Archive for October 11th, 2009

October 11th, 2009

Telling lies

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I was driving home from my mother’s house once, not on duty, with a mate who subsequently joined the police.

It was something like 10 or 10.30pm & there weren’t many cars on the roads. As I drove around a sweeping right hand bend I could see a car’s rear lights in what appeared to be the middle of the road. I could see the vehicle was stationary. As we got closer I then saw that the vehicle had crashed into a car coming the other way, head on. There was steam or smoke coming from one of the engines. It must have only just happened because the people were still in their vehicles.

I stopped the car & me & my mate got out. He went to the car on travelling in the same direction as us while I ran to the one which was coming from the other direction. As I got closer I could see a man was in the driver’s seat & a woman was in the passenger seat. I couldn’t open the driver’s door so I ran round to the passenger side & pulled open the door.

A woman in her 60s was moaning, which was a good sign, she was obviously still alive. What turned out to be her husband was sat next to her, he was silent. I quickly checked over the woman, I couldn’t see any obvious signs of injury, no blood, & her legs didn’t seem to be trapped. I leaned further in & checked her husband. He wasn’t responding to my voice, wasn’t moving & wasn’t moaning.

I got in the back of the car &  leaned between the two front seats so I could get better access without leaning on his wife. He didn’t look good. I’ve seen tons of dead people, you can’t avoid it in this job, they look a certain way, I don’t really know how to explain it, maybe it’s something to do with the colour of the skin or the way the features look, but you can often tell straight away that someone is dead.

The driver looked dead. I jammed a finger into his neck to try & locate a pulse, which just reinforced what I already knew.

By now some other people arrived. I got a couple of walk back & flag traffic down so they didn’t go piling into us & made sure the emergency services had been called. I think my mate made the call, but I’m not sure. The guy he was dealing with had a back injury & a massive cut across his face.

I went back to the passenger door. I have no idea what the car was, memory dims certain parts, others you remember for ever. She was asking about her husband. She couldn’t move much, I think I encouraged her not to move her head more to stop her seeing him than to protect her spine but that’s the excuse I used. I just told her he’d be fine & not to worry & the ambulance would soon be here. I probably asked their names but have no idea now what they were.

They say time slows down when the adrenaline flows & it always seems longer than it is when you’re waiting for an ambulance. One duly arrived. I explained what I knw about their condition, out of her earshot, & then assisted the ambo crew. Repeating to the lady not to worry about her husband. I assisted one of the crew get her out of the car while the other paramedic attended to the dead driver.

The police arrived. I didn’t know the crew – I’d not worked that division – and we explained what we’d found & what we’d done. In due course the ambulance was ready to leave. I made sure the lady was OK, she asked about her husband again & I said not to worry but he had to go in a different ambulance because they could only take one at a time.

I never saw that lady again. I sometimes wonder whether she ever thought back on our conversation & if she understood why I lied.