Drinking and driving

Last night I went to a fundraiser for Mick D’Amelio, a team mate from my footy club who was paralysed after a skydiving accident. Great guy. Great night. After trying for about an hour I finally managed to get a taxi at 1am. Not even 500 metres down the road, we passed a car that had flipped onto its roof.

I told the taxi driver to stop and wait, and told him I would pay whatever fare I incurred. He drove off straight away, which I reckon is a shit act. As I approached the car, I saw a guy who had managed to drag himself halfway out of the car before collapsing. The engine was still running, the headlights were on and techno blared from the speakers. As I got closer I saw that the guy in the car was a team mate of mine who I had been speaking to – and drinking with – for about half an hour at the fundraiser.

I could only get him to squeeze my hand, and he was shivering and his breathing was shallow. He couldn’t keep his eyes open.

The ambos were there quicker than I would have believed possible. Me and a couple of other onlookers helped the paramedic drag my mate from the car and get him on a stretcher with a neck brace. With the techno still blaring, police radios crackling, stunned onlookers and the glare of red and blue lights, it felt like I was in the middle of a TAC ad.

He had hit the high-tensile cable that runs diagonally down from telephone poles and flipped the car into the middle of the road. The car was a write-off. He was shipped off to hospital, pissed and injured. At the time of writing, I don’t know how he is yet.

He has a suspended sentence for drink driving, so it’s fair to say he is going to be in a spot of bother when he is back on my feet. The stupidity of drink driving after being at a fundraiser for a guy in a wheelchair is obvious. Mick was in a parachuting accident beyond his control – I’m tipping a few more have ended up in wheelchairs as a result of decisions that were well within their control.

Actually seeing an accident like that was surreal, and horrible. If you’re heading out on the turps and you can’t get a taxi home, email the monkey first and I’ll come pick you up. Just don’t get pissed and try to drive home.

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