It wasn’t until after the incident, which was all of one minute, that I realised how significant it was, and could have been.
It was a day like any other, I had finished work and there was a parent/teacher afternoon on, but before that, I went to collect the ironing from our ironing lady. My wife and I both worked, and we had six growing children, and there wasn’t a lot of time to indulge in such things as ironing.
What was to be a short trip turned into an event, which woke me up to my own mortality.
I stopped at the corner to turn left when I noticed a car coming towards me at high speed. Normally the distance the car was away was enough for me to turn and carry on my way. Whether it was instinct or my guardian angel, I don’t know, but something told me to wait for this car. It roared past me and by the time I drove out behind it the car had collected another car turning right a little further down the street.
It was all over so quickly. The speeding vehicle smashed into the car, rolled it like a piece of garbage into the gutter killing the driver. All I could do through the shock of the incident was to call for help.
That minute in my life was like a flash in time. What I saw I had to talk about for some time after, that was my mechanism for dealing with the shock of it.
It has stayed with me all these years but made me realise how things can often change in less than a minute.