We were watching TV on Thursday night when the phone rang. Sam usually answers it as my voice is croaky and never comes over very well to the person on the other end of the line. I put the film on ‘pause’, and listened to lots of ‘Good Gods’, ‘Wows’, and ‘Bloody hells’. Of course as soon as he put the phone down I couldn’t wait to find out who it was and what had happened.
It transpired that our daughter-in-law Lisa had taken her 6 year old son to his school disco that evening, and had parked the car on a narrow road outside the school. The school is Victorian, and was built in the time of horses and carts and not Range Rovers and Chelsea tractors. Our son and his wife have neither of the aforementioned, but instead a much-loved Ford Mondeo that they’ve had since the early days of their marriage. The Mondeo was parked in the road behind 3 other cars.
My grandson was bopping away in his disco, watched by Lisa. Suddenly she was tapped on the shoulder by another mum, who was very agitated and told Lisa that an articulated lorry had crashed into the back of the Mondeo. Lisa ran outside and sure enough, a huge artic had shortened the Mondeo by a several feet, which had crumpled into the car in front, which had in turn smashed into the front car.
The Mondeo was unrecognisable. Lisa, acting on auto-pilot, phoned our son Marc who was at home with their other child. Marc drove to the school straight away, and by that time the police had arrived. The lorry driver was in shock and kept repeating that he had driven that particular road many times in the dark, but usually at that time of day there were no cars outside the school. No excuse really for going too fast – he could have caused absolute carnage. Only half an hour later and my grandson would have been sitting in the back of that Mondeo and my daughter-in-law in the front, ready to go home. Somebody else’s children could have been sitting in either of the other two cars involved.
It was only the next day that Lisa felt the effects of shock. She kept thinking of how she and our grandson had had such a lucky escape, but I tried to distract her with the knowledge that nobody was injured, and that a guardian angel must have been watching and protecting them from harm. Cars can be replaced; people cannot.