Monday, November 13, 2006

Near Tragedy


Today was one of those wild days, made even wilder when I received a phone call from a member of the Helderberg community that one of my dorm students went through the windscreen of a car. I rushed down to the 4-way stop at the Spar, at the intersection of Helderberg College road and the Steynsrust road.

And there I found three police vans, a tow-truck, a badly dented Toyota Tazz, and a smiling, but shaken up Musa Wilken Khumalo sporting a huge gash in his eye-brow (at least 3 cm's long and open right to the bone).

Musa had just written his last Matric exam on Friday. He was on his way to Pick & Pay to buy some things. He was on a bicycle. He must have picked up a lot of speed down the steep Helderberg College road and somehow he misjudged the strength of his brakes. He found himself in the middle of the intersection at the same time as the Toyota Tazz. He rammed into the driver's door. His arms went through the driver's window and he bumped his head into the metal part of the door.

It seems as though the driver was also injured. She went to the doctor to have her injuries tended to while Musa had to make police statements and while we waited for an ambulance. The driver's husband came to manage the situation on her behalf. Their side of the story is particularly tragic because the car was in the process of being sold. Apparently the new owner was going to collect the car on the next day. I am feeling very sorry for the owner of the vehicle.

I am however grateful that Musa was not hurt more badly, and that he lives to tell the tale. He almost died when the doctor injected him with the anesthetic to administer 6 or 7 stitches.

Musa was not wearing a safety helmet. This incident re-iterates the importance of taking the proper safety precautions when riding on bicycles or any other vehicle for that matter.

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