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Driver Crashes and Runs Off After Accident in North Street

Tuesday 27 April 2010, 19:11
By Mandy Cochrane

Mandy Cochrane - Innocent victim of a crash and runIt's 4.45am, Sunday morning. I should be asleep, a decent lie-in ahead of me before the children start clamouring for breakfast and the dog whines for a walk.

Instead, I've been awake since 2.22am. I'm able to be so precise about the time because that's when I was awoken with a start and a sense of foreboding by a crashing noise in the street below.

Even in a half-awake state, I knew instinctively what had happened: my poor car had been on the receiving end of another careless driver. I didn't know at the time but it was actually more ominous than sheer carelessness.

I groped in the dark for a dressing gown, trying to shake the fog out of my head as I automatically began a mental run-through of all the details I'd need to exchange with the other vehicle owner. You do, don't you? The coping mechanism kicks in and you just get on with it.

I let myself out of the house as quietly as possible so as not to wake the children and went down to the street to see the extent of the damage.

A voluntarilly customised Citroen PicassoA crumpled red Citroen Saxo had come to rest at an angle to the road, having bounced off the back of my Picasso. The driver's airbag was starting to deflate; broken glass, a yellow cigarette lighter and a cheap pair of plastic pink sunglasses lay in the kerb. It's funny the details you notice isn't it?

The one detail conspicuously absent was the driver.

In the dark, it was difficult to tell the extent of the damage to my own car. The rear end has taken a battering, and I suspect it's a write-off. I tried not to dwell on distressing thoughts of the time I was going to be spending sorting out insurance claims, repairs and hire cars over the coming days.

Another car had pulled up just in front of mine: a witness who'd seen two people get out of the Saxo and run off into Verrington Lane; a young man and young woman I think he said. The witness was just finishing his phone call to the police and we both stood there in the rain, waiting for them to arrive.

After a minute or two the gentleman suggested that I go inside to get a coat and I became embarrassingly aware that I was standing in the middle of the street, in the middle of the night, in nothing more than a rather damp dressing gown.

By the time I got back down to the street, a police car had arrived on the scene and, summing up the situation quickly, had driven into Verrington Lane to try and find the Saxo's driver and passenger.

No luck. In all likelihood, they'd hiked up the steep path that connects with Dancing Lane and from there they could have gone anywhere.

I guess we're all familiar with the drill that followed, so I won't go into details. The police took all the relevant information. I've got to contact them tomorrow - sorry, today - to see if I can get the name of the registered keeper of the Saxo. Hopefully it wasn't stolen and hopefully it was insured.

I know this kind of thing happens all the time and I shouldn't take it personally, but I do. And now I'm mad. Pure, spitting mad. So I've a message for the driver of that Saxo:

If you'd stayed with the car and done the decent thing, I might have had some respect for you. You could even have had some respect for yourself. I don't suppose you've even given a thought to the upset this has caused me, the inconvenience and sheer bloody frustration that I will go through to sort this mess out, not to mention a sleepless night of worry. Do you care that I'm still repaying a loan for a car that in all likelihood is now a ruin? I doubt it; it's not your problem is it?

Were you drunk when you crashed into my car? On drugs? Just frightened? Why would you just run off into the night? I really want to hear your side of the story, to hear how you might justify your actions. I suppose an apology is out of the question?

I hope the police catch up with you. If you have a single shred of decency, I hope you feel ashamed enough of your actions tonight to own up to them. And your passenger doesn't escape censure either. She was quite happy to flee the scene as well. Neither of you should be allowed to own a car for a very, very long time.

I leave you both to your consciences.

Mandy Cochrane


Posts: 2
Recent Developments
Reply #1 on : Thu April 29, 2010, 11:39:47
The story has now unfolded a little. My car has sustained approximately £5,000 worth of damage and has been written off. The driver WAS the owner of the crashed car, and he IS insured, thank goodness. When the police finally managed to locate him, he was interviewed and admitted to being distracted by his phone ringing, after which he crashed the car and panicked. It's difficult to know whether this is the full story, but I guess I'll never know.

The police inform me they'll be charging him with careless driving and failing to stop after an accident.

I'm still very angry and up to my ears in paperwork and phone calls to insurers, the hire car company, the uninsured loss recovery team etc. Plus I have to try and find time to look for another car. I could really do without it.
Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 12:43:15 by davidsmith  
Posts: 1
Innocent until proven guilty, eh?
Reply #2 on : Sun May 02, 2010, 17:26:47
So the driver and his passenger ran off, leaving the Saxo knocking about in the middle of the road? Was it written off too?

I suppose this is one of those situations where the law isn't able to reach it's full extent. Panic or not, what other possible reason could anyone have to flee the scene of an accident, WITHOUT their car, which wasn't stolen, unless they needed time to rid their bloodstream of influential substances? But of course you can't charge someone with a crime without proof, and after 24 hours the proof is essentially gone :/
Last Edit: May 02, 2010, 17:31:42 by davidsmith  

Posts: 2
Re: Driver Crashes and Runs Off After Accident in North Street
Reply #3 on : Mon May 03, 2010, 11:00:47
I'd be amazed if the Saxo wasn't a write-off too. The whole front end was caved in. I'm just as surprised that the occupants weren't injured, let alone able to run off. The force of the impact must have been shocking to do so much damage to both cars. Speed must surely have been a factor, though of course, there's no proof.

Living just yards outside the town's 30mph speed zone inevitably means that vehicles are often travelling well in excess of 30mph even before they're out of that zone. I may well ask Highways if they would consider extending the 30 mph zone to encompass our terrace of houses, or introduce other traffic calming measures. Old Hill is a notorious black spot for accidents, mostly caused by excessive speed.
Last Edit: May 03, 2010, 11:02:24 by *  

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