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#1 Nov 15, 2017 10:00 am

New Historian

Memories of Zimbabwe - TWO near misses

Thursday, 22 April 1999

Heading home at night, as I turn off Robert Mugabe onto Enterprise Road, there's a guy flagging me down.  It’s pretty dark around there so I cautiously stop and have a look-see.  The guy is frantically babbling in a heavy Zimbabwean accent about an accident.  "Back there," he says, "this car just hit my friend, help!"  I can't quite figure out what's going on, but there's a dark blue Nissan double- cabin bakkie (pickup) nearby, and I can see it’s damaged.  The windscreen is broken and so is the front right headlight.  But in the middle of all this, time is running fast and my mind is working overtime.  Looking around into the darkness for any suspicious characters, nervous, wondering about thieves.  I'm no doctor but what I can do is call the ambulance on the cellphone.  The guy is pointing "back there", and as I kinda want to put some distance between me and this scene, I do a U-turn and come back on the other side of the dual carriageway, all the time trying to call the police/ambulance on the bloody.  I have a bit of trouble explaining exactly where I am, but eventually I get it all out, and the guy comes over and says, "he's driven off!"

"Who?" I say.  "Him, the guy who just ran over my friend!"

Then the penny drops.  A hit-and-run!  The driver’s driven off!  Shit!  I'm feeling real bad now, because of my stupidity, this guy has gotten away.  So I do a U-turn and go after him - or where I think he's gone.  But it was never on, he's done a runner.  I shoot up Enterprise Road for a while but it' obvious that he's disappeared.  Shit!  So I turn round and slowly drive back.  But what should I do?  Should I bother, or should I just drive on?  But I can't leave it alone, I've got to see what this was all about.  Back at the place where he stopped me there's no sign of the guy.  Hmmm, was this some sort of set-up?

But when I turn the corner I see it.  The body.  Smack in the middle of the road.  "Did you find him?"  the guy says.  Nah, sorry, he got away.  I'm feeling real bad about it, but nothing compared to this guy.  Turns out, three young guys were crossing the road and this car, which must have been clipping, licks down one of them, killing him dead.  I literally had to hold on to this guy, trying to calm him down.  Several people are in the street, which is pretty wide at that point, directing traffic away from the body and the crowd of people, including me and this guy, in the middle of the street.  Still no police so I call them again. 

The ambulance arrives, puts bollards in the road, examines the body, pronounces it dead, pulls up the bollards, and pisses off!  Not our business, they say.  Tne police arrive and park on the side of the road.  They sort of look around, chalk round the body, but don't look like they really know what to do.  All of a sudden I hear it.  Wooosh!  Out of nowhere, a car comes careening along.  I jump back, pulling the guy with me, and the car runs right over the dead body, right at our feet!  The car doesn't even slow down, and roars off into the distance. 

Jesus Christ!  The car literally passed within inches of me!  I have never been so close to death!  You can imagine the guy.  He's in a complete state now, and I have to literally grab hold of him to keep him together.  I decide its time to get out of the road and take the guy to the kerb, literally forcing him to sit.  The police finally wake up and the climb into their car and give chase, but by then it’s useless.  They sort of stay in the middle of the road, directing traffic. 

And then the impossible happens.  ANOTHER car comes screaming along in the outside lane, and runs over the body AGAIN!!! At least this one stops.  F*cking hell!  Everybody is totally sickened by now, and the poor guy's moaning and rocking in my arms. Me and a lady just hug him up, trying to hold him together.  Finally, the police move the body to the side of the road.  I go over to the police, give a signed statement about everything I saw, try and say what I could to the still shell-shocked guy, and leave.  Bizarre, sad.

Last edited by New Historian (Nov 15, 2017 10:21 am)


#2 Nov 15, 2017 10:21 am

Real Distwalker

Re: Memories of Zimbabwe - TWO near misses


First, I think you were wise to be cautious at first.  There are ambushes that go down just like that.  You had to be careful.

Beyond that, stories like yours cut into my libertarian sensibilities. I want to believe that people will behave in a civilized manner in absence of extensive government management.  Your story undercuts that hope.


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