A couple of weeks back I witnessed a road accident in Edinburgh City centre. A pedestrian stepped into the road and a cyclist ploughed into him. There was no stopping for the cyclist, she was literally already on top of him when he stepped off the pavement. The pedestrian was absolutely fine, so much so in fact that he stood up, brushed himself down and walked away. The cyclist was not so lucky.
When I heard the scream and collision I looked over and saw a bike and female cyclist lying in the road and the man who had stepped in front of her getting up. Bearing in mind this was Shandwick Place at 5pm on a Monday night, it was busy. Incredibly, passers by were looking and staring but they carried on walking and nobody was stopping? I ran across the road and as I approached an elderly couple also stopped to assist. We helped the cyclist up and moved herself and her bike to some outdoor seats at a nearby bar. She was very upset and in pain with a bloody face, chipped tooth and a potentially broken/sprained arm or shoulder. Before we had even moved her the pedestrian who had caused the accident departed with his friends.
I called an ambulance. The woman didn’t have her phone on her but thanks to Facebook I managed to track down her boyfriend and let him know what had happened and which hospital the ambulance crew said she’d be taken to. I also contacted her work to let her know she wouldn’t be in, she was en route there when the incident happened and was upset she’d be letting them down.
The manager of the Grosvenor Bar came out and very kindly took her bike to store in the bar until she was fit to collect it. He mentioned the brake calipers on one side had been broken in the impact. The elderly couple (who incidentally had just arrived in Edinburgh on holiday) and myself waited until she was in the ambulance and we went on our way.
This collision took place approximately 2m past a set of traffic lights. The man we were told had been drinking in the bar that afternoon, however he certainly wasn’t falling about drunk.
What are the ramifications for the cyclist? Scars? dental work? possibly a cast or sling depending on how bad her arm turned out to be?, bruising at best. She cycles to work, will she be able to cycle now with these her injuries? Would dental work to rebuild a chipped tooth be expensive? Can she afford it? Her bike is broken, how much will that set her back to get it roadworthy again? Will she want to get on a bike again even when she can? Thank goodness she was wearing a helmet or it could have been a lot worse.
The ramifications for the pedestrian? Sweet FA. Possibly a slightly guilty conscience as he wonders whatever happened to the lady he hospitalised?
The cyclist although sore and upset, kept apologising to me for putting me out, even though I reassured her numerous times that was not the case whatsoever. “But haven’t you got somewhere you need to be?” I would hope if I was lying injured in Edinburgh City centre someone would stop to help me, although now I’m not so sure. Dozens of people walked past before myself and the holidaying couple reached her, I wondered if there had been a tram or a bus coming would that have jolted people to take action sooner? What does it take?
Rushing for a bus/train, getting home for children, on your way to work/a date/a class/shopping, heading out to eat, not wanting to get involved.
Which of these things would stop you helping an injured person?
And which of them would stop somebody helping you?