Friday 3 February 2012

A Cautionary Tale

Today, as the bulbs valiantly tried to spring into life along the roadside of my little village, I held my friend up whilst we watched her beautiful 17 year old daughter being cut out of a car wreck. My arms gripping hold of her tightly, the tinfoil blanket slipped as she shook. 

As I looked on and saw the 'jaws of life' cut the roof off the car I noticed all the small details of renewed life around us whilst desperately praying that this young girls life, the life she knew, was not ebbing away. She was conscious and breathing steadily but she was still. So still. While her Mother shook, and my lungs felt fit to burst from running through the barricade in the minus 5 degree cold, she lay in the car with out any sign of motion. She had head and spinal injuries they said, they couldn't guess how severe. Three fire engines, two ambulances, two police cars, a swarm of people in high visibility coats with walkie talkies blaring, all bustling about rescuing a girl so beautiful it seemed totally surreal to see her with blood trailing down her cheek and yet her lipstick intact with a freshly applied appearance.

It seemed wrong that just a hundred yards from her home she was so still and quiet whilst organised chaos carried on around her. Everyone else involved in the collision simply got out of the cars and were unscathed although visibly shaken. You see she hadn't quite got her seat belt buckled. The driver had started off down the road before she'd clicked her seat belt locked. Her head had hit the windscreen and bent backwards, her body had pushed into her neck. 

Those times when you are just popping down the road. Put your seat belt on. Those times you are driving along and putting your seat belt on... stop doing that. Put it on before you put the car in gear. Those times when your friend/husband/child jumps into your waiting car. Don't pull away till you hear the click. You think you'll be ok. You think those few paltry seconds don't matter. I have seen today that they matter plenty. What the hell do you say to reassure when your eye's are looking at a limp girl being cut out of a car? What can you do? What can you say? 

My friends daughter is going to be ok. But for a few hours this morning it looked like her life as an able bodied girl full of vitality might have been over. She has been spared, she will be ok. She will take a while to heal but she will recover.



  1. Oh no Cuckoo, that's terrible. How is your friend holding up, and how are you coping?

  2. oh my traumatic....i really hope she recovers soon...a cautionary tale indeed

  3. That must have been awful.....for everyone. To have been in it, and to have been helplessly watching it all unfold.

    Life is precious, and just a few measures can save lives. It always brings things home. Glad the outcome was as it was in the end and the daughter will be okay. Phew


  4. How terrible... your poor friend must be in such a is good that you were able to be there to support her just when she needed you. I do hope the girl recovers fully. Look after yourself this weekend.. shock and trauma are not to be taken lightly..hugs xx

  5. My dad had a near miss some years ago before seat belt wearing was legalised,that has stayed with us all after he told us how close it had been.Thank God your friends daughter will be alright,blessings to her and her family and I hope you are not to shaken up,gosh what a fright.lots of love,juliexxx

  6. That's terrible, so glad she's going to be ok. Those few seconds really do matter. A few weeks ago we got in a minicab to go to the hospital and the driver pulled away while I was still doing my daughter's seatbelt up. At the end of our road he didn't look properly and nearly went into a bus and had to pull up sharp. Luckily it wasn't too serious but we wasn't even out of our road. You never know what's going to happen. On a totally different note, I have just discovered your blog and think it's great xxx

  7. Oh Cuckoo, I'm speechless.

    Thank goodness for so many things.

    My heart goes out to your friend and her daughter. As Stocki says, don't underestimate what you've been through too. Go gently my friend.

    I can get a little cross with Clare when she dithers around with her seatbelt, particularly if we're running a bit late. Not any more.

    Take care, Hxx

  8. Oh my god...
    I too have a seventeen year old at home who will be driving by himself next month and number two will start this summer.
    Keep breathing...

  9. I've only just found your blog via Little Tin Bird and read this post feeling upset. How sad it is that young lives are risked by driving/being passengers, in cars, that vehicle which they use for 'freedom'. How the roads have changed so much since I first started driving. I hope the lovely girl will make a full recovery.

    Now I'll have a look at the rest of your blog.

  10. That's an awful thing to happen and to see. Thanks for reminding us about taking the time to do things properly. Hope they are all ok and safe again xxx

  11. I'm so guilty of doing that 'driving off whilst simultaneously putting seat belt on'.... I will heed your warning. Really hope the girl makes a speedy and full recovery. Take good care of yourself.

