Monday, 6 November 2017

Crash, Bang, Wallop!

On Saturday, Liz, Rosie and I planned to go to a sale of babystuff in Norwich at the City Academy. Almost at our destination, we had to stop for temporary traffic lights at roadworks. Cars coming the other way were also stationary, for the regular lights at the junction.
Then there was a loud bang, on the offside of the car, by Rosie's car seat. She screamed and sobbed. Someone was trying to pass between the two queues. I looked across- my door was blocked, and I could not see in to the Honda [an automatic].

Liz got out and went to the driver's window, and found a very confused elderly lady, 'wanting to turn right', with every window of her car steamed up, no visibility at all. Liz explained what had happened and said she needed to wait and then when there was a space the cars must be moved.
Liz stepped back to take this photo - and the poor confused soul suddenly took her foot of the brake and drove the car at Liz. It was slightly terrifying to see someone apparently driving straight at my daughter, whilst my granddaughter was sobbing in her car seat! Liz jumped out of the way - the car careered into three other vehicles ending up across the road, slamming into a Renault in the other queue.

  • we had to spend over an hour and a half in the pouring rain, exchanging details, waiting for police etc, and 5 cars are pretty badly damaged. 


  • in the two cars in front there were First Aiders, who assessed the woman [physically unhurt] and gently helped her to sit and wait in another car, whilst her own car was moved to the verge. And the ambulance arrived promptly, and paramedics agreed she needed to be hospitalised.
  • everyone was incredibly kind, three people came forward, prepared to be witnesses if needed
  • nobody got into a Road Rage situation, or went and shouted at the old lady
  • people were so concerned for Liz's wellbeing
  • the Police were excellent, efficient and sensitive
  • despite damage, my car was perfectly drivable, apart from smashed wing mirror 
Yes there was some! As we stood in the pouring rain exchanging details and answering police questions, a chap had a call from his wife, telling him to avoid the area because there had been a bad crash. 
Afterwards Liz, Rosie and I went to the nearby Waitrose for a hot drink, and the woman behind me was talking to her husband. She was hoping nobody had been hurt in what had clearly caused a lot of traffic disruption. I turned round and said 'nobody hurt, but the elderly driver was taken to hospital' She asked how I knew, and I said "Mine was the first car hit!" at which point she nearly dropped her tea tray.
And for the first time in over 40 years of driving, I was breathalysed! [The reading was ZERO] I thought Liz would photo that, but she said she was being considerate. There was me thinking I could post it on the UCF Facebook page "Pastor's wife breathalysed in Norwich". When I told the officer that it was my first experience of this test, he said "Oh, do you want to keep the tube?" Now I am trying to find something else to do with this piece of'single use plastic'
I am so grateful for my family
  • Liz, for leaping out of the way [I am so proud of the way she handled the whole situation]
  • Rosie, for remaining cheerful, clearly enjoying the pretty flashing lights!
  • Jon, for getting a new wing mirror from Halfords so I was OK for the drive back to Dorset
  • Adrian and Marion, I had a lovely time, and great meal with them in the evening
  • Bob, who sent me necessary insurance contact details [thanks James-at-Aviva for being helpful on the phone] 
  • Steph and Gary for encouraging text messages
It could all have been so much we just have the hassle of the insurance claim and organising repairs. I do hope the old lady is OK - I suspect she will not be driving again.


  1. That sounds terrifying! The lady must have been very confused but I'm glad everyone was sensitive to her as well. Look after yourself.

  2. So glad you are all alright, and that it didn't become a major incident . Penny L

  3. Glad that you are all ok, and all others who were involved too.
    I think that the current system of checking the elderly are still fit to drive is inadequate.

    1. I so agree with you. Ferndown is full of very elderly drivers, not all of them should be behind the wheel.I have told my daughters to be Very Firm with me, when the time comes for me to hang up my car keys!

    2. Me too, and she says she will. Catriona

  4. Phew, scary moment, thank goodness no-one hurt.

  5. Glad everyone was unhurt. Your daughter sounds very calm and compassionate just like her Mum. I hope the elderly lady has a proper assessment in hospital and agree with Scarlet that the system for assessing fitness to drive needs looked at urgently. Catriona

  6. So pleased you were all okay, nasty experience but I am sure you had a guardian angel watching over you. I agree everyone over the age of 75 should have to take the test like first time drivers. Especially now we get free bus passes and it is cheaper to have a taxi than keep a car on the road for occasional use.
    Hazel c uk

  7. How scary for you. Relieved to hear that everyone was unhurt.

  8. Here in Spain a driving licence needs to be renewed every 2 years after the age of 70. You need to have a medical exam at a certified centre which includes testing eyesight, hearing and blood pressure and also assessing speed of reaction and judgment of speed and velocity. There are lots of centres offering this service and to me seems a great way of checking whether you are still able to drive safely.

  9. What a relief that nobody as hurt. Just lots of people inconvenienced and no doubt out of pocket as well.
    Let's sincerely hope the old lady never drives again. If any of those vehicles had been two wheelers it would have been a very different and possibly tragic story. Even an old dear at only ten miles an hour can take your leg off.

  10. That's just terrifying. I hope you all had a good sit down and a bit of a post-incident weep later! I certainly would have.

  11. Like everyone else, I'm glad that you, nor anyone else was hurt, and that everything was dealt with with care and compassion and calm. I am not worried about my 88 year old mother driving - she is very much compos mentis, and sensible - but I imagine it is a very difficult conversation to have with an elderly relative, as it would seem like you are taking away their independence.

  12. Very frightening for you all, especially with little Rosie in the car. I'm so glad there were no fatalities, but it must have been a huge shock for the poor driver.

  13. My father is nearly 89 and decided over five years ago to stop driving. It made it very difficult for him because he lives on a farm two miles from anywhere but he felt he no longer had the confidence to face traffic any more. It's been brilliant because he gets fetched and carried to go to his social events so has more time to talk to people and has a lot of new friends. I hope the elderly lady who caused your predicament gets the support she needs.

  14. That sounds terrifying! I am glad compassion and consideration and care was taken towards all involved and thank God that it wasn't as bad as it could have so easily been. It is worrying about elderly drivers.

  15. I'm so glad you're okay! God was looking out for all three of you. What a relief your daughter was quick on her feet.

  16. So glad that no one was hurt! It must have been quite scary at the time. Hope the insurance matters get taken care of with minimum fuss.


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