Don't worry. I didn't cause it.
And it didn't even involve my car. Phew.
I was taking Allen to the train station early Thursday morning. While we were waiting to turn right (across traffic), a car in the lane next to us rear-ended the van she was following. The traffic ahead of the van was backed up even though the light was green. So the gal in the little red Corolla (I miss Prince already) thought it was all clear to keep going. She hit them pretty firmly. She slowly got out of her car because the airbags had deployed. Allen stepped out to help her while I continued through the light to park at the gas station on the corner.
So thankfully everyone was able to move around and conscious and had no major injuries. At this point, we figured we'd call the police and they would send the appropriate vehicles to clear the non-drivable vehicle, provide medical evaluation, take a report, and maybe even issue a citation if necessary.
The Irish van driver called the police and I heard them give a full report. One of the questions I heard the operator ask, "Is there any violence between the drivers?"
No, we're all adults here.
But there is a broken car blocking traffic. And debris on the road. Can you send help?
The Irish woman was just as bewildered as we were.
And the woman in the Corolla is bleeding from her hand and acting a little...dopey. The first phone call she made when she emerged from her car (while still standing in the middle of the road) was to her boss. Then she called her mum. And her dad. Not the police.
I went to the gas station to try to get some ice for her hand, which she felt was broken. The gas station guy was not helpful there. No go. I asked him what the protocol was for traffic accidents since the police didn't seem interested in helping to clear the road. He's not from around here either. He didn't offer any thing. Fortunately, another customer offered some information. He said the police won't come out "for insurance purposes," and Corolla girl needs to call her insurance company to arrange a tow-truck.
What if she's seriously injured? Or drunk? Or just in shock and acting kind of stupid? Or maybe just acting stupid?
So Allen and I pushed the car out of the road. Remember it is rush hour traffic in the morning. Probably 200-300 cars have passed the scene by now. As I push the car from behind I'm stepping on broken headlight pieces and other small debris. Even if I had a broom on me, there's no way I can get out into the road now to sweep it up.
I called the emergency number again (000, in case you are wondering if they do 911 here) and this time requested an ambulance for Corolla girl. They finally came AND sent a police car. The medics asked her a few questions. After the police gave her a breathalyzer test, they wanted to see her license, of course. She couldn't find it because the airbags had sent everything in her car flying around. She crawled back in her car--with her broken, bleeding hand--while the medics and police stand and watch her, searching the debris to find her wallet. I tried to help but the airbags and other huge mess in her car make it impossible. Eventually it's determined she doesn't have it with her today (which is a fine $$$).
Eventually her mum shows up. Mum didn't seem very emotionally helpful for Corolla girl. She was annoyed. MUM! Her airbags deployed! She's bleeding! She needs a little help right now!
So we left. And scratched our heads a little more.
And then Prince died. The flags were at half-staff. I'm pretty sure it was in recognition of ANZAC Day coming Monday (An Australian Veteran's Memorial Day of sorts) but I wondered if this country that still bows to royalty was perhaps getting their Princes confused.
It is a tragedy.