It was only a lazy Saturday. We were driving down to London. My mum was driving because my dad had been to a party and was complaining of a hangover. The traffic was crawling along the road at about 1 M.P.H., nose to tail. The visibility was invisible. My brother was leaning out of the window, gesturing at the other drivers. A fire engine wailed its siren and flashed all its light, but to no avail. Suddenly, the little I could see through the thick fog went black. I was dimly aware of a pain in my thighs. I heard my brother scream, and it was hideously cut short. I felt sick. The next thing I remember is my sister, sobbing violently underneath me. I realized that the car was on its side. And that my brother was cold.
Over the course of what might have been hours, or just minutes, though it felt like days, I tried to get out. My legs were securely wedged under the front seats, with no feeling there at all. I couldn’t feel my left arm, and it was warm and sticky. I still couldn’t find a pin-prick of light in the thick blackness that surrounded me, the kind of dark you can almost touch.
I must have fallen asleep or fainted at this point, because one split second it was dark and next it was a little bit light. It was almost as if I was in a cave , with many exits above me but out of my reach. But the most worrying thing of all was the fact that I could smell burning. I knew I was still in the car, and probably at the bottom of a pile of cars. Cars explode in contact with fire. There was soon going to be an explosion, with us at the centre.
I tried to wake my brother and sister but I couldn’t. I tried to shake my brother but, and I couldn’t feel his pulse. My mother at the wheel had her head through the broken windscreen. She was quite obviously dead. I wondered, as if all this was a dream, if it would have been better to be dead or sleeping than alive and alert in this accident.
I attempted to reach forward and push forward. My mind was floating somewhere above my body, looking from the outside of me onto the hopeless situation. However, I could drag my protesting body up over my brother and up towards one of those points of light.
Inch by slow, I made a small amount of progress and ended up in a plain view of one of the holes. This, I am sure, is what saved me. I thought, again quite dreamingly, of the phrase “the mind is willing but the body is weak” as an excuse to get out of the physical activity. My life flashed before my eyes, and what my future could be.
The faint whine of siren pierced my near despair. I attempted to gather up the remains of my ragged will and strength to shout “help” but it resulted with a rather pathetic yelp. I thought it was enough. I thought that I was safe now. Then my world blew up.
The next time I came to my senses I was in a hospital bed. Thinking about the situation, as the tidal waves of emotions engulfed me, it drowned my consciousness and I fainted again.
I woke again later, and my father was with me, comforting me. I began to think that the accident was just a nightmare. I was in hospital for about a month. Only later I found out what happened at the accident.
A motorbike driver had tried to nose between the traffic. The fire engine had tried to do the same and crashed into the motorbike. This, with the totally non-existent visibility, had resulted in a pile – up of epic proportions. Only ten people came out of there alive. I suppose you could make some joke about it being a fire engine starting the fire, if no one you knew was in it. I had a very narrow escape.