  12. :-(

    Sending lots of love x x x x x

  13. i ve never commented on any blog before but i wanted to thank you for this post. i always clip in as i drive off ..... not anymore .i shall clunk click every trip before i drive off in future. you see blogging is nt just crotchet and flowers , today you ve made a real difference. = )
    I hope she makes a full recovery.
    Keep blogging Cuckoo , i love coming to visit you , From twizzly kazzle xx

  14. How shocking. Incidents like this always bring life back into sharp focus. I hope you are also looking after yourself tonight....that was quite a shocking thing to experience. So glad your friends daughter is going to be ok. Sending you all my thoughts & hugs, take care lovely x x x x

  15. What a shocking story. I'm so glad that your friend's daughter is going to be okay.
    Big hugs,

  16. I'm so glad it wasn't worse news. Such a shock and thank you for reminding us all about the importance of being buckled up BEFORE we set off.
    Jacquie x

  17. I thank you for your blog posts all of them. You never shy away and you always do full justice to whatever you are talking about. You have really brought home how important seat belt are. I don't know why they don't use the 'clunk click every trip' campaign anymore. It worked. I never let anyone drive off before I have done it. Even so, you don't expect the worst to happen do you? My Rose Valley had an awful experience the other day when a car crashed into hers. Hers and your accounts are shocking but necessarily so.

    I hope you feel OK, it must have been awful for you. I'm relieved that your friend's daughter will be alright. What must you all have been going through at the road side? I know you must have been a great comfort and help as you are such a lovely person. Don't forget to give yourself some tlc too, as you have had a terrible shock today. Best of wishes for your friend that she recovers form today's trauma and of course to her daughter for the best and most speediest of recoveries.

  18. OMG, what a nightmare!!

    Sending {{{{healing vibes}}}} for your friends girl and ((((hugs)))) for you.....

    S x

  19. Oh my goodness, your post has shaken me to my core. How completely awful for you - and even more so for your friend. Thank God her daughter is okay.

    And THANK YUO for the reminder for the seat belts.


  20. I can't imagine how horrible that must have been for you and your friend. The poor girl - I've certainly whizzed off down the road still doing up my seatbelt before. It could have been any number of us. Thank heaven she is going to be OK, despite the horrific trauma to her body. Salutary lesson for us all.

    Thoughts are with your dear friend and love to you for giving her the strength and support to get through it.

    Nicki xxx

  21. hey
    But thank goodness she's ok.
    That will stay with you, as well as them, forever.
    And it will remind me to keep asking 'everyone got their seatbelt on?' and NOW prompt me to double check (Pretty sure I shouldn't trust those pesky boys since I can't trust them to brush their teeth!)
    Bet you're exhausted tonight. Get a good sleep my friend...fee x
    (love to your friend too x)

  22. God, how awful! I'm so glad she's ok. I need to show this post to my brother as he frequently does up his belt after he's started moving off. I hope you're ok too
    R x

  23. Sleep well after such a traumatic moment. Not to be taken lightly dear girl. Well done for being the friend that you are, and do take extra care to be kind to yourself now.
    Sending many good vibes to your friend and her daughter. Horrendous for all.
    x x x x

  24. What a shocking day. Thank goodness it looks as if all will be well for her. Look after yourself won't you too.
    A good slap for me as I pull out of our drive late for school each day putting my belt on. Always make sure the girls have done it before, but not me.


  25. Oh my goodness what a horrendous thing to go through...for all involved. It is a good remind to all of us to take care and to treasure all the precious moments we are given. I hope you are okay now too - be kind to yourself. Thank goodness that beautiful young life was not lost. Becks x

  26. Wise words to make us all think - how many of us do that fastening up as we pull away? Worst nightmare as a mother, glad she is going to be ok. lots of love xx

  27. I read this whole post with my hand over my mouth, not really wanting to get to the end in case it didn't end well. I'm so very pleased she is going to be ok. Make it click - that's the tv campaign here for kids. Adults need to take heed also. Have a lovely weekend hon.

  28. i read that in depth with tears...what a situation...what a sad sight to face...almost surreal, but so, so, so glad she has been spared and will live ;0)...when i was a child my family were hit from behind by a car- it was such a scarey situation to be in and even to see my father cry. luckily we all managed to escape with just cuts and bruises. best wishes on recovery ;0)x and love to all xx

  29. Oh my dear Cuckoo!
    I'm praying for you and your friends and her daughter.

  30. I hope you are all ok, horrible for you all. I agree with the seat belt totally, make sure everyone is strapped in before you set off, it's so so important. Thank goodness she is ok.
    Sending love and hugs,
    Emma x

  31. How had it must have been for he mother to stand and watch it all unfold befour he and not being able to help. I'm so thankful that she will be ok.

