Monday, 4 June 2018

And We Were All Useless ....

Just as I was wondering whether to go off to the library or not, two police cars and an ambulance shot round the corner, sirens blaring , closely followed by two more police cars and a police motor bike.  They all tore into the next street and stopped by the old ladies home's back door. Another ambulance and police car rushed round from the main road and  two police started wrapping red and white tape round everything, including our car park … a sixth police car and third ambulance followed and a yellow helicopter hovered at the end of the road . The noise and chaos started taking shape....

Everybody was out on their balconies, wondering what was going on. Some of the police crowded round the home's door, holding tarpaulins as a shield as paramedics ran around with stretchers and the helicopter finally managed to land . By this stage there were so many people milling about I assumed that it was a training exercise and felt rather sorry for them all on such a hot day. The staff from the home set up a table with coffee and cold drinks and the tarpaulin holders changed around, glad of a rest. A man with a blanket round his shoulders was helped into a car and a lorry was driven away. Everybody, about 30 assorted paramedics, police and a fire crew, all milled about, desperate to help ...

Oxygen tanks lined up. Medics ran in and out of the tarpaulined area. Urgent instructions. A saline drip and a trolley disappeared into the ever growing tarpaulined space. The six police cars and three ambulances sat , doors open .... We all waited.  Radios crackled and one after the other,  the spare ambulances left...

A priest arrived.

The helicopter crew picked up  their stretcher and huge red rucksacks and left and two motorbike police started to untangle the traffic by the park at the top and the river at the bottom. Boats sailed past. Students were being allowed to cycle up the river path again in a tidy, organised queue, supervised by another motor bike policeman . The tarpaulin holders all swopped round again. And a hearse arrived.

She'd just gone out to walk down to the river with her walking frame because it was such a nice morning and she hadn't heard the peep-peep-peep of a backing lorry. The driver hadn't seen her, tiny and dressed in grey, in his blind spot  She was 92.
An hour later, it was as though nothing had happened at all.

11 comments:

A Cuban In London said...

I have to say that your story was so well told that I hoped nothing serious would happen. And then...

Great post if... tragic.

Greetings from London.

Toffeeapple said...

This has struck to my very heart, what a sad ending for the poor soul. Thank you for telling it in a dignified manner.

gz said...

So sad.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Oh dear, what a way to go.

Joanne Noragon said...

Hos sad for the driver, the old woman, her friends, the first responders.....

Molly Bon said...


Poor little old dear. What a horrible end to come to having lived that long. Hope she's in a happy place....

colleen said...

A sad tale, beautifully told. I hope she'd had a good life.

PipeTobacco said...

SmitoniuAndSonata:

What a tragic situation. So harsh... not only for the woman... but it feels so harsh for us that life just continued on shortly thereafter. I know that is reality.... but it felt so sad.

Thank you for telling us this in your essay. I really enjoy your writings. I have not been visiting as much lately because of my own issues, but I am trying to pull myself up again and do positive things. I hope to be back very often now.

PipeTobacco

Liz Hinds said...

That's so sad.

But what efficiency by the respondents. Responders? Yes, responders I think.

nick said...

What an awful way to go. Though better I suppose than being battered by some long-term illness for months or years on end. The lorry driver must feel absolutely dreadful. Blind spots on lorries have been a major hazard for a very long time, but nobody seems to have found an answer to it. Cyclists are regularly mown down by oblivious lorry drivers.

English Rider said...

I'd imagine the lorry driver was marked for life.