That close call...

garnetsilver

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I have already shared my story here before, but in short, I was standing on a corner waiting for a bus. It was too hot and had no shade, so I decided to cross the street and sit on a bench in the shade and wait there. Minutes after I made my decision and crossed, a car lost control and drove right up onto the sidewalk where I had been standing. Since traffic had been moving fairly quickly, I don't like to think about it too much!
 
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titch2k6

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I was an idiot when I was young - but then again, most of us probably were back in our early teens ;)

I had left secondary school about 14 months earlier and had managed to get a place in College doing an Electrical Installation Apprenticeship. I had also passed my driving test shortly after and due to the location of the Office in relation to where I lived, I was given a Vauxhall Nova (remember them?) work van to use. This was great. And it was none of this 'personal milage' paraphernalia back then - as long as you put the fuel in, you could use it whenever. It was also the days when you use to have people ride in the back of vans without a care in the world..........

One Friday after a very busy week at work, a couple of friends and I decided we were going to travel to Kings Lynne and have a night out. We got everything ready, shifted the tools around in the back to make room for one of the lads and loaded up.

Now, if you are from the UK and know Newborough (Peterborough) at all, you will know that many years ago, and before they dropped in the A16 bypass works, the roads going out for miles were very long and straight running through the fenlands. There were two particular roads that I used to get out of Newborough when heading westerly - Middle Road, which seemed to go on forever, before reaching what was once a tee junction with White Post Road. On the other side of this tee-junction were lots of fields. The fields and roads were separated by ditches, which is very common around that area. This particular ditch at the tee (and if you know where I am on about, you will be able to confirm this) is a little over 20 feet across at the widest part. These ditches were stupidly large..........

So, I am driving. I have a passenger next to me (Mark) and another friend (Andy) in the rear area with the tools.

As we are travelling up Middle Road, boys being boys, and with a little bit of egging on from the other two, I opened the throttle up somewhat and for a few short moments, I was Sterlin Moss! I was also a complete idiot.........

I cannot remember exactly what happened, but there was an almighty crash in the rear of the van that I automatically, and instinctively, suddenly swung my head around to see what was going on. Andy was there muttering something about "bloomin' tools!", and laughing, I turned back towards the road - to see us, horrifically, hitting the tee junction at speed. We were going that fast, that I had no chance to react - and that probably saved us from piling into the ditch......

I remember hitting the bank of the verge on the other side of the road as we flew over the junction. The vehicle launched into the air. I was yelling, as were the other two - Andy more so as he was hit by flying tool cases and other equipment in the back of the van before we landed quite roughly. I struck my head on the steering wheel and Mark slammed into the glove box area. Oh, the days before airbags were commonplace........

Then silence.

It took us a few minutes to comprehend our situation, but as the outcome dawned on us, we all erupted in a chorus of laughter and yells of joy.

We had only CLEARED the ditch from hell and landed in a freshly ploughed field! Apart from the van sitting up to its underside in freshly ploughed, loose mud, there was not a single bit of damage to the van whatsoever, and apart from some very rapid pulses, some minor scratches and bruises, and a damaged ego, we were all fine too. However, the van was going nowhere and now a new sensation - fear of telling the boss - kicked in as we contemplated how to get the van out.

To cut a long story short, after visiting a number of farms and requesting assistance - and being refused - we "borrowed" a tractor to pull the van out of the field. Andy, having sworn to us that he had driven tractors before, failed to stop the tractor in reverse and hit the van, denting the bonnet at the front edge.

Karma, I guess.

Anyway, we got the van got out, returned our "borrowed" tractor and finally headed home. The next Monday, I turned up at work, ranting and raving, telling my boss how some inconsiderate as***le had hit my work van whilst I was out shopping over the weekend! The company mechanic was asked to take it away to repair the damage.

He called me into the workshop shortly after and asked me again how the accident had happened. I explained it to him again and noticed that he could not keep a straight face. I asked him what was wrong and in response, he asked me if I could explain the amount of mud he found around the axles and exhaust!! I nearly died - lol. I got on with Steve really well and told him the whole sordid event in detail. He found it highly amusing and enjoyed watching me squirm, but promised he would not say anything. He did advise me, however, to tell the truth in the first instance in the future.

Best advice ever and something I have always done ever since that day.

We were lucky that night. If I had reacted to the ditch approaching, and attempted to brake or avoid it, we would almost certainly have ended up in it and potentially, not wheels down. I believe that not taking any action, the weight of the vehicle and the speed we were travelling actually worked in our favour in getting us clear across the ditch.

