Tuesday, September 9, 2008


The car wreck I will not publish (The Toowoomba Chronicle did publish a graphic shot of the wrecked car) but was located to the right of this photograph still in the dark.....this was when emergency services were clearing the area because of the power lines down everywhere..

On Friday night was working late at the hospital and at the end of my shift the lights went out and the huge complex emergency generator kicked in.....Wondered briefly what had caused the outage but was not overly concerned as have my own generator at home in case of an emergency.

Let myself out of the secure complex drove to my car and set off home and noticed the whole town was black and not a light anywhere.......Turned the corner on to the road that would take me home and spied movement on the road ahead......a car was wrapped around a power pole and the pole was at a dreadful precarious angle. The street has a nature strip down the middle and have a SUV drove up on to the nature strip as the ambulance was pulling up and caught in the headlights my niece, Rose standing a little away from the vehicle and in the dark and the sweep of my headlights made out pedestrians who had vacated a nearby church hall where attending a function. I started to turn on to the other side of the road and discovered power lines down and the Emergency Services had yet to secure the site. My niece lives on the opposite side of the road where the accident occurred and had rushed out when she heard the thump. Rose is a Registered Nurse and with disregard for the leaning power pole and the dangling power lines had wrenched open the car door to render aid should the accident victim warrant assistance. Rose checked the carotid artery and discovered no life. She declared his death as a district ambulance office arrived. She endeavored to leave the immediate area as the Emergency Services were securing the area reequiring everyone out and though for a horrible moment, but knew it was not possible because of what she had discovered in the car, that she had heard a sound raced back to the car...the radio had kicked in for a moment or two.
The victim was a thirty two year old man who I have known since a lad who lived in the same district as myself and my boys and boarded the same country school bus, attended the district Christmas Tree with Santa every year..

This is a real life tragedy. The victim by the wheel tracks did not brake and had accelerated into the power pole was only 150 yards from where he had started his journey. Friday was the anniversary of the day his uncle had shot himself when we had ridden the mountains with anguished hearts trying to locate him. He, the uncle, was located in a shallow cave. Friday night's victim's mother had driven her car into a tree to her death nine years ago on Christmas Eve..

I stood with one of the family who was required to ID the body with a sense of dejavu as had done this before, he and I standing about with a person dead before us waiting until forensics could complete their investigations. The power authority to declare the area safe so that the body could be cut from the vehicle did not happen until after 3 am in the morning. I stayed feeling a sense of helplessness talking with my niece who selflessly had jumped in that car to see if she could revive the driver. Not a good weekend.


Blogger Artoholic said...

Oh Elizabeth,

What a horrible nightmare you must be reliving. It must have been so hard for you to post about it. I really admire anyone in the medical profession, or indeed anyone, that can keep their cool when utter chaos surrounds them.

That was such a beautiful thing to do - to stay with them for so long - you have a good heart Elizabeth. I don;t know how yu are feeling right now, but I do hope that you can forget the sadness soon.

Just this afternoon I was explaining to my young bloke about DR ABC - Danger, response, airways, breathing, circulation. All well and ggod when there's no immediate threat - I don't know if I could remember my CPR if I needed it.

I've just got off the phone from a friend in Perth where 3 young kids , good kids, died in a horror smash on Friday. Two sets of friends attended the funeral, and through that one of them (whom I'd not spoken to in 6 years), was able to contact me. I feel quite strange about reconnecting through the passing of someone else.

On a brighter note, I do love the Google ad you have on here advertising Klimt's beautiful work - just lovely!

September 9, 2008 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Artoholic said...

I forgot to ask you to pass on my admiration to Rose for her outstanding bravery and courage in the face of such horror.

Truly remarkable.

September 9, 2008 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Lizzie's Insomnia said...

The story has more to it and is so woven will have to give some thought to the circumstances.

Very difficult coming to term with the death of young people and children who have not begun to reach their potential. Yes is difficult to communicate with friends in those circumstances.
Klimt's work was introduced to me by an artist friend, Brian Malt, for whom I trained racehorses and yes I have neglected to keep in contact. Modern life is sometimes too fast and can not slow down to catch ones breath.

Rose works in some of the large hospitals in emergency and was quite confident the power was not a danger as the circuit breakers had done their job the whole place so black, what she neglected to consider was the broken power pole over the car but being dark it was not immediately apparent that the pole had snapped at the ground and the car was the only thing holding it up....not so much the car but the wrap the car had around the pole.

Yes I think Rose did a very courageous act.

My grand nephew kept his cool also and rang emergency while Rose was attending to Lance and am very proud of them.

Thank you for your kind thoughts...


September 9, 2008 at 9:42 PM  

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