Sunday, March 20, 2011

A crazy thing happened at lunch the other day

I saw this crazy accident on Friday.   It’s taken me a few days to be able to write about it because it was such a bad accident and I didn’t want to relive the whole thing trying to get it down here.  The images in my mind have been burned in though so I guess I can’t do anything else but write about them now.   So here’s what happened.

I was on my lunch hour at work and was waiting at a left turn light in my car.  I needed to go to the bank since it was payday that day. I was just sitting there, waiting for the light to change on a fairly busy street.  There were cars parked along the side of the building on the block in front of me that I was facing, and able to look at completely. You know like in the lanes going the opposite directions… Also there was a delivery truck that was waiting to take a turn at the intersection also in the lane going the opposite direction as me. But because I was in a turn lane I was able to see the parked cars on the side of the road unobstructed.  My light turned to a green arrow and I started to pull into the intersection, when all of the sudden, a car door opened from one of the parked cars on the side of the street, and it just happened to open at the exact same moment a biker was right next to the car zooming down the road.  The biker hit the tip of the open door and it caused them to flip totally over the handlebars of the bike and fly about five feet into the intersection and land on her head/face. It all happened so fast and literally right at the same moment I have started to move into that same intersection.  I instantly pulled forward, instead of turning, and pulled up right next to the fallen biker instead. The woman who was in the parked car had already gotten out and was sitting next to the biker and I asked if they were ok. She said no she’s unconscious. I jumped out of my car and said something about how I am in the medical field and took control of the situation.

 I started to talk and rub the fallen woman. She had this super horrible gash on her head that was causing a huge pool of blood to run on the street. I told the other woman that I had some towels in my car and to go get them. I started to try getting the biker to talk. I was able to feel a pulse and she was taking really steady breaths, so I figured she was just really shocky and had a massive concussion. When the came back with the towels I placed them under her cut up head so that it was a little better supported, but without having her change positions.  I also had someone get some of the extra sweat shirts and hoodies I have in the car so that we could cover her up a little bit more trying to keep her as warm as possible. By this time more people were gathering around and someone had called 911. The biker had also started to rouse a little and was able to say that her name was Mel. She was pretty out of it but she seemed get more and more aware as the minutes went by.  She did have a back pack on and the man in the delivery truck was going through it to see if she had a cell phone for emergency contacts or an I D card just until the paramedics could get there.

Let me tell you, Mel looked like total shit.  She had a huge bloody gash on the top of her head. She was wearing a helmet but I think the way she landed caused it to come off on the impact. She had a bad gash on her cheek and chin and a possible a broken tooth or two. Her elbow was hanging out in a very not so great angle so it was obviously at the very least dislocated if not worse.  She had blood seeping through on of the legs of her pants so I’m sure she has cuts underneath them on her legs. I have never seen some one launch as far as I saw her go. She seriously must have flown five feet if not even more.  It was pretty intense all in all.

The good thing was that Mel was starting to talk a lot more. She was still pretty out of it but we had gotten her last name out of her, also that she was heading to work, and her place of employment. She kept asking what had happened and where she was. She was also able to say what parts of her hurt the most and it seemed like her head, knee and elbow were the brunt of the pain.  This whole time I was lying down in the road with her just talking nicely and softly and trying to make it as calm as possible. Right around this time the police finally got there and the paramedics took over.  Once the paramedics came all I had left to do was stand there and watch. The were quickly able to get her accessed and loaded up and almost immediately placed an IV and started fluids cause she was indeed shocky. 

I gave the police officer my statement he got my information.  He talked in length to the woman who was in the car, who by this time had totally started to break down herself.  She was in her mid fifties and was just heading the laundry mat to do her laundry. She had been holding it together I think for the sake of Mel, but as soon as Mel got loaded into the ambulance this poor woman couldn’t do it any longer.   I felt so bad for her, because she was very open and honest that she didn’t even look before she opened the door. She felt very very responsible.  It was nice to see that the cop who was in charge of the case seemed to genuinely think that it was just a fluke accident, and took a little extra time to comfort this poor woman as well. He said that he really just thought the whole thing was crappy timing and wasn’t going to give her any sort of citation for her actions. He thought that Mel maybe could have been going a little fast as well; because of how hard she hit the car (hard enough to make a dent) and also because of how far she flew. He also said that because the delivery truck was right next tot the parked car the biker was most likely outside the bike lane a little. He really just thought the whole thing truly was just a horribly timed accident. 

As I got back into my car and headed back to work 45 minutes later.  Not going to the back or getting anything for lunch, because honestly at this point I just wanted to get out of my car.  I reflected about how proud I was that I was able to keep calm and collected. I was able to take charge and get people focused on what needed to be done without freaking out. I also thought it was so funny that I yelled out about being a nurse or doctor or in the medical something with out any sort of hesitation. So what if it’s for animals really,  the principals are obviously the same right? I have since called the hospital that they took Mel to and they say that she is in serious but stable condition.  Well that was as of yesterday, so hopefully today she is even better. i should give them a call and find out. I'm going to as soon as I finish typing this for you all. I really hope that she will have no permanent injuries. Something like this could happen to anyone and it makes me realize how fast life can change from one thing to another.  It’s a weird thing to think about really, I mean in the city of Seattle you have to park on the side of the street a million times, and many times I also have not really thought to look behind me for a biker as I open the door to get out.  This could have just as easily been me in that position. It was a crazy lesson to have learned.  I think that from now on I definitely will always take that quick glance back.

I just want to end this by saying that even though I am not a religious person,  I hope that all of you who are can add a little prayer to Mel in hoping that she recovers fully and quickly.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Martha,

    One of the things I most remember about your father is that he saved a man's life when they were out at sea one time. I can't remember when I've ever saved anyone's life. It sounds like you came close to it with your first responder actions for Mel.
    Congratulations on doing the right things.

    Love, Aunt Doris