Sep 072010

This afternoon ended different than I would have imagined; when I was already on my way back with my Norton, traffic slowed down at the quai de Seine, just in front of the camping entrance at Boulogne-Billancourt. Three young men were, somewhat panicked, trying to get the attention of passing traffic. A car, skid of the road on the left side, with behind it a man laying on the ground. I pulled over and quickly it became clear; the young men came running to me asking if I was a doctor and unfortunately I’m not and kept asking if I had seen what happened. The three men explained me that a car, just in front of them, suddenly swerved to the left, over the curb and hit the trees. When I walked over to the accidented car I knew enough, the poor guy most likely had a heart attack while at the wheel, given his position, heavy transpiration over his breast and cramped position of his right arm/hand. I passed them my cellphone to call for medical assistance while I took off my jacket and folded it to serve as pillow for the victim’s head. One of the three young men started heartmassage, probably following instructions from medical personnel on the phone.

Waiting can then take long.. By chance, a policecar in civilian just pulled over a car on the other side of the road at the camping’s entrance, so I ran towards them waving my arms to get their attention. Luckely that didn’t take long and it took even less time to explain them that someone just had a seizure. The policemen in civilian took over the heartmassage and started mouth-to-mouth while one of their colleagues also called in for an ambulance. Meanwhile I gave them their space to do their job, but I didn’t want to distance too far, as the victim was still laying on my leather jacket and I already saw it coming, the confusion.. And I wasn’t wrong.

The first firemen (also providing first aid and medical assistance in France) arrived about 5 minutes later, while I slowed and stopped traffic to give them space to approach and pull over. While they took over and started reanimation in turn, the policemen in civilian started to ask questions about what happened, but I didn’t witness anything, it happened seconds before I got there and I stopped because of the three young men seeking attention.

Meanwhile a second firetruck arrived and just about then, I was just in time; the policemen had found my papers in my leather jacket and while one of them already started using his phone I was just in time to squeeze in that he was holding my papers because I provided my jacket as pillow to the victim. Sure, difficult to see, because first he took out my wife’s driving license that I (often) carry with me to retrieve postal orders for her, but after showing him my passport he was convinced and handed them back. In the meantime, while medical personnel was trying to stabilise the victim, I couldn’t go anywhere, because my jacket also contains my wallet and vehicule registration papers of the Norton that were in the other pocket. About 30 minutes later the victim was placed on a brancard and medical staff handed back my jacket. I asked them if the victim was going to make it but they told me that it didn’t look good. I got cleared and started the Norton and while I was leaving the three young men, still at the scene, thanked me for having stopped.

No pictures; Sure, I was there long enough to take one, but decided that it wasn’t the place nor the time. It was already dramatic enough as it was, it wasn’t a tourist attraction.

Once back and parked the Norton, I still had to go buy some meat. At the butcher’s, they asked if I wasn’t with the Norton. He told me that his brother has a Norton and two Triumphs as well, but honnestly, though I love talking about motorbikes, after what just happened I wasn’t quite concentrated.

 Posted by at 6:44 pm

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