A Sunday accident

While going out on a drive with family, I saw a motorcycle driver on Indore Bypass lying on the road, bleeding profusely from the head. He had just met with an accident, and when we crossed by, I could see him trying to call for help (while lying on the street).

I sensed that the accident must have happened barely 3 or 4 minutes ago. From the looks of it, the motorcycle was coming from the other side of the road (perpendicularly) and the car that hit it could not see it come, and hit it. That car had vanished, leaving just the fallen back bumper on the site.

Usually, you do not see blood dripping like water from someone’s head. Perhaps a whole lifetime will pass by and most of us will never witness such a sight. So when one is confronted with that unexpected situation, the mind finds it difficut to react immediately.

Around 50 people had gathered by now. Dazed. Stunned. Totally silent.

I parked my car a little distance away and called up the Police Control Room from my mobile phone. Someone sensible did pick the phone up, and took my message properly. He was polite, had practical sense and advised me to call up the Emergency Ambulance Service on 108 number.

I could not see now if that man was still conscious / alive or not. But I assumed he must be.

I called up 108. I connected in the third attempt as I tried 0731 – 108 earlier. That does not work – it’s just 108 you need to dial.

They actually picked the phone up, and the lady’s voice was quite well-trained and professional. Without panicking she took down my entire message, and especially the location. It was fortunate that the site of the accident was bang opposite the Bharat Petroleum petrol pump, as that would make it easy for the Ambulance to pinpoint the spot.

The lady took my message, and then politely told me that an ambulance had already been sent to that spot, in response to another call they had received a few minutes ago. I was pleasantly surprised!

Then I got down from my car. Interestingly, no other car had stopped on the road during all this. Only the people living nearby had gathered around that man, and he was still lying on the road. If he were grievously injured, it may be getting late for him, I thought.

I walked down the road to that man. It surprised me to notice the distance from my car to that man, as the mental distance I calculated while looking at that site in the side-rear view mirror seemed lesser.

Upon reaching the place where the man lay, I saw many people waiting to do something, but nothing actually happening.

I asked a big Saradrji on the spot – “is the ambulance going to arrive soon?” “Perhaps yes”, was the reply. I volunteered to take the person into my car and to the hospital. People looked quizzically when I said this. I asked “which is the nearest hospital?” “They will never treat him properly unless the Police get involved now” came the reply from someone. That surprised, and disgusted me. I was imagining that if someone dear to me were lying on the street like this – God forbid – then would such a delay be acceptable?

The injured, meanwhile, fortunately was conscious, lying on the street patiently (and helplessly) and had called up his family on his mobile phone.

Just when I was about to bring my car back to that spot so he could be taken to a hospital, a police jeep arrived. The jeep turned around (as it was coming from the other side of the road) and parked at the right point. Two policemen inside the jeep asked as to what had happened. The people present on the spot offered some explanation of the incidence. I told one of the policemen that perhaps we should take the person in their jeep to the hospital, as if the ambulance gets delayed, it may be too late for the injured.

To my surprise, the policemen volunteered. They got down, opened the back door, and 6 of us picked that man up properly and slowly and properly made him lie down on the seat in the Jeep’s backside. The policeman requested one of the onlookers to sit in the jeep and accompany them to the hospital. “We will drop you back soon here”, they said.

No one volunteered. People are too scared to become a part of any such issue. That’s so sad. The system enjoys such a bad reputation.

Just then, the 108 Emergency Ambulance arrived, with flashing lights. It was interesting to see such a quick reponse.

The injured man’s face was all red with blood, by now. His body otherwise was seemingly unharmed. He screamed out when we moved him, and I guess his leg too was badly hurt.

Two men got down from that ambulance (not in any official dress), and quickly got into action. One of them got a stretcher (proper bed type with wheels) near the injured. We again removed the person from the police jeep and onto the stretcher. They took him into the Ambulance and quickly drove away.

I asked the policeman if things will be ok now.. to which he replied in affirmative. He said “ab sab kuchh fatafat ho jayega sahi tareeke sey.”

All this happened in less than 25 minutes.

The blood on the street was starting to dry. The motorcycle had been moved to the side.

I wondered what it would be like if the response of the agencies was slower, or if it was night-time, or if no one had stopped to help.

While driving back in the late evening hours from the same spot, life was normal. It was as if nothing had ever happened on that spot just 4 hours ago.

Life goes on!

(Incident dated 31-10-2010)

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