Yesterday as I was driving along a street not far from my house at around 9 a.m. I noticed something on the road up ahead - what looked like a pile of black crumpled fabric. As I approached I saw that the pile of fabric was in fact a person... Lying in the road... An SUV was stopped in the middle of the street about two feet from the person... The driver was standing over the person... A bike was sprawled upside down on the bank at the side of the road... Oh shit.
I pulled up, leaving my car in the middle of the road (I never think to do things like pull off to the side in these situations) and ran up to the SUV driver who was standing over the person lying on the ground. I yelled a question at her - did she need an ambulance?
The SUV woman turned to me, flustered, and exclaimed "I don't know what's wrong with her! She's just lying there! And I need to get my son to his field trip!"
Um you need to what? In what world is that an acceptable response to the question I just asked? I had a bad feeling the SUV woman in her deranged state was going to drive off and leave me with the person she had knocked to the floor with her humongous car.
I bent down to look at the person on the ground. She was a middle aged woman. Her eyes were closed and she was squinting and pulling a face.
"Can you hear me? Are you okay?" I asked in my loud, panicky voice. I mean of course clearly she wasn't okay, but what do you say to a person lying face down on the ground?
The woman nodded. And started to move. Okay. She was getting up.
A few more people pulled up and got out of their cars. One woman was already on the phone to 911. A guy approached and asked the woman if she was injured. Someone else asked "ma'am were you hit by a car?" At which point we all looked at the SUV lady and I asked her "What happened?"
She said "I've no idea - I was driving down the road and I just found her lying here."
I felt great relief that the SUV lady was not, in fact, attempting a hit and run. And thankfully I would not have to chase her in my car all the way to her son's field trip, because I totally would have.
The injured woman began to get to her feet.
"I think I'm okay." She said.
The SUV woman repeated "I really need to get my son to his field trip!"
"Yes go!" I said. Bloody hell woman.
The lady speaking to 911 on her cell was talking through the situation somewhat dramatically "Okay I'm going to talk to her to see if she's okay now... Ma'am are you okay? Are you injured? Where does it hurt... Wait... Patricia..? Patricia is that you? Oh my God Patricia it's you! Oh God! Are you okay?"
The two women knew each other.
After about ten minutes of a bunch of us crowding around the woman, asking the same annoying questions repeatedly to confirm she was okay - that she didn't need an ambulance, nothing was broken, she was not concussed - the rest of us left the scene and she and her bike were taken home in the friend's car.
I was enormously relieved the woman was okay. Because I'm useless in incidents like these. I see even a quarter-sized spot of blood or a bone protruding where it shouldn't and I freeze. My mind goes numb and can't even carry out the simplest of instructions. I would really suck as a medical worker. It was all a bit surreal for a Tuesday morning given I hadn't even had my coffee yet.