Home FleetWatch 2019 Time lost where seconds count

Time lost where seconds count

This picture shows how all lanes were blocked preventing paramedics from getting through thus costing them precious time when seconds mean the difference between life and death.

This is a real-life example of how road-users who adopt an attitude of “we own the road” can hold up critical help when precious seconds count within the Golden Hour, the fi rst hour after a traumatic injury when emergency treatment is most likely to succeed.

On January 6th 2019, a truck driver from Onelogix was driving peacefully along the N3. There was a steady stream of on-coming traffic with holiday-makers returning home. All was good. In a matter of seconds, however, that would change. An oncoming taxi lost control and rolled across the road into the path of the
truck. As the video shows, there was nothing the truck driver could do to avoid it. It was awful.

When all was quiet, there were bodies – and pieces of bodies – scattered all over the scene. Two cars had also been caught up in the crash. Urgent medical help was needed. The call went out and Nick, an extraction expert, and Dr Sharon, who were returning to Johannesburg after a stint of voluntary work with Community Medical Services (CMS), got the call and speeded up. Phillip Hull, head of CMS was driving a few kilometres behind them. He too ‘put foot’ knowing that in cases like this, seconds can make the difference between life and death.

When Nick and Dr Sharon got to about a kilometre from the actual scene of the crash, they could not get through. Why? Because some impatient motorists had ventured out of the north bound lanes into the south bound lanes to ease forward. In no time, others followed until the whole road was blocked – including the emergency lanes – (see photograph). Nick had to drive his bakkie off the road into the veld and proceed through the veld to get to the crash scene. When Hull arrived at the tail-end of the back-log, he too was blocked in. He arrived at 16h26. It took him 19 minutes to get to get to the scene by following the same route as had Nick (see video).

This is the type of ill-discipline that exists on our roads. “It’s my road and I’ll do what I want”. What did these motorists want to see? A crash like this is similar to putting a mortar bomb…

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