Since the Matriarch moved into the retirement village, it has become my responsibility to pick her up every Saturday evening and take her to church. No problem. Saturday the 7th January was no different, except that she had offered a friend at the home a lift to church with us, as her usual transportation was not available.
i picked them up at about 5.30 pm, in my Toyota Corolla. Due to the fact that the friend has in the past had a massive stroke, it's easier for her to sit in front, with mom at the back. Off we go. Church is from 6 - 7. We left the church at between 6.55 and 7pm. Nice casual drive back to the village. As I am approaching an intersection, ans stop street, I do what I always do. Check speedo (60km/h), move foot to brake pedal, and at the same time check rearview mirror so that if there is someone following me, I can see if they note that I am slowing down. No car behind me. I look front - and the world ended!!!
Coming at me, in my lane, at a very high speed I see a car! WTF! is probably all that went through my mind, and I floored the brake pedal. And the whole world exploded. It's a fantastic thing that it all seems to be in slow motion, but is in fact a split second and the destruction that takes place is almost unbelievable!
The car stops, and there's this deadly silence. Mom is lying between the seats, with her head more or less on the gear lever. I try to lift her, but there is not response. I turn to open my door, it unlocks, but wont budge, so I kick the crap out of it - open. Get out, rune around the car to open the passenger doors. They are locked from inside. Run back around, get in the car - reach over, unlock both doors, try ans help mom again - nothing, get out run around - open both doors - check the lady in front, looks OK???? - look down at mom - not looking OK, reach in through the back door to see if I can help her up from there - and I see a steel pin stuck right through her left leg - ans I know I cant do anything.......
Run back around, feel around under her head where I remember putting my cellphone, find it, and dial the Princess! By now, people are coming to help, and two ladies ask me to stand aside, and I do. Light up a smoke (no, i didn't think of the tank full of petrol - WTF!).
Stepping back, I do a quick assessment of the situation. The driver of the other car has climbed out - no injuries that I can see. I ask the nearest to me to make sure he does not run away. i notice that from the point of impact, my car traveled backwards at least 20 meters! How fast was this fucker driving?
People have already called for assistance. ow truck drivers arrive - and pass out blankets, cushions, and first aid kits!! Awesome. Next to arrive - after a while - paramedics, that's good, cause I really need them to work on the two ladies in the car. The local Community Police Forum people arrive, and immediately one of them is tasked to attach themselves to the driver of the other car. Make sure he has nothing to eat or drink, and does not leave before the cops get there.
Next to arrive, ambulances - soon after the paramedics, then, later, the firebrigade, and much later, the SAPS. (Where the fuck were they?).
Anyway, after more than an hour of working on her, they got mom into an ambulance, her frined in another one, and we all went off to the hospital. GMan, summoned by the Princess had arrived, and between the teo of them they sorted out the stuff in the car, and arranged to have it towed. And then followed us to the hospital.
|This was my Toyota Corolla|
|The other car - A VW Jetta, older model|
|At the scrap yard|
|Now I know why me chest hurts - check that steering wheel|
|Chest 1 - 0 Steering wheel|
Mom shattered her wrist, hence the brace in the foto above,and broke her left leg, above the knee, steel pins and plates, and smashed the dashboard with her face - you have no idea how black and blue her face was, and loads of bruises etc. We now on day 20, and she is still in hospital.
Moms friend - Broken left wrist - has a brace similar to moms. Plenty broken ribs - rhs - And they had to insert a plate and a whole lot of screws to fix a bunch of broken ribs, and repair a hole in her lung ( caused by the ribs), and loads of bruises. The scariest was that she went into some kind of shock induced coma, and was non-responsive to any interaction at all for just over a week. But now she's doing great, and should be home soon. Mom has to do a week or so of rehab, after she leaves hospital, before she can go home.
I spoke to the cop who came to the scene that night. He says the other driver was not drunk. But, he quickly assesed that he was on drugs, and arrested him, and took him for a blood test. He would have spent the weekend in jail, and probably released on bail only Monday sometime. Now we wait for the results. I have to call the cop soon for an update, and so tat I can get some info to initiate the Road Accident Fund Claim.
We survived - I am very blessed to have come off so lighlty, but would gladly take all the injuries from my mom, and her friend if I could, to spare them the pain they have had to suffer the past 3 weeks.
More to follow as it unfolds.