Emergencies: more fun in cartoons

Posted on May 16, 2010

Ever found yourself the centre of attention and wondered how you got there? On Friday, I had the surreal experience of being the (uninvited) guest of not one, not two, not three, but four of our stupendous emergency services teams. The most flashing lights I’ve seen since my last Blue Light Disco in 1986 – and enough to last me the rest of my life, thank you very much.

My out-of-body experience began with a bang – literally – when a simple trip to take Mr3 to gymnastics ended suddenly about one block from home. On my own street. Another driver failed to give way at the Give Way and drove into the side of the Camry. The world’s most boring car now has serious personality, courtesy of a custom body rework.

People say that when you are in a car accident time slows down. I didn’t find this to be the case. Instead, I felt like I did when I was 15 and got on to the Cha Cha at the local show – horribly out of control and wondering when it was going to end. My life didn’t flash before my eyes. Possibly because I was too busy screaming and swearing to take any notice. I felt the car hit the gutter, heard Mr3 cry out in alarm, found myself facing back the way I’d come, hands gripping the steering wheel (like that was going to help).

Then it was silent. I calmly reached forward to turn off the engine, reached backward to grip Mr3’s little striped gumboot, and breathed in and out to make sure I still could. I’d bumped my head, my neck was aching, I was crying without emotion and shaking all over.

“Are you all right, Mummy?” came a small voice from the back.

Deep breath. Stay calm. If you are calm, he will be calm. Funny how your thoughts work.

“I’m okay, sweetie. Are you okay?” I found it difficult to twist around to see him, but needed to see him. He was all tucked up in his Australian Safety Standard car seat, unruffled and bemused. Thank God for those car seats, is all I have to say. Car seats and seatbelts.

“I’m all right, Mummy,” he said. “That was a big bang, wasn’t it?”

What could I do but laugh?

The next hour was full of flashing lights. The lovely people who came to our aid in the first place were unable to open my car door. When they rang Triple O, they reported this fact. Hence the incredible response we got. Our quiet little street became a sea of flashing lights and concerned faces.

The police were there. The fire department rolled in. The emergency rescue crew arrived with their jaws of life. The ambulance turned up. Even the tow truck had orange flashing lights. It was little boy heaven and Mr3 was thrilled when a kind policeman took him on a tour of all the vehicles while he waited for his mummy to be broken free of the car.

I went to hospital in a neck collar. A precaution. I spent a few hours there in the neck collar. Very uncomfortable. They cut my favourite jacket up so they could xray me whilst wearing the neck collar. Very disappointing.

But I’m fine. Sore and sorry, but fine. I knew I was fine. When a nice lady came out of her house to keep me company while we awaited the emergency services, I said “Hello, nice to meet you.” If you still have manners, you can’t imagine there can be too much wrong.

I have ‘what if?’ moments. What if I’d been going faster? What if he’d been going faster? What if something had happened to my precious little boy? But I push those way down.

As my mum says, it is what it is.


  1. Jodie at Mummy Mayhem

    Wow. I could hardly breathe during that. The thought of my kids being the in car during an accident…*shudder*

    I’m so glad you’re both ok!


  2. brismod

    You poor thing. I’m glad you and the little one are ok. The shock of something like that is what lingers. Take it easy and enjoy your Vogue. Basic is cool. xx

  3. Stacia

    The “what if’s” are always so much worse than the injuries or the damage, aren’t they? So glad you both are OK and maybe the Camry will come back with some James Bond-like features or a spiffy new paint color. =>

  4. Christie - Childhood 101

    Oh my, I am so glad you are both okay, I would have been petrified. Thank goodness we live in a country with such strict standards when it comes to car seats and seatbelts.

  5. Kallie

    Glad you’re ok, loved MR3’s comment about the big bang. Strangely when I needed an ambulance my then Mr3 couldn’t focus on the lights even though he was & is emergency services mad… I reckon he needed some kind Policeman to give him a tour but we only had the ambulance 🙂

  6. Nomie

    Glad you are safe. Glad Mr3 was able to ask if Mummy was OK.

