|I'm sure Penelope never had these problems..|
As we were about 100 metres away when it happened we were on the scene in a flash, and parked up to see if we could help. When I say we, let's be clear, I didn't actually get out of the car, I left that to the boy. I did try to, and wanted to, but one sight of the mangled wreckage and the trapped passenger (the blood, the blood) and I actually couldn't physically move.
So many parallels and things I try very hard to never think about: the kindness of strangers, the lovely ambulancemen and police, the tears, the lost shoes and sunglasses, the glass in my bra (!) and my handbag, which I couldn't seem to get rid of for weeks....but the most overwhelming thing was a sense I hadn't expected to bring back such vivid memories: the smell. I don't know if it's the sun, the heat, the dust, the mangled metal, the broken glass, the blood, the petrol, or all of these things, but the highway in the desert after a crash has a very unique odour. When I opened the car door, that smell hit me, and it was why I remained rooted to the spot.
I won't ham this up or get too dramatic. This didn't happen to me, after all. The driver was carried out of the car, and despite the blood will ultimately be ok, I'm sure. That's if you don't count the inevitable flashbacks, nightmares and panic attacks when you first get into a car again.
The boy took me for an ice-cream which lifted my spirits for the rest of the journey (fickle, me?!) But it has been on my mind ever since. There but for the grace of god....please drive safely desert family, and beyond....