The kindness of strangers

Jamie – 1 September 2011

Tuesday was one of those days that we would rather not have had.

Bec and Sari had left the boys and I at a rural waterpark 15 minutes from Uzes to visit the local supermarket for our evening dinner.  They were driving along one of the nearby country roads when an oncoming car drifted into their lane and Bec was left with no option but to take evasive action – that meant driving into a rather deep ditch that ran alongside the road. Thankfully the car did not roll but she hit the other side of the bank hard.

Both front airbags deployed – our car thankfully had a 5 star crash rating – and that helped limit Bec’s injuries to a fractured thumb, some torn ligaments in her left hand, and nasty bruising to her legs.  Sari was strapped into her child-seat and while the seat itself ended up horizontal she had been shielded from the worst of it and thankfully came away with just a superficial scrape to one of her legs.

The cars behind stopped to assist them out of the smoke-filled car (the smoke was from the airbags), and phoned for an ambulance which was quick to the scene.  The ambulance took them both to Nimes hospital (the nearest hospital, but still a 40 minute drive away) for x-rays and a proper examination.   We were advised today that the car will take 2 months to be repaired, so Renault – good to their contract – will deliver us with an identical new car tomorrow.  Amazing service.

Forty-eight hours after the accident and Bec is feeling pretty sore all over, but we are both just so glad that the outcome was not worse, as it could so easily have been.

Again we were blown away by the compassion and support provided by complete strangers – the occupants of passing cars who stopped and took control of the situation; the speed and kindness of the ambulance personnel; the three friendly gendarmes who stayed on-site for almost three hours until the car was retrieved by the tow truck; the Nimes hospital staff who tendered to Bec with efficiency and compassion (and awarded Sari a bravery certificate); the taxi driver who took the boys and I back to Uzes for less than the metered fare (Bec had virtually all my money!); and lastly our new friends in Uzes who arrived at our front door yesterday morning with several bunches of flowers.   Our kitchen is in bloom!

I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of Renault, from whom the car was leased, as they seamlessly arranged for the tow-truck, and a temporary hire car to bridge the gap until our brand-new replacement car is delivered from Paris (expected late tomorrow).

So we see this as a temporary setback and look forward to returning to “happy blog” postings.  Upon leaving the Nimes hospital Sari told Bec that it had been “a very exciting day”.

We are looking forward to lots more excitement, but not that variety!

A pretty sick tyre (and only 50kms on the clock!)

Deployed airbags. The inventor of these devices deserves a serious medal.

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7 Responses to The kindness of strangers

  1. Miki milicic says:

    So sad to read this post but sooo glad your both o.k. Get better soon Bec!! Xxx

  2. Lots of love. So glad all reasonably well. In retrospect, now regard it as another adventure in your ongoing overall adventure!! Love and kisses.
    Mich and Dad xx

  3. so pleased to hear the accident was not as serious as it could have been. Thinking of you all
    love Al

  4. Jennifer Jones says:

    Wow! Glad you are all safe and sound. Will be one of the memories – crazy French drivers – in years to come! Life’s rich tapestry and all that. Ouch Bec, sounds painful. Lots of get well vibes to you!

  5. Boudewijn says:

    Wow…. what a shock! Fortunately a soft landing….. Get well soon!! Love Boudewijn

  6. Andrea Moule says:

    A bit of a shock to hear!!
    Love to you all xx

  7. Lilach Weininger says:

    Hope Bec is feeling better.
    Thinking of you! Lots of love.
    The Weiningers

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