Monday, February 19, 2007

World's worst witness

(That would be me.)

I saw a hit-and-run on the way to university just now. A car did an illegal u-turn, knocked a motorcyclist off his bike, and sped off. The motorcyclist spun through the air a few times and landed heavily.

The motorcyclist was sitting, stunned, in the middle of the road, and I ran over and asked him if he was okay. He snarled, "No," and then keeled over. A woman got out of her car and called an ambulance, but fortunately a fire engine was passing just then and pulled over and started doing whatever medical thing firemen do at an accident.

One of the other firemen started taking statements and I had to admit that I had absolutely no idea about what exactly had happened. I couldn't even recall the colour of the car, let alone the number-plate. (Nor could any of the other witnesses, so I doubt they'll ever catch the person.) All I remember is the loud crash and then a sense of speed and movement. Maybe I was watching the motorcyclist instead of the car.

After I left the scene, I realised I had had my camera switched on in my hand the whole time, since I'd been taking photos of parrots right when the accident happened. If only I'd thought to point it at the scene and click a few times, I might have got the car on film.

I think I'm probably the world's most clueless witness.

But if you'll excuse me, I think I need to go sit in a corner and turn pale and shaky for a bit.


Dr. Brazen Hussy said...

Oh, how awful! But remember, the accident was not your fault. Don't beat yourself up.

StyleyGeek said...

Thanks. The fact that none of the other witnesses remembered anything about the car made me feel like it wasn't entirely my fault for being clueless. But I'm a little irritated with myself all the same. Especially about not thinking to use the camera.

betty said...

at least you stopped and asked the victim how he was doing. i was once hit by a car when biking home from work. i flew into the air and landed once on the hood of the car then bumped down onto the ground. i lay in one lane of a 5 lane road for several minutes and NO ONE STOPPED to see if i was ok. well, the woman who hit me stopped, but she doesn't count since she pretty much had to. but i remember because it was summer lots of people had their windows down and i could hear them as they drove past me - "woah, that woman just hit a biker! did you see her fly off the bike? woah".

thanks a lot dudes.

Jana said...

StyleyGeek - don't beat yourself up over it, truly. I think witnessing horrible things like that puts people into a kind of mini-shock. You did react rationally - you went over to see the biker. And you would have had to have been awfully quick to get out your camera, turn it on and start taking photos of what sounds like a split-second hit and run.

StyleyGeek said...

Well, the point about the camera is that it WAS out and on and in my hand. It even had the zoom extended. So it would have been a matter of point and click. But never mind.

Betty: that's awful! I think sometimes everyone assumes someone else will stop and help.

Jana said...

Sorry, StyleyGeek, I see I hadn't read your post properly. But I think anyone can be excused for not reacting "properly" when they witness something as horrid as that.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

That is pretty scary. I'm sure I wouldn't have noticed or remembered the car in a hit and run.