower installed and I had to drive over to town soon after I got home in order to collect a shower door. This evening, though, I think the three of us will curl up downstairs with something nice to eat and watch a bit of mindless television.

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8 Responses to Lucky Escape!

  1. Laura says:

    The most terrifying experience – it’s as well you didn’t just ‘close your eyes and wait for the collision’…!

  2. mike knipe says:

    Cripes. Closing the eyes is a reasonable strategy. There’s a roundabout in Huddersfield where its the ONLY strategy. I had flashbacks for a while after a similar incident involving a stone wall and trying to drive a Morris 1000 on it’s driver’s door.
    Well done for staying out of A&E…..!

  3. Phil says:

    Smart driving there, Shirl – do we have another Divina Galica in the making I wonder?

    Glad you’re all OK 🙂

  4. Mango Terrier says:

    OMG thank goodness you had the smarts and the reactions to turn to the right. I guess Puss-Puss has used up a few lives. Sign up for the Chris Barber Racing School! (Divina Galicia is an instructor . . . )

  5. Andy Howelx says:

    Wow.

    Never let somebody travel by sitting in the luggage part of a hatch. My brother died in very similar circumstances!

    Glad everyone is OK!

  6. Martin Rye says:

    Lucky escape had by all. Makes you think how lucky we are sometimes. Glad you are all ok.

  7. peewiglet says:

    Many thanks, all of you! I don’t think any mega driving skillz came into it: more a matter of a lucky instinct to steer away. I’m now travelling at a snail’s pace on those blasted wet, winding roads in case it happens again.

    Andy–I’m very sorry to hear about your brother having died like that. What a terrible thing. This has all brought home to me how tenuous our grasp on life actually is.

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