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#1 Oct 19, 2017 3:07 pm

New Historian
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“I’m too young to die!”

It was a Friday night I was driving home from Kingston to Mandeville. It had been a long day/week, and as usual I was tired. It was a cool night, and what I didn’t appreciate was that the further up I climbed the mountain to Mandeville, the more dew there was on the road. As I rounded a bend, I skidded on a patch of dew and the left rear wheel clipped the embankment. Much to my surprise the car flipped over onto its top and went sliding down the road upside down, and slammed into a retaining wall. The roof collapsed upon impact, trapping me in a crumpled heap with a searing pain in my left shoulder. I knew immediately my collarbone had broken. For a second I lay there, dazed, confused, trapped, hurt, upside down. And then …

Whoomp! The car caught fire.

The gasoline in the carburetor had ignited and flames shot up through the dashboard. Faaack! I remember that first moment of sheer panic, the terror of visualizing what was about to happen any second now: the grist of a million movies: Boom! They’d find my crispy remains in the burnt-out wreck the next morning: a bad end.

Then my brain kicked in: don’t panic, think! I was pinned upside down in my seat with searing pain in my shoulder. I couldn’t get out through the windscreen because of the crushed roof, nor on the driver’s side because the car was up against the wall. Then I got it: raise the catch on the side of my seat, push the seat back, and crawl out of the shattered back window.

Great in theory; practice was a different matter. With gravity pushing me upside-down onto my broken shoulder, the pain was excruciating - but fear is a great motivator! With the smell of burning petrol in my nostrils and my feet beginning to get hot, I wriggled through the wreckage of the car and crawled through the broken back window, across the road and into the ditch on the other side of the road, waiting for the big bang.

Which never came! The fire in the engine spluttered and went out, leaving me cowering in the gully across the road. So much for the movies! I crawled out of the ditch onto the road, to wait for the next car that came along. During which time the shock wore off as the pain wore on. Finally a Land Rover hove into view. THANK you sweet Jesus! Do you have any idea how BUMPY Land Rovers are???

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#2 Oct 19, 2017 8:04 pm

houston
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Re: “I’m too young to die!”

Amazing that you survived that Historian. Good thing the flames got your adrenaline going and you were able to find an escape.
Vehicles sliding off the road and into water is another panic situation that not many survive. Clear thinking and education can save lives in desperation.

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#3 Oct 19, 2017 8:15 pm

gripe
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Re: “I’m too young to die!”

Education had, in my opinion, not much to do with New Historian's escape from his then-impending doom. He said it: "fear is a great motivator!" His survival began at that point!

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#4 Oct 19, 2017 9:19 pm

houston
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Re: “I’m too young to die!”

True, Historian knew exactly what to do for his survival.
My point was that in many cases deaths occur because of lack of knowing what to do in a panic situation.

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