Whoa, brake lights ahead and a tailback. It soon becomes obvious what's happened.
There's a car across 3/4s of the slip road with the front bashed in, 2 cars 'parked' across the slip road with hazards on and about 15 people milling around.
Instinctively I fumble around for my phone and tell hubby that someone's probably reported it already but better to have too many calls than none at all.
I dial 999. Almost instantly I go into my old job mode of taking and dispatching 999 calls. I patiently wait for the call taker to say, "Police emergency - go ahead caller." I give them all the details as we slowly crawl past 'the scene'. It seems there's only one car directly involved but as we get closer to that car, I half want to look away for fear of what I might see. The front end is severely smashed in and both air bags have been activated.
Thankfully, feed the ducks in the fresh air and no afternoon nap has meant that our little bear has nodded off in the car. I'm sure she would have been upset if she had seen it all, albeit apparently just walking wounded.
'Just' walking wounded. 10+ years ago when I trained as a 999 call taker and then later on when I did my emergency services first aid training, I was told that shock can kill, "It's the ones walking around in a daze that you should give attention to first, not necessarily the ones screaming out."
Now don't get me wrong, I don't make a habit of calling 999. I don't have the need to thankfully. But like a few times in the past when I've had reason to (a dangerous road obstruction, a concern for a person with possible mental health issues or drunk wandering in and out of a busy road) on Saturday night I kept replaying my conversation with the call taker over and over. Perhaps it's because I can see the bigger picture. I know they'll be checking for any other reports, sending 'the job' to the despatcher straight away. Someone will be ringing directly through to fire and ambulance.
Then there' the minor detail of finding an available mobile/resource. Preferably a traffic mobile. No mean feat, I can tell you from experience. Especially at shift change over. That's not to demean anyone. The emergency services and support staff do an amazing job in often extremely difficult and pressurised circumstances. Sometimes I miss the buzz.
Anyhow, I had done my bit. If we hadn't had our little bear in the car, hubby and I both said we would have stopped but there had been plenty of people there anyway. One man deserved a medal for directing traffic. I feel sure he prevented another accident. Hats off to him.