An experience that I am in no hurry to repeat at any time in my life.......
 
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I was an idiot when I was young - but then again, most of us probably were back in our early teens ;)

I had left secondary school about 14 months earlier and had managed to get a place in College doing an Electrical Installation Apprenticeship. I had also passed my driving test shortly after and due to the location of the Office in relation to where I lived, I was given a Vauxhall Nova (remember them?) work van to use. This was great. And it was none of this 'personal milage' paraphernalia back then - as long as you put the fuel in, you could use it whenever. It was also the days when you use to have people ride in the back of vans without a care in the world..........

One Friday after a very busy week at work, a couple of friends and I decided we were going to travel to Kings Lynne and have a night out. We got everything ready, shifted the tools around in the back to make room for one of the lads and loaded up.

Now, if you are from the UK and know Newborough (Peterborough) at all, you will know that many years ago, and before they dropped in the A16 bypass works, the roads going out for miles were very long and straight running through the fenlands. There were two particular roads that I used to get out of Newborough when heading westerly - Middle Road, which seemed to go on forever, before reaching what was once a tee junction with White Post Road. On the other side of this tee-junction were lots of fields. The fields and roads were separated by ditches, which is very common around that area. This particular ditch at the tee (and if you know where I am on about, you will be able to confirm this) is a little over 20 feet across at the widest part. These ditches were stupidly large..........

So, I am driving. I have a passenger next to me (Mark) and another friend (Andy) in the rear area with the tools.

As we are travelling up Middle Road, boys being boys, and with a little bit of egging on from the other two, I opened the throttle up somewhat and for a few short moments, I was Sterlin Moss! I was also a complete idiot.........

I cannot remember exactly what happened, but there was an almighty crash in the rear of the van that I automatically, and instinctively, suddenly swung my head around to see what was going on. Andy was there muttering something about "bloomin' tools!", and laughing, I turned back towards the road - to see us, horrifically, hitting the tee junction at speed. We were going that fast, that I had no chance to react - and that probably saved us from piling into the ditch......

I remember hitting the bank of the verge on the other side of the road as we flew over the junction. The vehicle launched into the air. I was yelling, as were the other two - Andy more so as he was hit by flying tool cases and other equipment in the back of the van before we landed quite roughly. I struck my head on the steering wheel and Mark slammed into the glove box area. Oh, the days before airbags were commonplace........

Then silence.

It took us a few minutes to comprehend our situation, but as the outcome dawned on us, we all erupted in a chorus of laughter and yells of joy.

We had only CLEARED the ditch from hell and landed in a freshly ploughed field! Apart from the van sitting up to its underside in freshly ploughed, loose mud, there was not a single bit of damage to the van whatsoever, and apart from some very rapid pulses, some minor scratches and bruises, and a damaged ego, we were all fine too. However, the van was going nowhere and now a new sensation - fear of telling the boss - kicked in as we contemplated how to get the van out.

To cut a long story short, after visiting a number of farms and requesting assistance - and being refused - we "borrowed" a tractor to pull the van out of the field. Andy, having sworn to us that he had driven tractors before, failed to stop the tractor in reverse and hit the van, denting the bonnet at the front edge.

Karma, I guess.

Anyway, we got the van got out, returned our "borrowed" tractor and finally headed home. The next Monday, I turned up at work, ranting and raving, telling my boss how some inconsiderate as***le had hit my work van whilst I was out shopping over the weekend! The company mechanic was asked to take it away to repair the damage.

He called me into the workshop shortly after and asked me again how the accident had happened. I explained it to him again and noticed that he could not keep a straight face. I asked him what was wrong and in response, he asked me if I could explain the amount of mud he found around the axles and exhaust!! I nearly died - lol. I got on with Steve really well and told him the whole sordid event in detail. He found it highly amusing and enjoyed watching me squirm, but promised he would not say anything. He did advise me, however, to tell the truth in the first instance in the future.

Best advice ever and something I have always done ever since that day.

We were lucky that night. If I had reacted to the ditch approaching, and attempted to brake or avoid it, we would almost certainly have ended up in it and potentially, not wheels down. I believe that not taking any action, the weight of the vehicle and the speed we were travelling actually worked in our favour in getting us clear across the ditch.

