Tuesday, 12 December 2006

An accident

A bleak day today. On Friday night we went out to sing carols with a friend of ours. On Saturday, we found out that, later that night, her 24-year-old son had been in a car accident. There was no more news yesterday except that he was in intensive care, in one of the best units in the country for this kind of injury. This morning, he was slightly worse. Tonight, she's waiting to turn off his life-support machine.

It was a string of cliches: he was driving, there was ice, he was going too fast, he'd had a couple of pints, he wasn't wearing a seatbelt. The two friends with him had seatbelts on; they walked away with scratches. He'd been in an accident before when he wasn't wearing a seatbelt; it didn't convince him. He went through the windscreen and hit the road. His injuries sounded horrible. Why on earth did he think he was invincible? What a stupid, stupid waste.

A relation of his told me she felt she wanted to work in road safety, to try to say something to people his age that would make a difference. I went to a film a year or two ago before which, for some reason, all the ads they showed were the ones that target drunk driving. They scared the shit out of me. They were really horrible - graphic and shocking. I don't know what else anyone can do. And meanwhile, someone who was only 24 is pointlessly, stupidly dead.

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