“Only One Vehicle Involved”

Tonight we have had a most unfortunate incident. A fatal road traffic collision.

But in the infamous words of Richard Littlejohn – it was “only one vehicle involved.”

Apart, of course, from:

2 Fire crews who attended, made the scene safe and then waited until the awful process of taking the driver out could be completed.

And the 3 paramedic crews who turned up and tried in vain to save the driver’s life.

And the five police vehicles who turned up to preserve the scene, assist the paramedics, start an investigation, supervise the investigation, speak to the traumatised passers-by and manage the cordons.

And the house it hit and caused structural damage to.

And the Gas company who had to come and make things safe.

And the council who had to come and put hard closures on the road involved.

And the Collision Investigator from Roads Policing who has to try and piece together exactly what happened and how it happened.

And the coroners undertaker who had to come and take the driver away.

And the people who had to come out and shore up the house and make it safe.

And the family of the driver whose lives have just been turned upside down in the blink of an eye.

The incident took place at about 3am.

The road is still closed 4 hours later.

Simultaneously we had a number of other serious and critical incidents taking place – all of which I needed my immediate attention and involvement. It was a bad shift. The worst I have ever worked.

And yet – strangely enough – as the senior officer at the scene it didn’t once cross my mind that I should prolong the incident for as long as possible so that I could

a) grind the road network to a halt
b) ensure everyone got some overtime out of it
c) exercise my “authority” over the public

All I was really interested in was who is the driver, how the hell did this happen and who do we need to tell?

How can we make this awful situation better? The answer is – we couldn’t – we just had to deal with it as professionally and as well as we could.
Even if it does take hours.

So – Mr Littlejohn – as I said in my previous blog – it really isn’t “just one vehicle involved” in what looks like a “tragic accident.”

At the moment the cause is undetermined and we have a duty to investigate it.

The driver’s family deserve no less and we do it because it is the *right* thing to do.

My apologies if this causes you any inconvenience.


5 responses to ““Only One Vehicle Involved””

  1. Ken Grayling says :

    Richard Littlejohn: Reporting as if vehicles mattered.

  2. Stefan Kowal says :

    So well put. These incidents never absolutely leave you. You have done a fine job. Take solice in the fact that the critics have not been there and don’t understand.

  3. Chris says :

    Littlejohn’s comments only expose him for what he is a person who has never had to deal with the ‘hard’ edge of reality. I can only echo Stefan’s comment – you have done a fine job.

  4. PedroStephano says :

    You have my full support for changing the last paragraph to “Inconvenienced? Tough”

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