A Distressing afternoon and a good animal lost, right on our doorstep.

17 Feb


I have been writing about Gypsy cobs on my newly created Bow Top Caravan Blog.

This afternoon, I decided to clean the Camper Van. I had just sprayed wheel cleaner on the alloys and tyre shine on the tyres. I was thinking about posting one of my political rants about democracy and Tony Blair’s latest call for revoltion but that sadly has come to nothing due to an horrendous road traffic incident.

A Gas Utility van had been parked for quite some time, not far from the sharp left hand band where our house stands on the inside of the curve. The gas man was working next door and I did think of asking him if he wanted to park on our frontage access but dismissed it as I was shuffling the camper van for cleaning. I wish that I had got him to move now.

As on any “A” roads, we see a large number of lorries passing. A big tipper truck came down from the village centre around the bend and stopped behind the illegally parked gas van. No skidding tyres or drama, he was not speeding (which makes a change, I have to say !). Then almost immediately, I spotted a horse and trap behind the lorry. The horse had gone down the offside of the tipper truck and the trap was up on one wheel. It too disappeared behind the truck. There was a loud bang from the opposite side of the truck. I dropped everything and ran around to help.

The horse had ran head on into a small car coming from the opposite direction. The windscreen was smashed and there was blood on the glass. I could not tell if it was from inside or outside of the car. I checked the Lady driver and she was coherent and did not appear to be badly injured. The blood was from outside of the car. I left the Lady in capable hands of a passerby and went to check the horse and driver.

The driver had already freed the horse from it’s trap and had removed the harness tackle. The horse was standing up on the pavement.Anothe passerby, a smartly dressed young man with the appearance of a student was holding a cloth to the horse’s chest. It was pouring with blood, literally pumping out. My wife appeared quickly on the seen with two more towels and between them they tried to stem the blood. At one point whilst we waited for the police and ambulance, she returned upstairs to our house, treading blood throughout to collect 2 cotton sheets. I asked the horse driver if a Vet had been called and he confirmed that help was on it’s way. During this time, I had set up a warning triangle and was watching for speeders coming around the bend. I directed traffic around the Village Pool until at last the emergency services arrived.

Sadly it was all too little to help the horse. Despite all my wife’s and others efforts, including the male student and help from our young female friend who had previously lived in out cottage, the horse was humanely destroyed right in front of us. There was a huge pool of blood and the helpers were all covered too.I have not witnessed so many distressed people before.

I am sorry to say that anger overcame me and I went to find the gas man. He was working just out of sight of the mayhem and I rather aggressively suggested that he come out see the effects of parking on double yellow lines so close to a bad bend. He neither commented nor reacted, so I acccused him of not having the bottle to face up to the consequences ( I stress, as I saw it.) Still no comment or reaction. My feeling was, that if there had been no obstruction to traffic in the first place then the lorry would not have had to stop quickly almost on the apex of the bend and the horse would still be trotting about. One bystander did comment , that it was the duty of the vehicle following to be able to stop if the one in front stops. How quickly can a horse and trap come to a halt?

Glad to say that the Lady driving the car was shocked but uninjured and I saw her return to move the car with a helper.

I regret getting angry and I am trying to make sense of a horrible afternoon. So very sad.

I am very proud of my wife’s efforts . She was amazing !

7 Responses to “A Distressing afternoon and a good animal lost, right on our doorstep.”

  1. Martin McDowall February 18, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

    sounds like you are both still in shock Duncan. clearly you all did what you can to save the wee pony. I’m sure the owner of the pony is in a very emotional state now and going over the event time and time again. I have no words of wisdom for what you witnessed today but I do think you and Pam need to try and reflect on you did what could be done. I hope you both settle down later on, try to relax if possible.

    • Dinkum February 18, 2017 at 5:15 pm #

      Cheers Old Mate. Lots of people in the Village who were present were badly affected by it. Having a quiet meal out with a close friend shortly and been for a long walk. Thanks for the kind advice.

  2. neilirving February 19, 2017 at 9:56 pm #

    Our thoughts are with you both, a terrible experience to live through

    • Dinkum February 19, 2017 at 10:02 pm #

      Thanks Neil. Neighbours were preventing people from parking too cose to the bend today. Hope it keeps up and some good comes from it all.

      • neilirving February 19, 2017 at 10:14 pm #

        Roads are terrible, especially on a Sunday everyone seem to be in such a hurry

  3. Eunice February 22, 2017 at 10:56 pm #

    Your anger probably stemmed from the shock of witnessing such a distressing incident which would probably have been avoided if the gas van hadn’t been parked where it was – I think I would have felt the same too. It sounds like you and your wife did all you could at the time – I hope you’ve both recovered a bit by now.

    • Dinkum February 23, 2017 at 6:57 am #

      We have kept our selves busy as a distraction and both feel far better, thanks. Subsequently, we have been hearing from witnesses in the village prior to the bend that the horse was “more than trotting” and the driver subsequently claimed that he had a runaway before he rounded the bend to be confronted by the truck blocking his lane. Hoof marks on the tarmac indicate that he had great difficulty in slowing/stopping. I have to stress that this is hearsay from villagers as a court case may be approaching.

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