Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Remember that time you nearly died?

Remember that time you nearly died? For the second time...

The first time: (I was surprised to see I hadn't blogged about it when I went to find a link)

It was my birthday (the year before last, they generally happen every year like that) Kyle took me horse riding on a horse trail, for my birthday - with an instructor.

We each had our own horse, since I had the least experience I got the "docile" horse.

We were taught how to "steer" how to "stop" how to "go". Pull this, poke this, yank this way. But I was also told that the horses went on the trail so often that they generally just followed the leader and did whatever the horse the instructor was on (at the front) was doing.

We started off and the ride was.. horsey ? Well it wasn't smooth but I wouldn't say it was super bumpy either.. better than riding an elephant and I suppose (since I've never ridden one) better than riding a camel too. (although please correct me if you've ridden a camel and feel the ride is smoother than riding a horse)

We clip clopped along a dusty trail through the outback (by outback I mean bush, by bush I mean someones trail in their rather large 100 acre sized back yard) and came to a cool pondy/watery bit. The instructors horse in the lead clip clopped past and Kyles horse in the middle followed the lead. My horse, stopped for a drink of fresh spring water.. for a while. The whole time me yanking this way and that and the instructor telling me how to get it going again.Eventually (after much persuasion which probably did not persuade it at all) it began following, taking up the rear once more.

It would stop occasionally when it wasn't suppose to after that and the instructor would tell me to do this and that to make it move (riding a horse is really NOT like driving a car.. when you push the accelerator the car generally listens and lurches forward)

On the way back the instructors horse clip clopped over a sandy patch of trail and Kyle's horse in the middle did the same. 

However, my horse stopped. As I felt it shudder underneath me I knew that I was sitting on a sinking ship. It hit the sand and I jerked my left leg out of the stirrup, then the horse rolled sideways to the right giving itself a good sand bath but with my right leg still in the stirrup, still underneath the horse. I had a wild flash of a cowboy rising triumphantly still on the horse after it had fallen sideways as Indians shot arrows from behind.

Then in a split second realising this was an incredibly stupid idea decided to make sure my right foot was NOT in that stirrup as the horse arose (now seeing flashes of people being lynched behind horses) And it was lucky indeed that as the horse rose, the adrenalin pumping through my veins, that time slowed and as it happened the stirrup wasn't twisted and that I could easily guide my foot out because the next second it had bolted down the trail.

Leaving me lying sideways in the sand and all before the instructor had time to even turn around and see.

See I tell you, that was near death one. (literally, no exaggeration)

This was near death two: (literally, no exaggeration)

On Monday after I dropped Boy off at daycare I decided to take a trip to your friendly neighbourhood Costco (ours happens to be at the docklands in the city). I made it to the Werribbe exit without an ounce of trouble and saw up ahead traffic slowing. We all had to move to the far lane (the over taking lane) and snail pace past a cow (which had obviously made its way to the freeway from a nearby field and had been hit by a truck) As I drove closer it was flailing in the middle of the road - that was until a police officer with a shot gun hit it squarely over the temple and suddenly it was still..

Shocking, I know, they could've at least held sheets up or something.

Anyhow, I continued, drove over the bridge and the lanes which say 1E, 2E, 3E, 4E, 5E and made it to Costco. Then, after a successful shopping trip headed home. Back over the Westgate Bridge. This time the lane reading 2W..

"huh" I think "the other lanes said E." And then I figured it out. OH! I'm in lane 2 heading West. If I was on the other side of the bridge I would be heading East. (patting myself on the back for being so clever)

Suddenly, almost at the top, I see a white freight liner in my drivers side rear vision mirror -coming up behind me. Clearly speeding and clearly about to cross from 3W to 2W. I have a split second to get the very left of my lane (as there was a car in 1W) so I managed to move left slightly, only about 20cm before the truck contacted with the side of my car and suddenly my rear vision mirror was gone and all I could see were dirty big truck wheels and all I could hear was the sound of truck brakes. It was over in a second and he was going so fast that I honestly thought he was going to keep on driving but he then pulled into 1W and pulled up, stopping completely and I indicated and parked in front of him (as there was a line-up of newly stopped cars behind him) I backed up real close to the front of his truck so that I wouldn't be hit again and the whole time was thinking "this is so dangerous, we shouldn't be stopped on the bridge" as cars continued to zoom past.

