Have you ever been walking along the pavement only to find that your pathway has been obstructed by a parked car or other vehicle?
Many a time I have seen vehicles parked up on the pavement and to be honest never really thought of it as anything more that inconvenient. As a parent pushing a buggy it was more of a problem, but most times I was able to walk around it reasonably safely.
Yesterday I witnessed something that really made me think about what a problem obstructions on the pavement can cause. I was tidying the windowsill in my living room when saw a lady on a mobility scooter reversing up the path!
At first I wondered what on earth she was doing, then I glanced up the road and could see a scrap truck packed on the pavement, it was clear that she wouldn’t have been able to get past it. I glanced back up the road the other way to see where the next drop in the curb was where she might be able to get across the road in order to get around it.
It was quite some distance away and I do live on the main road though our village which is fairly busy, crossing it isn’t always easy when it’s busy.
As I glanced back towards the lady, my heart sank. I could see what was about to happen but I had no time to do anything about it. She was trying to manoeuvre around a telegraph pole when her back wheel came off the curb and her mobility scooter toppled over with her in it!
I screamed for my husband (who was still in bead at the time) and went running out into the street – still in my dressing gown! By the time I got outside, 2 men had stopped and were already on the phone for an ambulance. Thankfully the lady was conscious but she had taken a bang to the head which was bleeding. I have to admit I was so relieved to be able to crouch down to the lady and say the words, “don’t worry, my husband is a paramedic and he’ll be out in just a moment to help you” moments later Matt came out and started to do what he does best! He started giving instructions to the people who had stopped to help, he needed his first aid kit from the car which my son went to fetch, and plenty of blankets which I was able to get from the house. Afterwards he said like he felt a bit bossy, but I know that the people around really appreciated him taking control while we waited for the ambulance to arrive.
The first emergency vehicle to arrive was a police car, a female police officer got out and came to see what had happened. Once she was happy that Matt had got control of the lady’s immediate care, she started to investigate and take notes as to what had happened.
A minute later, a paramedic in a response car arrived. Although, to be honest he really wasn’t able to do much more than Matt had already done. The poor lady was still laying on the cold road and it was now starting to rain.
I went to fetch an umbrella, and as I got back two more police cars arrived with officers to control the traffic around the lady (up until then the two men who first stopped had been doing their best to do that, and two more ladies had also stopped to help).
The poor lady, who was in her 80’s, laid on the cold floor for around 25 minutes before an ambulance was able to get to us an get her onto a spinal board in order to move her safely. Unfortunately this just goes to show how stretched our ambulance service is! We have an ambulance station about 1 minute away from us by car, but the ambulances were obviously all out of other jobs and so they had to send a crew from a different station. But that’s a whole other storey!
Fortunately, the lady didn’t seem to have any other injuries and she remained conscious and coherent throughout, so hopefully she will be ok.
I’m sharing this storey though, because I really want people to think more carefully about how they park! Someone who I am sure though that they were causing nothing more than an inconvenience (which is selfish enough in itself), caused a serious accident which could have cost someone their life.
Please be thoughtful next time you park your car.
P.S. The driver of the offending vehicle managed to get in and drive away whilst there was only one police officer on the scene. She thought it more important to stay and make sure the lady was looked after than chase after him but assured us that he will be following it up.