Danny shouldn’t have been on the road, he shouldn’t have been driving, even at the slower than racing speeds of the national highways, but he was. Despite being offered a ride by Tracey, and despite telling Tracey he’d ring someone from work his anger and rage at not getting what he wanted had pushed him to drive himself to rehab and he was going to pay the ultimate price for it.
The truck had hit him with enough force to drive his two tonne vehicle up the concrete barrier, bounce it along the barrier and push it along the road until the brakes of the big truck managed to bring the everything to a halt.
Luck had been the only thing that had kept Danny’s ute from rolling over with the force of the truck. The airbag and the seat belt the only things saving Danny from being thrown around in the cabin too much and the skill of the truck driver and his quick responses the only thing stopping Danny be killed.
When he woke up in hospital several hours later Danny could remember the disagreement he’d had with Tracey before she left. He could remember suggesting he would ring Rick, but denied it. And he could remember driving himself to rehab, in fact he could remember everything up to when the tyre blew out. After that he remembered nothing other than looking out his broken window directly at the grille of the truck that had braked heavily but was unable to avoid him. Although he wasn’t unconscious at the time of the accident he could not recall anything between his vehicle pulling to the right and when the airbag deflated and he was able to turn his head and look out the window which was only moments before his vehicle finally came to a stop. Well at least that’s what he told the Police who were waiting to question him when the Emergency department doctors had finished with him.
The truth lay somewhere near but not quite along side what the Police were told and part of the reason for that was that Danny did not feel that the truth of what happened between the tyre blow out and the end needed to be public knowledge. There was going to be enough questioning of his motives and his abilities and the social media sites associated with the racing competition would be over run enough with social justice warriors giving their opinions. Blacking out and not remembering anything removed some of Danny’s fault and ability to make less of an accident. At least that was what he thought.
Another reason that Danny was happy to tell the Police that he blacked out rather than seeing every part of the accident was because it made no difference, not in a legal stance anyway. The accident was his fault, he would be charged on summons for reckless driving. He would also have demerit points added to his licence, be fined a figure in excess of a thousand dollars and more than likely be forced into some kind of short term driver education course where he knew more about driving than the instructor. He possibly wouldn’t have to appear in court unless he wanted to appeal any part of the Police decisions but with a fine he could afford and not actually losing his licence any reason for appeal was quickly negated by the adverse publicity he would cop in the process.
However the biggest reason Danny refused to give the entire story was because he was pissed off with the news that the Emergency Department doctors had given him. It was the kind of news that even if Danny was told could happen to him he’d have considered it such a long shot he could never have drawn enough short straws to have it happen to him.
During the accident where the side of Danny’s ute had been pushed in by the truck he’d been lucky that the deforming of the floor pan had some how been enough to stop the vehicle riding up the bullbar of the truck and flipping over. Even when the two tyres on the left hand side of the vehicle rolled off their rims and the alloy rims began to grind themselves flat on the bitumen road surface somehow the ute had not tipped over. But with the deforming of the floor pan it had crushed the driver’s compartment, pushing the ute in between the A pillar at the front of the door and the B pillar at the rear of the door.
The result was that Danny’s lower legs and feet were pinned into an area about half as big as it should have been along with the three pedals. It was one of those three pedals, the clutch pedal to be precise, that caused him all the trouble. With the limited space in the crushed foot well the pedal had been forced into Danny’s left ankle, snapping it in four places instantly and pinning it there until the Emergency services personal were able to cut him free at the scene.
By the time that had happened Danny was out of it and knew none of what was going on. When he woke up in the Emergency Department with his foot set and dosed up on pain killers he could not come up with a logical reason for the large chunk of plaster on his foot. But with the plaster stopping before his knee he at least figured there was no further damage to his already repairing knee. However when the doctor told him what had happened below the per-existing injury Danny went straight into denial. It mattered not what the doctor said, it mattered not what Tracey said, or how she tried to calm him. All Danny knew was that there was no way in the world that what he was being told was the truth.
Had Danny been not been told that his crushed ankle would see the end of his racing career he might have been a different person in the Emergency Department. Had he not been told that there was no way even modern medicine could repair the damage enough to give him anything more then the strength to support himself for the rest of his life, maybe he’d not have lied to police and been so blunt with them.
But the one thing he could not get past was that everything that had happened on that particular day was his fault and his fault alone. Sure he could try to blame others for their involvement, and over time he would, but in his own mind even he knew that the decision to drive was his and his alone. And that was a decision he’d have to live with for the rest of his life.