Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Accident on the Motorway

I left the house a few minutes before quarter to six this morning.  I needed to be near Manchester Airport, sixty miles away, for a job working with medical students, by half past eight and I wanted to leave plenty of time.

Lovely quiet roads - - hardly any traffic - - so I made my way to the M621.  No traffic - - and then, as I passed it, a sign flashed on.  I thought it said something like "Junctions 25-26 Closed".  Nooooo!

Then, suddenly, stationary traffic.

I had the radio on and after the six o'clock news came the traffic report.  A lorry had overturned on the M62 and that part of the road was now closed and expected to be closed for some considerable time.  Traffic was building up in the area.

It certainly was.  We inched forward and it took an hour or so to get to the next junction, which was where all traffic had to leave the motorway as it was closed.

They had not had time to put up diversion signs and so all the traffic left the motorway and had no clue where to go next.

So I made a wild guess as to a suitable route, hoping the satnav would work it out eventually, and set off that way.

But, of course, so did many other people.  More stationary traffic.

By about half past seven I had gone another couple of miles and it was at this point that I realised that, even if the traffic jam cleared - which it was showing no signs of doing - I was going to get to Manchester very, very late as by the time I got to near Manchester I would be stuck in all the normal rush-hour traffic there.  I had set off early to avoid precisely this.

Then my leg began to get the feeling it gets when it's about to get cramp.  I had a thrombosis years ago in my right leg and one thing it doesn't like is stop-start driving in heavy traffic.  When I do get cramp in it it is like the worst pain imaginable the whole length of my leg and I can't do anything except yell a lot.

Then I saw a sign for Leeds.  I took a deep breath - it was a really big decision as I pride myself on my reliability - - and set off for home.

I got home at about quarter past eight.  Two and a half hours and a total of twenty miles.

I apologised to the person I was working with - who ran the class on his own and I'm sure it went really well - but I felt terrible.  I hate letting people down.  How unlucky, I thought.

Then I saw the report of the accident.  A lorry had hit a car and the two people in the car had been killed.  The accident was at ten to six.  I reached the motorway just a few minutes after that.  I was about five minutes behind the accident.

Suddenly I stopped feeling unlucky and started to feel really, really fortunate.



Anonymous mancais said...

There but for the grace of God ...

10:23 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Whenever we drive on busy motorways we put our lives at risk but what I simply can't understand is why the police had to keep the M62 closed for so very long after this particular accident with motorists being stuck in their vehicles for up to eleven hours! Thank God it wasn't mid-winter with temperatures well below zero!

11:42 pm  
Blogger Jennytc said...

The motorway police do seem to be rather gung ho in their attitude to closing motorways these days. Claire passed the aftermath of that accident on her way from Liverpool to Gateshead and was relieved that we had chosen the previous day go to Bradford to see Paul. However, as you say, knowing that people died puts everything else into perspective.

8:42 am  
Blogger Kate said...

I'm glad you were five minutes later too... :-)
Just after my Mum died I had three (3!) near-miss 'things' like this happen over the course of three months. It was unsettling. But I wondered if she was looking after me...

9:31 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh my.. :( And you’re right, sometimes when we feel so unfortunate, we just need to remember that we shouldn’t complain because some people are actually experiencing worse. Anyway, the family of the people who got killed in the accident could ask for the guidance of a personal injury lawyer to see and further understand their chances in the case.

Raleigh Crowl

8:29 pm  
Anonymous Belinda Jefferson said...

That was a sad story. In the United States alone, death rates due to traffic collision rose from 10.1 percent in 2009 to 13.9 percent in 2011. Most of these incidents involved vehicle occupants and bystanders and caused major damages on properties and automobiles. Although road accidents cannot be predicted, taking some precaution is a good start to prevent these unfortunate incidents.

3:23 pm  

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