Wednesday, 23 July 2014
Page Thirty - RTC Witnessed (Copcast #145)
It was a Sunday Early Turn and George was looking forward to taking things easy, after all nothing ever happens on a Sunday morning does it? Even better since there were more than enough drivers on duty that day he had been posted as the operator on the RT Car as a treat. The RT Car is the pursuit car on the Division and its name refers to the days when the police in the UK were just beginning to embrace the new fangled communication technology, RT stands for Radio Telephone.
So George was sitting back and relaxing while his driver Donald steered the Radio Telephone Car out of the back yard of the police station and made their way onto the High Street. No sooner had they turned on to the main road than they found themselves staring at the back of a queue of traffic held up for roadworks.
George grinned as he slouched even further down in his seat, realising the day was getting easier by the minute, not only was there little to do but they wouldn't be getting anywhere quickly to do it either. There was little to see other than the small van in front of them.
There were a few pedestrians around and although there was a hold up the traffic was still quite light, it was Sunday after all. George watched as a young woman stepped off the kerb on their nearside and walked in front of the staionary police car on her way across the road. Suddenly he caught a flicker of movement ahead and everything seemed to slow down, a car on the other side of the road was speeding very rapidly toward them. The woman hadn't noticed the car and the car driver obviously hadn't seen the woman.
George shouted at the top of his lungs in slow motion for the woman to stop, already knowing it was too late and that nothing he could do would stop what was about to happen. He watched in horrified fascination as the woman stepped in front of the speeding car, he heard the shrill squeal of tyres skidding and saw the smoke boil off them as the driver finally saw the pedestrian and struggled to avoid hitting her.
It was no use. Even as George and Donald threw open their doors and bundled out of the car, the woman was struck by the other car, her body was thrown ten feet into the air and the car passed directly under her before smashing into a series of cast iron bollards in the roadside. The woman's body was flung another ten feet along the road before it landed in a tangled heap near the gutter.
Everything returned to normal speed as George and Donald reached the woman and were astonished to find she was unconcious and still breathing. The scene was cordoned, help arrived, the air ambulance flew the woman into a hospital in the City Centre for Intensive Care and slowly the story emerged. Apparently the young man driving of the now mangled sports car had been trying to change channels on the radio and hadn't even been looking at the road as he sped through the High Street.
The most remarkable thing about the entire incident didn't happen until days later. The woman who had looked like such a terrible mangled mess after being hit by a speeding car and thrown so far through the air, remained in a coma for over a week. After about ten days she regained conciousness and apart from a loss of memory covering the entire accident she only had a couple of minor fractures and a few bruises. She made a full recovery.
George remembers the incident because it was one of those occasions when he was completely helpless and unable to control a situation. As a police officer he has grown very much accustomed to being in charge of a situation at any given time and having things happen the way he wants them to. This was one of those times when neither he nor anyone else could do anything but accept the role of spectator and sit back and watch until events had taken their course.
This is an experience that George will be glad never to have to repeat.