Sirens wailed and the traffic seemed to move slower. It was always this way on a Friday afternoon. Everyone wanted to get home for the weekend. Angrily, I tooted the horn. Did they not understand that they were supposed to give way to emergency vehicles? Finally, I got the ambulance past and turned the corner into the High Street. Ahead, I could already see the build up of traffic. Two cars. Head on. Road conditions were good, it was dry, there were no visible problems. Not my concern anyway, but old habits died hard. I pulled up and jumped out, grabbing my kit. A middle aged woman came running towards me.
“There’s two of them.” She cried anxiously, bouncing a baby on her hip that was crying. “I managed to get this one out. But there’s a little girl stuck.”
“You really should have waited for the ambulance ma’am.” I began and instantly ran my eye over the child. No obvious injuries – internal damage possibly, or just shock? Heading towards the cars that were joined together, fenders locked in a deadly embrace. I peered into the window at the drivers side. An elderly man was sitting there his face pale and a slight ribbon of blood down his face.
“You alright Sir?” I asked, placing my kit on the ground and opening the car door.
The old man nodded briefly and pointed at the other car. “I’m alright … legs are just a bit wonky that’s all, thought I would sit down again. She hasn’t moved though.”
I looked in the direction of his finger towards the other car, a station wagon. The female driver was slumped over in her seat, head at an unusual angle. She was most likely dead, there was the sound of a girl crying, a high pitched whine. Walking over, I glanced at the woman. Youngish, mid to late 20’s. Dark hair. The sunshine made it look almost reddish. Pretty. Her eyes were open, staring out the passenger side window. Soft hazel brown eyes. I felt for a pulse. There was none. Picking up my radio, I called in.
“Car 297, fatal accident on High Road Angleborough. Two car collision. Head on. I have an expired person.” My eyes fell on the young woman again and I felt like throttling her. A mobile phone lay on the passenger seat just below her outstretched hand. ‘Texting’, I hissed. What a waste.
“The coroner is on its way.” Came the reply from despatch. “Picking up your exact location via GPS.”
“Hey there.” I said, finally turning to the child still strapped into the car seat. She was four possibly five years old with the same hair as her mother. She sniffled and began whimpering. But let me move the pile of stuff that had flown over from the back of the car. There was a nasty lump on the back of her head. Unbuckling her, I lifted her out carefully. She seemed to be ok, just a bump on the noggin.
The older woman I had seen earlier, most likely the wife of the older gentleman was sitting back in the other car with the baby which had stopped crying. I picked the little girl up and carried her over to them. The older woman’s eyes were filled with tears as she held the baby tight against her.
“Aren’t you a sweet little poppet.” The woman exclaimed as the child reached towards the baby, climbing onto the older womans knee and got a hug.
I looked up, feeling relived as the police van appeared and one of the officers approached me. “Fatal?” One of them asked, pulling out his notebook.
I nodded and pointed back at the cars. “Driver of the other car, female, appears she was texting and went over into the other lane.”
The older officer snorted in disgust and turned away for a moment, shaking his head. “Any one else injured?”
“Not that I can see, a few cuts & bruises. The gentleman has a contusion on the side of his head, but other than that. The kids seem fine, they were both in their car seats.
The older policeman nodded again. “Alright, we’ll get someone from children’s services down here to pick them up, Dave call a tow truck can you. Coroner on the way?”
“Yeah.” I replied and sighed heavily. It had been such a nice day.