So close. M6 Car crash

reeeeeeThis was going to be a post on face book but it seems too important to dismiss it as a status update. I’m not even sure if this is what I should be doing but I have to tell you about the surreal events of the day even just to try and get them out of my head.  There is no lead up to this it just happened and then the aftermath.

Returning home on the M6 towards London the traffic was steady and I was on the fast lane which happened not be that fast as the weather was shit and all lanes were at a steady 65/70mph when for seemingly no reason what so ever the car in front of me turned to the left and crossed over the two lanes and crashed himself into the back left corner of a Lorry on the slow lane and from that point on everything is on a loop.

I watched a thousand pieces explode into the air and spray all over the road. I  pulled the car to a stop, put on the hazard lights jumped out of the car and found myself running down and across the motorway dodging the slowing traffic to the crumpled car. The ringing of car alarm was piercing the air and things in the engine were still running. As  I approached I saw that the driver was in a serious situation but he was breathing. I ran to the drivers side and told the driver it was Ok I was there. He had large cuts to the head with blood running down his neck, he had swollen eyes that were almost bulging. His arm was gashed and serious amounts of bone was visible.  I muttered that it would be ok again but hadn’t a clue what to do but I did know that I shouldn’t move him. I ran back round to the passenger side and pulled open the door to see if I could get to him at this point I realised that this was so serious we could loose this man. Where his lower legs should have been was the engine block.

The car alarm was the only thing you could hear breaking silence as though everything else in the world had been suspended. I knew there was nothing I could do except stand there and comfort him till help arrived. As I passed the front of the car to get back to him, a man was pulling at the wires in the engine until the alarm was silenced. I stood at the window and carried on talking when from behind me a woman came through and said she was a nurse and relieved me from my position.

Men were running around on their phones talking to the emergency services trying to pin point were we were on the motorway. I then noticed the lorry driver was on the road and I asked him if he was alright and he was obviously in shock. At this point I realised that traffic was still heading for us and I put on a High vis and I took myself onto the road and stood there waving and signalling to the cars and lorries coming towards us to alert them of the danger. I kicked in all the debris of the road so there was none to cause a further accident. I kicked the head light, a wing mirror, wires, and so much plastic, and  I can remember shouting around to see if anyone had any warning triangles in the car? Then the blue flashing lights could be seen approaching us down the hard shoulder.

The police took over and the cones were placed. I ran to my car and drove it over to the hard shoulder along with car behind me out of the way of the traffic and harms way. Within minutes more police cars, fire engines and ambulances arrived and myself and others took a step back as we were asked to wait to speak to an officer. Blankets and machinery where deployed, cutting machines were ready and waiting. All this time the lorry driver was wandering about, to me he was in shock and I called to the ambulance worker that he needed some attention. All the traffic had been diverted at this point and the air ambulance circled overhead ready to land as soon as the road cleared.

As we stood around myself and others recounted what happened. I watched from a distance as the feeling of adrenaline started to make me feel sick and shiver. I took myself away from the group and phoned my mum and dad whom I had told I was going call as soon as I got home so they knew I had arrived safe. I started retching and crouched myself down so not to be seen throwing up it wasn’t comparable to what was going on around me. As I stood up I noticed above us the slip road on to the motorway was full of stationary traffic and people had got out of their cars, opened their windows and were filming the accident and from their viewpoint could see into the car. The wave of disgust made me call them out. I can’t remember what I shouted something like “what the fuck are you doing? Get a fucking Life !” Followed by calling them cunts. I walked down the bank back to the group and they were in agreement with my sentiments.

The Air ambulance landed and came to ask us to recount what we saw to establish what injuries they had on their hands. We stood around for a while and I asked if anyone had a cigarette I’m not a smoker but needed to calm my adrenaline and nausea.  I took a couple of pulls as we talked about how close we were to it being in that carnage trying to make sense of what we had witnessed. The police officer came over to take a brief statement of events and take down my details. We were told we could leave and I said that I wanted to see him put into the ambulance. The police officer replied that I may not like what I see and that there was life changing injuries and I said I know he had lost his legs I saw it. As I was getting in the car another came over and told me to get warm and added that if any of the people filming uploaded their footage at least the people watching would hear me calling them cunts and he shouldn’t say it but he agreed.

The drive home was a blur. I drove in the slow lane. Even though I was the only car on both sides of the motorway. My thoughts kept on returning to the fact that some family somewhere had just had their life changed forever. Somebodies husband, a father, a son may not make it and if they did their lives will never be the same again. I got home and had a cry. I lay in the bath and everything that happened played out in my head, and keeps playing in my head, the car cutting across the road, the slow motion effect that everyone tells you about, the feeling of mortality and the deep sense of involvement in someone’s life, and you don’t even know their name.

Sending my love and thoughts to the man in the car and his family.

Janie

 

 

Update 18/3/16

Today I got a phone call from West Midlands Police investigation unit to inform me that the gentleman I attended to in last week’s accident has died. I am gutted, after talking to them the day after the accident the message was that they had spent all night operating on him to save his legs and that he was with his family. So I assumed he was at least alive and a big weight was taken from me. Well today that weight just came crashing down on me and I still don’t know his name I forgot to ask. Gutted for his family this last week must have been hell. Again I don’t know what to feel but total loss for a stranger.

23/3/16

Today I carried out my formal interview his name was Harry

 

3 thoughts on “So close. M6 Car crash

  1. Wow Janie! What an intense thing to witness. I hope you’re ok and I totally agree that the people filming were utter cunts! I like to think that the man heard you offering him comfort. Sending love and big hugs and offering prayers to the man and his family xxx

  2. Beautifully put, so sad, reminds us all of the fragile nature of life, and to feel grateful for everyday we have.. A poignant share, Harry was lucky to have you reassuring him xx hugs

  3. I’m really moved by this. Coming from a family who’s lost three people to road traffic accidents your courage, compassion and humanity in the face of such horrific circumstances is very moving. I don’t know you at all Janie Mac but I’m glad you and your lion’s heart exist. x lindsay

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