One of the reasons that I started this blog was to get my thoughts out into the open. More often than not these thoughts are of a trivial nature, but sometimes I need to post so as not to let things bottle up inside. Better out than in, as they say.
Yesterday, I was driving to work as normal. Well, I say work, but I was actually playing in a 7 a side football tournament organised by my work - so technically work.
As I approached Harlington Road I noticed that the traffic build up seemed more severe than usual. As I joined a long queue of traffic, I pondered what time I would get into work, and what the cause of the delay was. Broken down car? Had that idiot who owns the mini moto place double parked his big car on the busy junction again? Or maybe some other piece of driving lacking common sense?
The answer came in the shape of an ambulance, parting the lanes of traffic like Moses with the Red Sea. Obviously a Road Traffic Collision - don't ask me why but I had a gut feeling that this was a bad one.
There has been some fairly major road / construction works down Harlington Road recently which meant that the pedestrian crossing was temporarily out of action. As I approached this point in the road the scene was unfolding in front of me. On the left was a stationary car parked up; on the right a moped, then a bit further on some debris in the road from the car or moped. Then a bit further down I could see someone lying down on the pavement with a blanket placed over them, and a crowd of bystanders about 15 yards away. There were a number of workmen beyond that frantically crossing from one side of the road to the other.
The traffic was moving very slowly at this point. I could hear two more ambulances approaching in the distance. As I passed the prone figure I glanced across. I hate the expression "rubber necking", but it's just human nature isn't it? I wished that I hadn't, but it confirmed my worst fears. A young schoolkid lying motionless with a severe head injury. I was numb with shock as I continued my journey to work.
This story doesn't have a happy ending - I went online last night and the BBC website reported that the young lad had been hit by a car and had subsequently died from his injuries at Hillingdon Hospital; he was only 11. The driver stopped at the scene, and police are appealing for witnesses.
Thing is, it's all too easy to get down in life about stuff like money, work, how shit your football team is doing & bad traffic in the mornings. Sometimes it takes something major to remind you that life is just too short, too precious, to worry too much about the small things.
RIP to the young kid who died, and my thoughts to his family.