Friday, May 1, 2009

By the roadside

The other day, on my way to St-Marcellin, I came upon the scene of an accident on a stretch of country road where there's never much traffic.

In fact, I've often noticed that certain local drivers, taking advantage of the fact that there are hardly any vehicles on this road, step upon the accelerator, ignoring the presence of several tricky little bends where the macadam hasn't been designed for speed.

The scene was a symphony of glaring red, orange and yellow.

Even the crushed automobile was red. I was impressed by the calm behavior of the accident personnel. They moved around in a determined but unhurried fashion, without even the sound of voices. Then the silence was interrupted by the motors of a waiting helicopter, which had just been loaded with a human form on a trolley.

I asked a gendarme what had happened. He told me that a local 32-year-old lady—alone in her little red automobile, and alone on the road—had simply failed to get around a minor bend, no doubt because she was driving too fast. Her vehicle left the road and bounced off the embankment. Apparently she had her seat belt on, and wasn't severely injured. In the future, she'll certainly need to buy a new car, and maybe drive a little more cautiously.

PS I've asked my neighbor Madeleine to obtain the name and address of the injured driver, so I can send her a little souvenir collection of roadside photos in dominant tones of red, orange and yellow.

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