Sunday, September 29, 2013

Unexpected visitors

We were not expecting anyone. Hubby was working in his garden, the kids were chilling and I was trying to get some more laundry done. Our hallway looked a mess, since we had to break open the floor to find a water leak (that we still haven't located by the way). The house was packed with laundry baskets, waiting to get ironed. And then the doorbell rang. Hmhm... hoping it were not Jehovah wanting to do their Save the world talk, I opened the door. In front of me, there were a man and his wife, holding a present and showing me their best smile. Immediately, I recognized them, as the couple I had helped out the previous month. Driving home from dropping off Eva at the railway station, I saw two car wrecks in the middle of the street. People were standing next to the cars in despair, not willing to leave the place. I was worried about them, so I rolled down my window and urged them to find a better spot. I could tell they were not going to, since they were in shock. Just off the road, I parked my car and ran towards them. Other cars were trying to avoid the wrecks and continued their travel despite the accident that had just happened.

A young girl was still sitting in the driver's seat, wearing her fluorescent vest. She looked calm and not injured at first sight. She told me she had run into the other car, crossing the road on her way home from ballet class. I asked her to step out of the car and find a safer haven. She was reluctant to do so, but I could convince her anyway.

An older lady was on the phone, talking to her son. I heard her say: "She ran into our car! it is totally wrecked! please come over here and help us!! I don't know what to do!" Her husband was standing beside her, looking helpless. He looked defeated and lost and I know they had to get out of there, since this bend in the road is known as dangerous. It wasn't the first and it wouldn't be the last accident at this particular spot. I guided them across the road and asked the owner of the tavern, for 3 chairs and some glasses of water. The young girl was in some sort of shock. She didn't speak, she didn't move. She just sat there. The older couple she had hit, was really upset and the lady said she felt pressure on her chest. Another passer-by had stopped and had called an ambulance. I decided to stay with all 3 victims to calm them and keep on eye on them until the police and ambulance arrived.

My oldest daughter called me. She knew I wasn't going to be long, dropping off her sister in Eeklo. It should take no more than half an hour. When she heard the sirens of an ambulance, she thought it was for me, being in some sort of accident. How foolish of me, not to warn her why I was late. I was at the scene of the accident, but I wasn't involved. I did tell her I was going to join the victims to the hospital, for the lady didn't want to be left alone. I had given her a blanket I always keep in my car. She was shivering, probably the result of being in shock. Trying to keep the conversation going (it is important to keep victims talking so they stay awake and aware), I learned more about this older couple. They told me about their son, who worked with the BOB in Ghent. They told me they had recently moved and they told me about their dogs. I kept a close eye on the young girl, as she was still not speaking or moving. In the meantime, the police had arrived and they invited the young girl into their van to be questioned. Another policeman asked the older man for his insurance papers, which were obviously still in the car wreck. I couldn't believe he asked the man to cross the road again to get the papers... That curve is really dangerous and the man was upset and weak. Maybe the policeman could get it out of the car??

Both the young girl and the older lady were transported to the hospital, in the same ambulance. There were no major injuries, although the young girl started complaining about a swollen leg. Sitting next to the driver in the ambulance, I tried to reassure the older lady, who was still very upset..

It was very nice of them, to stop by and say hi. The lady had already given me a phone call, a couple of days after the accident. She and her husband were so glad I had not left them alone. It was the least I could do.. thinking of my grandpa who had died in a car accident so many years ago..

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