White Van Man: King of the Road?
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He added that driving is the kind of activity that causes physical arousal - adrenalin is pumped around the body, hearts beat faster and we start to sweat. All of us have the ability to turn this into aggression. As the roads get busier, more of these people pass the threshold at which physical reaction takes over from rational thought. He said that giving a definition to road rage creates a false distinction in people's minds: Any of us could experience it. The RAC has helped to set up the reportroadrage.
14 Strange Details About Stephen King's Car Accident
Some experts believe the mental stress of driving can also lead to irrational stereotypes being accentuated. The Lex Transfleet report on freight showed that lorry drivers find company car drivers the most irritating on the road. Not surprisingly, when company car drivers were asked the same question, they rated lorry drivers the worst. Sell Now! Free download. Book file PDF easily for everyone and every device. Paul Fillebrown sits down beside me.
He has a pair of clippers and tells me he's going to have to cut the ring off the third finger of my right hand - it's a wedding ring Tabby gave me in , 12 years after we were actually married. That first ring only cost eight bucks, in other words, but it seems to have worked. Some garbled version of this comes out, probably nothing Paul Fillebrown can actually understand, but he keeps nodding and smiling as he cuts that second, more expensive, wedding ring off my swollen right hand.
Two months or so later, I call Fillebrown to thank him; by then I understand that he probably saved my life by administering the correct on-scene medical aid and then getting me to the hospital at a speed of roughly mph, over patched and bumpy back roads. Fillebrown assures me that I'm more than welcome, then suggests that perhaps someone was watching out for me. You're a lucky camper to still be with the program.
The extent of the impact injuries is such that the doctors at Northern Cumberland Hospital decide they cannot treat me there; someone summons a LifeFlight helicopter to take me to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.
At this point my wife, older son, and daughter arrive. The kids are allowed a brief visit; my wife is allowed to stay longer. The doctors have assured her that I'm banged up, but I'll make it. The lower half of my body has been covered. She isn't allowed to look at the interesting way my lap has shifted around to the right, but she is allowed to wash the blood off my face and pick some of the glass out of my hair. There's a long gash in my scalp, the result of my collision with Bryan Smith's windshield.
This impact came at a point less than two inches from the steel, driver's-side support post. Had I struck that, I likely would have been killed or rendered permanently comatose, a vegetable with legs. Had I struck the rocks jutting out of the ground beyond the shoulder of Route 5, I likely also would have been killed or permanently paralysed. I didn't hit them; I was thrown over the van and 14ft in the air, but landed just shy of the rocks. The sky is very bright, very blue. The clatter of the helicopter's rotors is very loud.
Someone shouts into my ear, 'Ever been in a helicopter before, Stephen? I try to answer yes, I've been in a helicopter before - twice, in fact - but I can't. All at once, it's very tough to breathe. They load me into the helicopter.
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I can see one brilliant wedge of blue sky as we lift off; not a cloud in it. There are more radio voices. This is my afternoon for hearing voices, it seems. Meanwhile, it's getting even harder to breathe. I gesture at someone, or try to, and a face bends upside down into my field of vision. There's a rattle of paper as something is unwrapped, and then the someone else speaks into my ear, loudly so as to be heard over the rotors. You'll feel some pain, a little pinch. Hold on. It's like being thumped very high up on the right side of the chest by someone holding a short sharp object.
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Then there's an alarming whistle in my chest, as if I've sprung a leak. In fact, I suppose I have. A moment later, the soft in-out of normal respiration, which I've listened to my whole life mostly without being aware of it, thank God , has been replaced by an unpleasant shloop-shloop-shloop sound. The air I'm taking in is very cold, but it's air, at least, air, and I keep breathing it.
I don't want to die. I love my wife, my kids, my afternoon walks by the lake. I also love to write. I don't want to die, and as I lie in the helicopter looking out at the bright blue summer sky, I realise that I am actually lying in death's doorway. Someone is going to pull me one way or the other pretty soon; it's mostly out of my hands. All I can do is lie there, look at the sky, and listen to my thin, leaky breathing: shloop-shloop-shloop.
Ten minutes later, we set down on the concrete landing pad at CMMC. To me, it seems to be at the bottom of a concrete well. The blue sky is blotted out and the whap-whap-whap of the helicopter rotors becomes magnified and echoey, like the clapping of giant hands. Still breathing in great leaky gulps, I am lifted out of the helicopter.
Someone bumps the stretcher and I scream. All at once I feel like crying. We go through a door; there is air-conditioning and lights flowing past overhead. Speakers issue pages. It occurs to me, in a muddled sort of way, that an hour before I was taking a walk and planning to pick some berries in a field that overlooks Lake Kezar. I wouldn't pick for long, though; I'd have to be home by 5. The General's Daughter , starring John Travolta. Travolta was in the movie made out of Carrie , my first novel.
He played the bad guy. That was a long time ago. This time it's no splice but a great big whack taken out of the memory-film; there are a few flashes, confused glimpses of faces and operating rooms and looming X-ray machinery; there are delusions and hallucinations fed by the morphine and Dilaudid being dripped into me; there are echoing voices and hands that reach down to paint my dry lips with swabs that taste of peppermint.click
Mostly, though, there is darkness. Bryan Smith's estimate of my injuries turned out to be conservative. My lower leg was broken in at least nine places - the orthopaedic surgeon who put me together again, the formidable David Brown, said that the region below my right knee had been reduced to 'so many marbles in a sock. The extent of those lower-leg injuries necessitated two deep incisions - they're called medial and lateral fasciatomies - to release the pressure caused by the exploded tibia and also to allow blood to flow back into the lower leg.
Without the fasciatomies or if the fasciatomies had been delayed , it probably would have been necessary to amputate the leg. My right knee itself was split almost directly down the middle; the technical term for the injury is 'comminuted intra-articular tibial fracture'.
NHS pays man £1,000,000 damages after siding with ‘racist’ van driver and sacking him
I also suffered an acetabular cup fracture of the right hip - a serious derailment, in other words - and an open femoral intertrochanteric fracture in the same area. My spine was chipped in eight places. Four ribs were broken.
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My right collarbone held, but the flesh above it was stripped raw. The laceration in my scalp took 20 or 30 stitches. Yeah, on the whole, I'd say Bryan Smith was a tad conservative. Mr Smith's driving behaviour in this case was eventually examined by a grand jury, who indicted him on two counts: driving to endanger pretty serious and aggravated assault very serious, the kind of thing that means jail time. After due consideration, the District Attorney responsible for prosecuting such cases in my little corner of the world allowed Smith to plead out to the lesser charge of driving to endanger.
He received six months of county jail time sentence suspended and a year's suspension of his privilege to drive.