  32. Just glad that she is okay , I am guilty of putting my belt on whilst driving off but no longer .love to all involved. xxx

  33. Oh my god, what a terrifying situation for all to be involved in. Im so glad that your friends daughter is going to be ok, I'm glad that you were able to be there to support your friend at that time. Take care of yourself, thank you for posting

  34. Take care my friend, I am sending love your way and along to your friend and her daughter. It is an emotionally draining time, as others have said 'be kind to you'.
    xox Sandi

  35. Cuckoo, what a terrible scene to have to watch, so glad with time this young girl will be ok ......
    An important lesson learnt the hard way.

    'Click before each trip' is an advertising campaign being shown during the adds in cinemas here.
    This post has just bought it home .........

    Life is so precious, those few seconds to buckle, can make all the difference,

    Claire X

  36. So terrible glad she will be ok. Nothing else to say really this is the second blog this week with an awful car crash. Life is so fragile.

  37. Oh no.... how awful! I really hope your friend's daughter fully recovers, it must have been so so distressing for her having to watch her daughter in such an awful situation.
    I hope your not feeling to shaken by seeing it all either.
    Sending lots of love your way and to your friend!

    Ashley xxx

  38. Your story makes me go quiet Cuckoo......With three 17+ girls at home.....I am so happy to read that she is feeling better. Hope she will be her old self again soon.

    Lots of love to your and your friend!

    Madelief x

  39. How absolutely terrible! I could hardly bear to read the end, I had a lump in my throat. I'm so glad she's going to be OK. An awful shock for all of you. Take care. xx

  40. Goodness me. This sends a shiver down my spine. So glad to hear that your friend's daughter will be ok and that you were there to support your friend at the scene. It must have been a terrible thing to see. Xxxx

  41. Oh my. Thanks for your comforting words Cuckoo. You know what I am going through. I know what you are going through. This is a comfort itself... In my mind I thought veerything would be over after a day or two. Life goes on right. But Friday morning when hubby left for work, all kids were dropped off at school and I suddenly found myself alone after the accident. I suddenly felt more vulnerable than before. Sensitive, close to tears every minute. irrational in my behaviour. Went to my crashed car to pick up my gloves, a box of Tic Tac and an ice scraper... Just the look of the car set me off in tears and my whole body clinged up in fear. How stupid is that? Why did I do that? My husband almost got mad at me when I called and sobbed over the phone. But Friday was a terrible day. A day when I realized that it will take time to heal this trauma.

    I have sat myself behind the wheel already though, driven by the place of the accident a few times. Just to face the fear. People say if you fall off a horse you should get right up there asap. So that is what I did. But I don't trust anyone anymore. Think that everybody are morons in the traffic. Cutting corners, driving to fast, making stupid over takes, staying to close...

    Your story is far more traumatic than mine as it sound with all the rescue activities going on around you. You did very well helping your friend. You are very courageous. It will take time for you too to recover. My doctor says that nightmares after traumas like these can appear up to 6 months after the actual accident. Just to let me know that it takes time for the brain to sort and recover form all the details. I haven't experienced any nightmares yet though. Hopefully I won't. I closed my eyes when I saw there was nothing I could do. Maybe that has saved me a bit. I didn't see any details until after. I wish you all the best on your journey to healing. And all the best to this young girl. I hope she will do alright.

    Thanks again for popping by. It warms my heart. I will come back and browse around your place a bit more later. right now I am putting my dear critters to bed. :D Have a lovely Sunday evening.♥♥♥ Annette

  42. I held my breath as I read this post and now have tears in my eyes - tears of relief that she's going to be ok, of empathy for all involved and for the thought of what could have been. Thank you for the reminder to 'clunk click every trip' even if it is just moving the car off the drive - just because we're driving slowly doesn't mean everyone else is...take care xx

  43. That is awful, the only blessing is she survived! Thanks for reminding us all. My hubby tends to drive off before I've managed to belt up. It will be a lesson to him as well.

  44. Nice article thanks for sharing that to me.Good job and thanks for sharing such a good information.very interesting ,slotxo


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