Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Car Crash

Yesterday there was a car crash about twenty metres from my house. Full report is here, and it lead the news bulletins in Victoria last night. In short: Car drives up on footpath - 14 injured.

Yeah, I live in Lorne.

I was sitting in my front courtyard leaving a message on my friend Melody's phone at the time. The crash shook my house's windows and Melody later reported that it was clearly audible on the message.

Lorne is a small town of only 950 people, but at this time of year there's anywhere up to 20,000 people hanging about. It's a tourist town, right by the beach and there's plenty of holiday accommodation. Yesterday was perfect seaside weather. Sunny and blue sky, hot but not oppressive and thousands of people were walking around eating icecreams and yapping and being happy when this car suddenly drives up the footpath, plows through all the pedestrians and then crashes through a fence and lands on top of some other cars in a picnic area carpark at the resort.

I was on the scene in seconds - along with about a thousand other people who were either screaming in horrow, howling with trauma, assessing injuries, picking themselves off the ground where they had dived to get out of the way, or desperately trying to help.

Fortunately, nobody died (though one poor little kid has spinal damage).

My observations:

* The car that caused the damage was on top of some other cars, smoking badly, and I kid you not, about 60-80 people converged upon it to free the three occupants within seconds of it happening. I don't know much about cars and fire, but in the movies it would have exploded and who are we to say that it wouldn't happen in real life? There were so many people rushing to help that I almost had to join a queue to lend assistance. A few hours later it made me feel better about the human species. Say what you will of how horrible we all are, but in a crisis, we're not too bad. For about half an hour afterwards, anyone who looked slightly off was given attention, free food and drink from local cafes, anything they wanted. It was actually quite touching.

* Seeing the little kids in pain was awful, but just as awful was the trauma of their parents and families. I'm not a parent, so I can only imagine what they were going through. Those poor people.

* There happened to be a doctor walking past who took immediate control of the situation and was yelling orders at everyone (he told me off for offering water to victims... I never knew that would/could be a bad thing but I do now). He was bloody brilliant, and he was running from one victim to the next very quickly assessing the damage and giving stern but professional orders to everyone. Oh, and he was Vietnamese-looking. Hey, Pauline Hanson: FUCK YOU. I prefer a legend like this bloke in my country to you or anyone who digs you.

* Police, CFA, ambulances, SES, medical choppers and hospital transporters were all there in under six or seven minutes which was remarkable given a) the small town thing and b) the intense traffic jams. I sat back and marvelled at all of them.

In the end, aside from being one of the possibly hundreds that made the 000 call and offering a sip of water and a cigarette to one bloke who had managed to jump out of the way just in time, my involvement in this episode was zero. It was carnage outside my front door, but I was safe and snug, and all that's left this morning is a temporary fence... my best wishes go to all the injured and their families.


In other news, tomorrow, I'm going away for three nights with my new chick who I'm calling for the moment Andromeda 3.4 (if it gets serious, she's promoted to Andromeda 4.0). Going away and spending 72 hours together is perhaps a little risky so early in the romance, but I figure it will mean we can quickly determine whether or not there's a future in it. Here's hoping... but even if the romance dies, at least we'll be in good company whilst we're away: Nick Cave, The Saints, The Dirty Three, Smog. Music heaven on Mt. Buller. Can't wait.

Seeyas next week.


Ramon Insertnamehere said...

so I can only imagine what they were going through

I think that would be the worst thing in the world as a parent, hearing your child crying and distressed and not being able to do anything.

Somebody once said that when you become a parent, fear really enters into your life for the first time.

Is Andromeda 3.4 the same as Cricket Goth? I'm losing track of your string of women.

Perseus said...

'String' of women? Hardly. I had a one year drought, then had four dates with Miss Splits but that went nowhere, then along came Andromeda 3.4 (yes, she's the cricket-likin' goth).

The piece of string wouldn't tie a baby's shoe.

Anonymous said...

So, when you go away will you be locking your house this time? Now that we all know you live in Lorne and all.

Perseus said...

I haven't locked my house since I moved here two years ago, and I leave the car keys in the car so I don't lose them. It's one of those towns.

Anyway, I have house-sitters for the weekend - Artemis and her friends.

Living so close to the beach, it's amazing how popular I become in summer. Everyone wants to visit. Wintertime though, jeez, I'm suddenly Nigel No-mates.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...


Everybody round to Perseus' place to do all his drugs, drink all his booze all his books.

Anonymous said...

And console Artemis and her friends over losing a certain texan pirate goth to a cricket-loving goth.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Artemis had her chance.

Pers, if you want some company over winter, the Insertnamehere family is more than happy to sponge off you.

The drawback is that you'll be followed around by a five year old who keeps asking you why you're doing everything, until you're driven to drink.

Perseus said...

Yes, Artemis had her chance, and thank fuck she didn't take it because a) Andromeda 3.4 is more suited and b) Andromeda 3.4 is a friend of Artemis.

Sure Ramon, though a warning: It's cold as hell. My house has no heating other than potbelly and open fire.

Also, I like kids. I'm sure if he drives me to drink, you'll have one with me. Goes down well with cigarettes.

Louche said...

I'm glad I've done some first-aid training, but I still think I'd freak in that situation. In the event of emergency you are supposed to follow DR ABC - assess for Danger (i.e a car about to explode), see if the injured person gives a Response, check Airways and make sure person is in recover position on side, are they Breathing? if not do Chest compressions.

Farking amazing no-one died. You imagine so many nighmare scenarious as a parent (pedophiles etc) and I don't think many people expect to be bowled over walking down the street.

Oh! And and enjoy your weekend with Andromeda. You'll either have the best weekend ever or not be talking by the end of it.

Louche said...

Oops - C is for circulation. Is there a pulse?

I suck.

patchouligirl said...

I thought they'd added another 'D' for defibrillator, you know, just in case you've got one handy.

I reckon the worst thing in the world as a parent would be to be Madelene McCanns parents - the not knowing would drive you nuts. You could never move on from that.

squib said...

I'm terrified someone will cark it near me and I'll have to remember the last first aid course I did

Please no one cark it near me

I think Andromeda 3.4 might be 'the one'. I do love a happy ending. Without getting too carried away, please bear in mind I have a unused blue wedding dress that I can do you a good deal on

Mr E Discharge said...

Oops - C is for circulation. Is there a pulse?

I always thought it was C for "Cunt?".
As in "Is this person worth saving?"

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Please no one cark it near me


Although, if somebody did, I could punch out a pithy media release.

WitchOne said...

Oh god, that's horrible. I freak when the kids get a cold, anything worse would have me in fits!

eat my shorts said...

I'm going away for three nights with my new chick who I'm calling for the moment Andromeda 3.4 (if it gets serious, she's promoted to Andromeda 4.0)

If you think your budding romance has legs then at least give her more than a recycled nickname.

What? That's not asking too much is it? If I found out the bloke I was newly rooting was calling me "Somethingsomething version yada yada", I'd not put out.

Ok, ok. I'd feign not putting out for 30 seconds. You got me on that one.

But seriously, be creative. You're an intelligent bloke, she's a goth who is into cricket. There has to be something there you could work with?

Anonymous said...

I think it's because mythological Perseus married Andromeda and had heaps of kids. Of course, mythological Perseus also called his only daughter Gorgophone, so I hope C21 Perseus ends the analogy before he has kids.