Before you read this if you’ve suffered with trauma or details of trauma may be a trigger please read only as much as you’re comfortable with, i dulled it down so as not to cause as much distress!!
It was April 5th 1995, I had passed my test first time in November 1993 in Brentwood, I’d had maybe 30 hours of lessons, some of my friends had failed 3 or 4 times my best friend failed 7 times.
As a toddler I’d been able to name car makes and models before I could name animals, all I ever wanted to do was race and drive, I used to sit at my Nan’s window on a small set of ladders, on the 5th floor of the block of flats, for hours I’d say the names to my Dad or Uncles when the cars were stopped at the traffic lights.
I’d done some carting, only a few races though, so now I had my license, I was very confident I felt invincible, to a certain extent I was, I had several near misses in my first year driving each near miss made me feel like nothing bad would happen. My friends all knew how I drove but they always wanted lifts, I was a bit of a speed merchant, I was never really bad 10mph over the limit, but the bravado built as the legend was growing one story or tale at a time, my friends and their friends, rumours around town.
I loved the attention, I was young, I was stupid and I definitely couldn’t drive as well as I thought. This fateful afternoon I went to the school where one of my neighbours and friends went, two of my other friends girlfriends were there as well as my girlfriend, at the time. No one sat in the front of the van with me they all sat in the back, my friend and his girlfriend were in his car he had two spare seats but no one wanted to get in his car.
The time was 15:30 I was to be at work by 16:00, we had two drop offs and my friend would walk from where I worked to home, this day I pushed to fast I was travelling between 45-47mph in a 30mph zone, I wasn’t wearing my seat belt, I crested over a hump and a car pulled out in front of me from a road on the left, he stopped instead of carrying on like a rabbit or fox in the headlights, the road after the turning bared round to the left a blind bend, I had to make a snap decision.
If I hit the car I probably kill the driver, maybe myself and my passengers. I swerved but being unfamiliar with a rear wheel drive vehicle and the characteristics of handling it at speed, I turned to hard to fast, although I avoided the car, I was now on the wrong side of the road in the path of an oncoming car, so I turned back luckily missing the second car, but now my van was out of control and I didn’t have the experience to get it under control. I lost the back end of the van, the near side rear wheel hit the curb and flipped the van.
I remember the crunch, the next thing I remember my shoulder being pushed behind my back, my head going through the side window, but no pain all I hear is the screams from the back of the vehicle, then the second crunch I felt a warm sensation all over my head and back then the sensation in my arm just like a dead arm.
The first impact was superficial cuts on my face and my shoulder dislocating. The second impact was my ear being severed and scalping myself, my watch being ripped up my arm, a 3/4 pound of flesh and 1/3 pound of flesh being ripped from my back, still I felt no pain. Then came the third deafening crunch my ponytail got caught under the roof and as my head got whipped the unnerving sound of skin ripping, the crunch as my skull shattered, the crack of my shoulder blade fracture and my collarbone fracture, I crawled from the wreckage not knowing I was badly injured.
My girlfriend got out with no major injuries, apart from whiplash and a few light cuts she walked away from the van, my friend walked away with whiplash and nothing else, my friends girlfriend lost the top of one of her fingers and broke her collarbone and a few cuts and bruises but walked away and my other friends girlfriend had cuts bruises and a broken pelvis she was still in the back of the van, I don’t know how she got out, the police arrived after maybe 5 minutes and I was already walking to work, little did I know the top portion of my ear was hanging below the lobe, my scalp from ear to crown and temple was hanging over the other side of my head with smashed skull and brain pulsating in the open wound, the two open wounds on my back that you could see the ribs, my arm shredded and behind my back.
AND STILL NO PAIN