Sunday, June 21, 2009

A traffic accident

Last night was the concert for Ruido issue 10. I had a siesta, and woke up a bit late, so I was late leaving for El Paso. That meant I went up the twisty road as fast as I felt was safe.

And a dark Berlingo passed me doing about 20 km/h more than me. "Idiot!" I thought.

Almost immediately after that, the two cars in front of me braked hard and switched on their emergency lights. We all pulled over.

Just the other side of the tight, left-hand bend, the same Berlingo had crashed into the cutting wall on the right. Obviously it had tried to take the corner too fast.

So I dumped the contents of my handbag onto the passenger seat, and grabbed my phone. But when I looked up, someone from the car in front was already talking into his mobile, giving directions. So I grabbed the red triangle out of the boot and started off down the road with it. It was certainly needed, because everybody had to brake quite hard when they saw it.

Then I ran back to the Berlingo. The driver was about 19, unhurt and cool as a cucumber. His passenger - on the side that had slammed into the cutting wall - was unconcious. I went to check her airway, breathing and pulse (as I learned from first aid courses at the observatory) but she already had a professional nurse with her, thank goodness.

The injured girl half woke up, and we started breathing again. Then she complained that she couldn't move her toes. Oh shit!

But by the time the ambulance had arrived, she'd fallen unconcious again. Double shit! As far as I remember, that usually means bleeding inside the skull.

And the driver still looked really relaxed about it all. Far more relaxed than the bystanders. Maybe it hadn't sunk in, I don't know.

The police arrived and filmed the accident scene. The ambulance took the poor girl away. The police moved the van and the traffic started moving again. I had to wait until almost last to collect my triangle. Well, it gave me time to calm down. Sort of.

So I fanally arrived at the Ruido fiesta very late, to find that the fiesta was late, too. I felt like downing several large G&Ts, but that wasn't an option, since I had to drive home in a couple of hours. I settled for one beer.

I think what did me the most good was taking photos. El Paso's fiesta for Our Lady of Fatima is similar to the Corpus Christi celebrations in Mazo and San Jose, and they were setting up the archways and carpets, ready for tomorrow's procession.

I hope I can find out what happened the the girl.

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