I waited for him to get out of his truck and come to me (at which point I was going to tell him we needed to get off the bridge) but he exited the truck and instead of going to the front walked down to the back.

I was perplexed and got out of the car. Took a snap of his license plate with my phone and edged my way down (on the side of the truck closest the the barrier NOT the other lanes of traffic) when I'd walked past two MASSIVE freight containers attached to the back of the truck I came out the other end to see the truck driver at the window of another car stopped behind him. Yelling. He caught a glimpse of me and yelled "I nearly killed that lady!! (swearing ensued)" The driver of the car was young, he was showing the truck driver his license which I gathered from what the driver was yelling meant he was on his P's and they were not displayed (thinking to myself) honestly, I was nearly crushed/flipped and decapitated and all you can do is whinge about this guy not displaying his P plates? The truck driver then yelled out to me saying that "it was this guys fault" and "he cut me off you should get his details"

I hadn't seen anything apart from my mirror being torn from my car but for good measure I snapped a pick of the other drivers number plate and as I did he snatched back his license and wound up his window. Then he turned the wheel and the truck driver jumped from the drivers side window to the front of the car to stop him from driving away, the young guy kept driving. Picking the truck driver up onto his bonnet and carrying/pushing him into on coming traffic.

I jumped back between the truck and the barrier and as I did, I dialled 000. My first ever emergency call. Not knowing if I would need an ambulance or the police. I just dialled. Thinking, how the hell am I suppose to handle this situation if this truckie guy gets run over.

"Hello, police fire or ambulane"

"Ahm,  I need the police - I may need an ambulance"

"Ambulance or police Maam"

I saw the truck driver between the gap of his freight containers. Walking back towards the front.

"Police please"

"I'm putting you through now"

I get to the gap between the front of my car and his. He must've matched my pace and emerges at the same time.

"We need to get off, We will take Williamstown exit"

I nod. I get in my car.

"Hello, ..." (he says something I cant hear as I close the door)

"Yes, I am on the Westgate bridge, there has been an accident"

"Is anyone hurt"

"No I don't think so"

"Are you outbound or inbound"

(me thinking lucky I figured THIS out 5 minutes earlier)

"We are heading west"

"So, outbound?"

"Yes, outbound"

"Is traffic hindered"

"Yes we are stopped in the far left lane but we want to move to the Williamstown exit, is that ok?"

(I asked so that I wouldn't get in trouble for speaking on my phone while driving)

"Yes that is ok"

Then the conversation followed things like, how many cars, is there any spilled petrol on the bridge etc..

By then I had pulled off the bridge and the truck followed. As I pulled over to a safe place on the exit ramp the Vic roads guy turned up with his flashing arrow and parked behind the truck.

The truck driver was at my window as I hung up. I open it and ask if he is ok. He says he is, just a few sore ribs. The Vic Roads guy then makes his way over and the truck driver starts going on about how he was hit by an idiot (understatement). The Vic Roads man asks if we want the police to attend, I say I have all ready called.

I get out of the car and we go over to the grass off to the side. The police turn up as we get onto the grass (very prompt if you ask me, also someone must've given excellent directions if you ask me)

The next 30 minutes is statements and giving information (and breath tests) to the police so that they can place a traffic incident report.

The constable takes pictures of my car.

The policewoman mentions how lucky I was.

I get the truck drivers information from his license and head home.

I do not properly survey the damage until I am home, and then I agree with the policewoman. I was very lucky and I am glad Boy was in daycare.

(The scratch under my door handle is from the bull bar at the front of the truck, the scuff marks from the tyres rubbing against my door.. and of course my mirror is gone.)

I don't know if the other guy cut the truck driver off. I just think it was a pretty dumb idea to pick him up on the bonnet and drive him into traffic.

who does that?


Nettie's Blog said...

your guardian angel was sure doing her job that sleeping on the job for her...she must have called int he forces for the truck driver too....did you give him a passalong card????he he

The Kings said...

Wow! Glad you are okay!

Simone Triffitt said...

I held my breath the whole time reading this. xxx