The Air Ambulance

A screech of brakes and a soft thud are the only signs of the turmoil to come in the young boys life. His mother stands to one side with the policewoman’s arm around her, heads bent in together softly talking.

Men feel arms and legs and get out sharp needles calling out names long and confusing to anyone without a medical degree.

Gentle voices murmur around them discussing what they saw. Nobody looks at the driver hunched down at the side of the road, keys clutched tightly in his hand as he throws up in the gutter.

A policeman stands next to him, hand on his shoulder whilst quietly talking into the black box attached to his collar.

Under the wheels of the car is a small red bicycle. Handlebars bent and twisted and a wheel softly rolled to the kerb, wobbled a while and now lies alone and discarded.

The helicopter rises with instructions being sent on to the hospital ahead and the mother is led to a police car to begin the hospital chapter in her life.

The driver hunches down in the back of the police car, feeling sick, and headed for a year of nightmares, as the onlookers now nudge each other and point.

Only later would it emerge the child had just pedalled off the road, straight under the wheels of an innocent driver in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

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