My biggest fear

This page is connected my Writing 101, day 17 challenge post.

1983

Mr P. was actually urinating in the middle of the road, motionless, with his back to me, wearing dark clothing. I was driving home after working a party plan party in Hamilton, selling candles, cane and jewellery. Distracted by vehicles backing out from in front of the hotel where bingo had just finished, people waving and yelling from the front door, I did not see him until I struck him. I had moved over the line when a vehicle began backing out as I approached. I was driving at well below the speed restrictions.

After he flew over the bonnet and on to the street I pulled over in front of the hotel, parked, turned off the ignition and watched the sheet of blood run down the windscreen. I screamed and screamed until I pulled my self together. I got out of the car and started to walk back. I called out and asked if he was dead and someone said, I have no idea who, “oh it was you, Christine, go back, don’t come over.” So I went back to the car where people took care of me, rang my husband and all that. I was taken up to the hospital for the drink-driving blood test.

I had not been drinking, my blood tests were clear. I spoke with the police at the scene, a Thursday evening, and fronted up to the Station Monday for the official interview. Some time later, I was served a summons as Mr P.’s mother sued for loss of income, but that  was handled by the RTA (that’s what third-party car insurance is for). At the same time, the policeman asked me not to attend the inquest, on order from the Coroner. There were no other legal consequences for me, as this was just before the mandatory culpable driving causing death laws came in.

Somehow, it was more bearable that the man I killed wasn’t married, nor had children.

As for myself, I functioned normally. I think I had some pills for a week, maybe two, but I have been told this. I have no recall. Apart from two dreams – the first an exact replica of the accident, and the second of my children being run-over at a local football match – I did not dream or feel anything for an unremembered time. I could not love, because if I felt love then I had to have other feelings as well. I remember when love returned without me pushing it away again, it was such a relief.

My biggest fear is that this could happen again. So many times, since then, I have expected people to step off the curb in front of my car.

I am sorry for dumping this on you, but I am unburdening myself in the process. Thank you for reading, and caring.

13 thoughts on “My biggest fear

  1. Pingback: Writing 101, Day Seventeen: My Greatest Fear (warning: might be stressful) | Christine R

    • Many thanks for the hugs raroto, I needed them. 🙂 Sorry for dumping like that, but I feel I’ve done myself good to share. I’ve added some more detail to the original post. I felt bad mostly because I wasn’t punished by law, which has a sort of exoneration I’d imagine. The deceased was ‘known to the police’ and as you would know, that makes a difference.

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      • Hey hush now, no need to apologize, Christine. It’s good to let it out of your system. The accident must have put you in an awfully difficult time, and I am really glad to know things worked out well for you in the end. I can understand you feeling guilty about getting off scot free but from what you’ve said, it was an accident, and the fault was not yours. That guy had no business to be there in the first place, so stop beating yourself up for something you didn’t do on purpose, ok? 🙂

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  2. This must have been so hard for you to deal with, Christine. But from your account it could have happened to any driver, a person urinating in the middle of a road, motionless, in dark clothing, at night – it spells disaster. You were both in the wrong place at the wrong time. Look after yourself. 🙂

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  3. Oh, Christine, how awful for you.
    I am angry that you received the summons. When my sister and her baby daughter were killed in a road accident, some months later her husband received a letter from lawyers saying the driver of the truck (with which she collided) was suing him for pain and suffering. Here was a man who had lost his wife and daughter, left to raise two small boys on his own – let’s talk about pain and suffering, shall we? Luckily he had taken a payout from the TAC and so they handled the whole thing (he actually should not have received the letter at all).
    I think lawyers should just stay away…
    (Sorry to offload, but your experience re-raised the hackles.)

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