Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Makes You think

A couple of days ago, Richard went out in the morning to get bread from our favourite boulangerie in Lamalou.

As he drove down the steep narrow road to the town, he was as far over to the right hand side of the road as possible to avoid any vehicles coming up the hill. Where the drop is near-vertical, there is a low stone wall.

Being in a right-hand-drive car, he had a great view of the drop as he glanced out of his driver's window when he passed a part of the wall that had been breached.

And what he saw jolted him. The undercarriage of a four wheel drive vehicle, hanging suspended, upside down, caught in the trees. Roof smashed flat.

In France the law is that you MUST stop if you see evidence of an accident to check if any help can be provided.

Having been a police officer for many years, Richard has vivid memories of investigating car crashes on lonely roads in the UK. Too often, the bodies left undiscovered for many hours, sometimes days.

With no one else on the road, Richard then realised he did not have his mobile with him. Just typical!

He drove on a little way in the hope of seeing the local policeman who is usually there - but not this morning.

So he called in at the nearest house and asked them if they knew about the accident. No was the answer, so Richard and the householder walked back up the hill. And then down as near as they could get to the vehicle whilst telephoning the gendarmes.

They could not see anyone in or near the car - and then the police confirmed that it had happened the previous night. Luckily the accident had been seen 'as it happened' by another motorist. The people were helped out of the car and amazingly no one was seriously hurt.

Very lucky. Thank-goodness the accident was seen happening. Richard only saw the undercarriage because he was driving a right-hand-drive car. The driver in a left-hand-drive car would not have seen the vehicle.

The next morning, we saw the news about the three soldiers who were found dead in a vehicle that had crashed during the night in the UK, who were not found until several hours later.

A sobering story.

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