Looking at the car you can see why he thought that. A heavy metal crate had fallen onto it from a lorry.
I was shaky after the call but put on a brave face for Kate. Phoned a good friend and neighbour to drive me. The phone rang again. Matt. Better news. Ambulance was there and fire brigade- they were cutting him out and taking him to hospital. Sent Kate to school and went to the local hospital to wait. And wait. Staff in A&E unhelpful and uninformed and lacking in any empathy. Said they were expecting a 'RTA', though. Could I take a seat? Sat there among the sprained ankles and minor injuries. It all felt unreal. Felt detached, watching myself as if in a soap opera. Tried not to think about how life might change but my mind running away visualising future scenarios. How he said he wanted the Hipsway song at his funeral. Waited and waited. My wonderful friend still there. 40 minutes passed and then we heard the ambulance outside.
Swung from terror to near elation in seconds. Ambulance driver smiling and saying it looks worse than it is; Paul talking to me saying he was OK. In contrast to those in the front desk, staff on the A&E ward were wonderful. They let me hold his hand as they picked bits of metal from the huge gash on his head and then sewed it up. 23 stitches and a scar which beats Harry Potter. Scans and X rays revealed no life threatening injuries but there were compressed discs in his spine. Not much fun, but he'd be OK - eventually.
Last week, one year on from the accident I was very proud to see him achieve the goal he set himself a month or so later. He completed a charity cycle ride from London to Brussels for the Alzheimer's Society, raising over £900. It wasn't easy and his back injury continues to cause him problems, but he did it.
Writing this meant reliving the experience. But it's good to remember. I stared into the void but then got my life back. And it's precious. I remember too the kindness of that stranger Matt. I'm not sure I'd have been brave enough to make that call.