Sunday, 6 November 2011

"Witness" to M25 Accident

With the news of the M5 pile-up fresh in my mind, on the way home from Brands Hatch last night I was witness to the resulting carnage, not the actual event, of what initially looked like quite a serious accident on the M25. Transit and trailer both on their sides, lanes 2 & 3 blocked, Armco levelled for about 100 yards and two lamp posts knocked over - one into the other carriageway. I was the only person not involved who actually stopped - everyone else casually drove round the wreckage and disappeared into the night.

I checked first to see if anyone was trapped or injured - fortunately not - and dialled 999. We ended up with five fire engines, an incident support unit, two police cars and an ambulance. And they shut the M25 in both directions. All this on bonfire night.

As I didn't witness the actual event, the police didn't want contact details, but Essex Police did actually ring me back later.

Out of interest, there are eight points listed in the Highway Code are as to what you should do:
* Turn on your hazard lights to warn approaching traffic of potential danger [I keep a reflective jacket in the car too].
* Make sure other drivers switch off their engines and extinguish cigarettes for fire safety reasons.
* Call the emergency services yourself or get someone else to do so. Give full details of the location of the accident and any casualties. The operator will advise you on what to do before the services arrive.
* Make sure that any uninjured passengers move to safety, away from their own vehicle and passing traffic [the hard shoulder should be a safe haven, but unfortunately some drivers think that if the road is blocked, the emergency lane is for them].
* Leave anyone with injuries where they are – you could do more harm than good – except if they are in danger from fire or explosion.
* Do not take off a motorcyclist's helmet unless you have no option. Again you could cause serious injury.
* Give First Aid if needed.
* Wait until the emergency services arrive.