Last October I was hit by a motorbike at twenty miles per hour, on the 26th of July I sadly upgraded and was run over by a truck. This is what happened and how it felt.

 

The main image I conjure up when I think about the accident is the split second just before the tyre hit the ankle. It’s a moment of supreme inevitability as it rode slowly up onto my foot, an old force of nature enacting Newton’s law of gravity. The pain comes, not in waves, but like the tide of an estuary, sweeping all before it but not without first giving a glimpse of what has happened. In this case, my right foot.

My brother would tell me later that he’d always wanted to know what it’s like to be run over. My brother, familiar with ankle injuries of his own, meant it in good jest because in truth, most of us are curious as to how these things feel. It’s a morbid reality, one of those things we wonder about but never wish to experience.

It is also something we would never wish to admit. It is an act of self-harm, detrimental physically to no-one except the self. This is not to say that I wished to be run over. In fact, I can only sympathise with the pilot of the fully laden articulated lorry as he was completing the last part of a driving manoeuvre. He saw me in his mirror as the slippery surface claimed another victim. Touching the brakes was not enough to prevent the inevitable contact of tyre and shoe, tarmac and skin.

It is at this juncture in the event that the screaming began, the body slowly realising that no tug can escape the tide of reality. The pain seizes hold, washing my body and my family off their original Wednesday. The tide though, brought with it a hidden danger beneath the surface. Shock is the shark hidden in the undercurrent and its teeth beckoned sleep, a sleep that should not be succumbed to.

Fortunately I was in no mood and I let the pain guide me out of the deep. The ambulance crew arrive, the innocent truck driver having called both them and the police within seconds of the incident. It is the truck driver to whom my concern is drawn to initially because there was nothing he could have done once my foot had lost traction on the surface. It’s important to remember that we often forget about the person behind the wheels as opposed to the one under them, and that they also can be severely affected as a result of incidents such as these.

For my part, several X-rays and an MRI later have revealed that the extent of the damage reaches no further than bone bruising and damaged ligaments. To walk away with no broken bones is a miracle in its own and, only five days after the accident, I was able to just about walk up the stairs. Will power and youth are a powerful combination but they were only supplementary to the immense support of my family, which was crucial both in the initial aftermath and the subsequent days after the accident. I have a lot to thank them for.

The people whom I have to thank the most however are those of the Vauxhall garage in Wimbledon where the incident happened. Within moments of the truck running over my foot they had dropped what they were doing, came running over and, despite the rain, all immediately took of their jackets to keep me warm and stop me from going into a deeper state of shock. It is to them that I owe a great debt for their reassurance and assistance in the immediate moments after the incident.

Still, until I can run and drive again with complete confidence I am presently hopping around near the shallows feeling very lucky that the injuries are so minor. Looking for the funny side in it all I kept reassuring myself in the ambulance, ‘At least it wasn’t the clutch [pedal] foot’.

In all seriousness, though, it could have been so much worse and in sum I really wouldn’t recommend being run over. Despite this however, just twenty days after the accident I was able to drive once more.