  7. Artist in Residence

    Oh my. Glad you’re ok and that you kept yourself nice – as Kaz Cooke used to say – while in the midst of your emergency. Especially glad your little boy’s ok too. Remember when we all used to rattle around in the back of our parent’s cars?

  8. Thea

    Isn’t it frightening!?
    I had that happen a long time ago, hit the back of the side of my car though so I could open my door. Your heart will probably race for awhile whenever a car comes from that direction.
    So glad you were both fine!!

  9. allison t

    Hi everyone, thanks for all the supportive comments. We’re all good and I’m concentrating on that. The Camry may be at the health spa for quite a while, so also focussing on the logistics of getting by without the world’s most boring car…

  10. Wanderlust

    How frightening. Glad you and your son are okay. Amazing how well he took it! It’s hard to imagine my kids remaining that calm. I was in my first accident last year when my car spun off the freeway during a snowstorm. I was okay too, but trapped for a while. Not a lot of fun.

  11. kurrabikid

    Sheesh. We had a similar thing happen on a rotten ‘S’ bend under a rail bridge in the back of Marrickville that gets super-slippery in the wet. Someone ran into us, we span the car. I was fine, the boy in the back was fine – our Camry was written off!

  12. Catherine Shields

    They say these sort of accidents usually happen close to home, within a 2k radius. Thank goodness you and that gorgeous blue-eyed munchkin are ok.

  13. MultipleMum

    Glad you and Mr3 are okay LIAPF. A terrible tale, but how adorable Mr3 is! Are you okay Mummy? Bless! I hope you manage to find another way around Fibrotown while the Camry is at the health spa.

  14. PinkPatentMaryJanes

    Goodness – how utterly awful. So, so pleased you’re okay – and that your Camry now has a tough guy story to tell in the local carpark. xx

  15. MOLLYC

    So glad you are fine. I ran into another car with my young daughter in the passenger seat, and she loudly announced “MOM, YOU ARE CAUSING A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT.” I asked her not to say that to the policeman when he showed up at the scene. molly

  16. Cate Bolt

    OMG what some people will do for a blog post PMSL.
    SO glad to hear you’re both OK.

  17. So Now What?

    So glad you’re ok. And Mr 3.

    The worlds most boring car comment cracked me up. Thanks for the story, sorry it had to happen though.

  18. Michael

    oh Al. Too much for me right now. Thank god you are both ok. I mourn the jacket and the Camry though.

  19. Seraphim

    You tell this story brilliantly and I had to keep reminding myself it was real, that it actually happened to you. I am so, so glad you are ok. And yay for great car seats as well. xx

  20. Siobhan Curran

    How terrifying. Glad to hear you and your son are OK. It’s scary how easily these things happen.

  21. livinglifeasme

    How scary. So glad both your and Mr 3 are ok. I felt like I was there with you as I read that. Indeed thank God for seat belts and child car seats. Take care x

  22. deer baby

    Thank god you’re both okay. What a fright. And well done to the friendly policeman who took your son round whilst they were getting you out. Whenever I see them cutting clothes off people on ER or something it makes me shake.

    I can’t drive and I don’t want to drive because of things like this. I know I should face my fear – it would make my life a hell of lot easier I can tell you- but I just can’t do it.

    It sounds like you did a great job of reassuring your little boy.

  23. Victoria @ Hibiscus Bloem

    So pleased that you are both ok. I bet your little guy will be telling everyone he meets about the big bang and all the flashing lights. However, the ‘what ifs’ will still go around your head for a while not doubt. I was involved in a collision on the highway with my mum and son (then 18 months) when a huge truck hit us, spinning us around, late in the evening with loads of traffic around. You are so right about the tears and shaking. The ‘what ifs’ stayed with me for quite a while. We were so lucky to come out without a single scratch – although the car was a right-off. Hope you are feeling ok now. Oh, and what great manners in the time of crisis – always a good sign.

  24. In Real Life

    Oh my goodness, how scary! I am glad to hear that you and your little boy are ok.

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