It is often a matter of centimetres or minutes and it generally involves an angel.
When Tom Kearney was hit by a bendy bus on Oxford Street exactly five years ago, a young man from Hackney saved his life, by applying first-aid techniques he had just learned. Tom was in a coma and choking on his blood; Hamza Benkhadda cleared blood from Tom’s nose and throat, placed him in the recovery position and waited by his side until the arrival of the emergency services, 29 minutes later.
Two weeks ago, Victoria Lebrec was crushed by a left turning skipper lorry on Clerkenwell Road. As her father recounts,
At around 9am, Victoria was about to arrive to work on her bike. At the corner of Clerkenwell and St Johns, she turned left, but was caught by a skip lorry, which dragged her under. From what we know, the wheels must have rolled over the lower part of her body, in the pelvic area. We have learned since that accidents involving the pelvic area are usually fatal, as it is very hard to stop the internal bleeding that usually results. The details from then on are very sketchy, but we’ve heard that an ambulance or a police car was close by. This enabled an air ambulance to be on the scene within 10 minutes.
|Picture by Daniel Russell|
And, as far as we can understand, they were able to perform a new procedure, called REBOA, which basically enables them to stop the bleeding by inserting a balloon in the artery using ultra-sound. It’s been very recently introduced in the UK (more common in the US apparently) and has generated much interest, including this BBC clip.
Sometimes, however, cruel fate dictates a sadder ending.
My father was hit by a TfL bus 200m from Tom’s incident and experienced a similar trauma, but he never regained consciousness.
Earlier this year, 300m to the North (see a pattern here?) Michael Mason was hit by a “blind” motorist and did not survive.
According to TfL, these are just numbers, statistics to be massaged and spun to show somehow that things are improving.
To the Metropolitan Police these are “tragic accidents” to be buried as quickly as possible. In all these incidents (except Victoria’s, which is still live), the Police blamed the victim and refused to prosecute the killer.
So you can see the wheel spinning:
- people are getting killed in the same streets, (here is Oxford St/Regent’s Street; here is Clerkenwell Road – e.g. Harriet Tory, same age as Victoria, was killed on the same spot and in the same way).
- killers are not prosecuted
- no lessons are learned
- nothing changes
- more people get killed
“It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police and the Local Authorities are happy with this state of affairs. They have no moral qualms that their action kills people. When human beings start to work in these inhuman organisations, they lose their humanity, their compassion, their morals and trade human lives for political favours. These organisations are masters in making monsters out of normal human beings. Just like the Army reprogrammes teenagers’ brains to become killing machines, TfL, the Police and Local Authorities rewires employee’s brains to detach themselves from the tragedies they cause.
There is only one way to stop this infernal killing machine .
It is for the survivors and the families of the innocent victims to rise and say “Enough!” Tom Kearney is a shining example of what we can do; he has started to open TfL stinking can with a forceful opener and out has come the data they were embarrassed to reveal, and he has given a voice to those employees who refuse to be forged into cogs of this devilish octopus.
Vision Zero London will help anyone who has been the victim of traffic violence and channel all our efforts towards the change that we all want and deserve.