An experience that I am in no hurry to repeat at any time in my life.......
243271452_4689615267736406_3266732397803900220_n.jpg
 

Lynne

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I was an idiot when I was young - but then again, most of us probably were back in our early teens ;)

I had left secondary school about 14 months earlier and had managed to get a place in College doing an Electrical Installation Apprenticeship. I had also passed my driving test shortly after and due to the location of the Office in relation to where I lived, I was given a Vauxhall Nova (remember them?) work van to use. This was great. And it was none of this 'personal milage' paraphernalia back then - as long as you put the fuel in, you could use it whenever. It was also the days when you use to have people ride in the back of vans without a care in the world..........

One Friday after a very busy week at work, a couple of friends and I decided we were going to travel to Kings Lynne and have a night out. We got everything ready, shifted the tools around in the back to make room for one of the lads and loaded up.

Now, if you are from the UK and know Newborough (Peterborough) at all, you will know that many years ago, and before they dropped in the A16 bypass works, the roads going out for miles were very long and straight running through the fenlands. There were two particular roads that I used to get out of Newborough when heading westerly - Middle Road, which seemed to go on forever, before reaching what was once a tee junction with White Post Road. On the other side of this tee-junction were lots of fields. The fields and roads were separated by ditches, which is very common around that area. This particular ditch at the tee (and if you know where I am on about, you will be able to confirm this) is a little over 20 feet across at the widest part. These ditches were stupidly large..........

So, I am driving. I have a passenger next to me (Mark) and another friend (Andy) in the rear area with the tools.

As we are travelling up Middle Road, boys being boys, and with a little bit of egging on from the other two, I opened the throttle up somewhat and for a few short moments, I was Sterlin Moss! I was also a complete idiot.........

I cannot remember exactly what happened, but there was an almighty crash in the rear of the van that I automatically, and instinctively, suddenly swung my head around to see what was going on. Andy was there muttering something about "bloomin' tools!", and laughing, I turned back towards the road - to see us, horrifically, hitting the tee junction at speed. We were going that fast, that I had no chance to react - and that probably saved us from piling into the ditch......

I remember hitting the bank of the verge on the other side of the road as we flew over the junction. The vehicle launched into the air. I was yelling, as were the other two - Andy more so as he was hit by flying tool cases and other equipment in the back of the van before we landed quite roughly. I struck my head on the steering wheel and Mark slammed into the glove box area. Oh, the days before airbags were commonplace........

Then silence.

It took us a few minutes to comprehend our situation, but as the outcome dawned on us, we all erupted in a chorus of laughter and yells of joy.

We had only CLEARED the ditch from hell and landed in a freshly ploughed field! Apart from the van sitting up to its underside in freshly ploughed, loose mud, there was not a single bit of damage to the van whatsoever, and apart from some very rapid pulses, some minor scratches and bruises, and a damaged ego, we were all fine too. However, the van was going nowhere and now a new sensation - fear of telling the boss - kicked in as we contemplated how to get the van out.

To cut a long story short, after visiting a number of farms and requesting assistance - and being refused - we "borrowed" a tractor to pull the van out of the field. Andy, having sworn to us that he had driven tractors before, failed to stop the tractor in reverse and hit the van, denting the bonnet at the front edge.

Karma, I guess.

Anyway, we got the van got out, returned our "borrowed" tractor and finally headed home. The next Monday, I turned up at work, ranting and raving, telling my boss how some inconsiderate as***le had hit my work van whilst I was out shopping over the weekend! The company mechanic was asked to take it away to repair the damage.

He called me into the workshop shortly after and asked me again how the accident had happened. I explained it to him again and noticed that he could not keep a straight face. I asked him what was wrong and in response, he asked me if I could explain the amount of mud he found around the axles and exhaust!! I nearly died - lol. I got on with Steve really well and told him the whole sordid event in detail. He found it highly amusing and enjoyed watching me squirm, but promised he would not say anything. He did advise me, however, to tell the truth in the first instance in the future.

Best advice ever and something I have always done ever since that day.

We were lucky that night. If I had reacted to the ditch approaching, and attempted to brake or avoid it, we would almost certainly have ended up in it and potentially, not wheels down. I believe that not taking any action, the weight of the vehicle and the speed we were travelling actually worked in our favour in getting us clear across the ditch.

An experience that I am in no hurry to repeat at any time in my life.......
Wow!!! Dukes of Hazzard comes to mind. You jumped the ditch! Talk about a hold my beer moment. You get the blue ribbon I think.