It was 1am on a January morning and there was sleet blowing in sidewards and visibility was poor. There were people sitting on the side of the road in shock and there were also people screaming, again another symptom of shock. Our attention was drawn to 2 young lads trapped in the car. It was apparent by their position in the vehicle that neither had been wearing a seatbelt. Add to the fact that both had horrendous head injuries and you can start to build a picture.
We worked alongside our colleges from the Ambulance Service to save the lives of the lads but it was becoming more apparent that we were loosing the battle. To make matter worse we quickly identified another casualty who had been thrown from the Saxo out of the rear window. The forces involved in a RTC are immense and this not the 1st time I have encountered somebody being thrown from a vehicle. Sadly they have 2 things in common. They weren’t wearing a seatbelt and the majority end up dying.
I find it so frustrating that some people find excuses not to wear a seatbelt, drive too fast or show off to their mates. Every single crash I have been to in my Fire Service career can be attributed to driver error. WHY?? I ask myself, why take the chance? Because trust me, only one chance you get!
When I drive pass the scene it saddens me to think that those three lads were somebody’s son, brother, boyfriend. The flowers really don’t paint the picture of the carnage that went before it. I believe Pass Plus Cymru is a step towards building experience for young drivers to call upon when faced with dilemmas on our roads. It covers topics such as Seatbelts, Mobile Phones, Drink/Drug driving, Speed and Peer Pressure for one simple reason. These are major factors in fatal collisions involving 17-25 year olds on our roads!
Ashley CollinsWatch Manager - South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.