accidents. No, it is not a nice subject and I will hastily inform you that nothing has, as far as I know, happened to my own family.
An ambulance has just left the station on the road a little distance up the hill from us. It is not an uncommon sound and it does not mean there has been an accident but this morning I am more than usually conscious it could be.
Yesterday someone who was due to deliver some paperwork left a message to say he and his wife would be delayed because there had been an accident. It meant they had to back track a considerable distance along a country road and go another way.
I was very glad they had the courtesy to let me know because the accident was then mentioned on a news feed I get - four dead and three people injured, one of them critically. I knew it was not the couple who would be leaving a packet of papers in my letter box but I knew there were other people involved - and the other lives have been shattered, turned upside down and inside out forever.
Three of the dead were young children. It is their mother, the driver of the car, who is critically injured. Would it be wrong to wonder if it would be better for her not to survive? If she does, how will she cope with the knowledge that she was driving the car? How will she manage to go back into her home and see the toys lying around, the baby equipment which is no longer needed and the school books which will never be used? Anyone with any imagination, relative or not, having to clear such things away could not fail to be traumatised by it.
The Whirlwind's mother died as a result of an accident. She was not at fault. She was waiting at traffic lights when a head on collision caused her serious injury. The other driver was drunk. He survived. The Whirlwind, in a baby capsule, was unharmed but her mother could never cope with this. Her brain injury changed her personality and her behaviour. In the end she took her own life. Although not counted as such she was a road accident victim and it still affects the lives of other people. It always will.
The effects of road accidents go on for years and years. The statistics do not tell anyone anything about the real cost of road accidents.
I am glad that the couple delivering those papers to me were late. I would rather they got here.