Car Accident | Wed 23rd to Sat 26th Jul 2008 — Ned Martin’s Dot Org

The Car Accident

On Wednesday night, on the way back from dropping my flatmates off at West End, I was involved in an accident with a truck. As can be seen from the photos below, the truck and my car collided side-on, with the impact being spread down the driver’s side of my car. It took over an hour to extract me from the truck and my car, though I was unconscious for half of that.

I was rushed to hospital, where they put lovely warm things all over me to combat the fact that it was one of the coldest nights this year and I’d been trapped in a car for an hour of it. They performed several types of scans on me, made me drink radioactive isotopes, hold my breath for hours while having scans, smeared me in freezing cold jelly, and injected me with hot things, before pronouncing me mostly well with only some fractured ribs, a very sore shoulder, and some minor grazing.

After being unable to sleep most of the night due to the morphine having worn off and my inability to move to a more comfortable position, I discharged myself against the doctor’s wishes in the morning and caught a taxi home. They had wanted to keep me in for further observation in case they’d missed any internal bleeding or side-effects from being unconscious for half an hour, but realistically, I can monitor that at home and present myself if anything untoward happens.

The next day I flew to Cairns, and the day after, to Cooktown.

Now I don’t feel too bad if I don’t move. Unfortunately, breathing counts as moving, and is extremely painful.

Wednesday 23rd July – Car Accident


I drove Grace and Stella to Uber in West End, via getting myself a milkshake. I spent a few minutes in Uber, before driving home (but didn’t have anything to drink). Unfortunately, just a few blocks from where I parked, I had an accident with a truck. I don’t recall the specifics, though some months later (Thursday, 9th October) I had an interview with the forensic crash unit, who explained that either I or the truck ran a red light, and I was hit side-on by the truck, and was quite fortunate to be alive, and very fortunate to still have my legs. Apparently, had I not been in a strong, heavy car with solid side barriers, I would most likely not be alive. As I was unconcious and unable to dispute it, the decision was made that the truck driver had been the one who had not run the red light–I assume, unsurprisingly, he says that I ran it, though I disagree.

The first thing I remember is my car being pulled away from the truck. It took over an hour to extract me from the truck and my car, though I was unconscious for half of that. The emergency personnel kept asking me annoyingly simple questions, like what my name was, what year it was, and who was the prime minister. Unfortunately I was not thinking straight enough to think to trick them by answering incorrectly. Cocerningly, they kept telling me not to worry about my legs, and not to try to feel them or look at them–and a few months later when the forensic crash unit interviewed me, they expressed their surprise that my legs were fine.

I was irrationally worried about not having my phone and that I wouldn’t be able to contact anyone,, and kept asking the emergency personnel if they could find it. I managed to find my wallet and remember Bronwen’s phone number, which I was irrationally worried I would forgot, so I repeated it to myself non-stop in the ambulanceto the PA hospital.

Once at hospital, I was scanned several different ways, drank and injected with various radioactive isotopes and dyes, x-rayed, ultrasounded, CT scanned, and eventually declared mostly okay other than a few fractured ribs. My right shoulder is also very sore but they can’t find anything wrong with it and are putting it down to internal bruising. I was put in a ward and slept fitfully until the morphine wore off, after which it became too painful.

Thursday 24th July – Hospital

The morning doctors told me that I had some fractured ribs, and that they’d like me to stay in until the afternoon for further observation in case of internal bleeding or head problems, but I discharged myself and caught a taxi home. It was raining lightly. Grace and Stella were very lovely, walking in the rain to buy me painkillers, various nice things to eat, and making me a lovely dinner. I phoned the police, to try locate my car, and was told it had been taken by the forensic crash unit and I wouldn’t be able to access it. I found the phone number for the forensic crash unit and managed to arrange to get my stuff back from my car under the watch of a member of the forensic department.

A $40 taxi fare later, and Grace and Stella collected most of my stuff from my car—me being unable to bend low enough to get into it. The policeman cut my back seat and managed to get partially into the boot, where I got my camera lenses. My phone is smashed, and I couldn’t find my GPS or get my stereo, forgot my tools (it was too difficult to get them), and no doubt several other things. Another $40 taxi fare home made it a fairly expensive reclamation exercise. Why they would take a crashed car from West End to Virginia I don’t know.

Ned’s car where the truck hit itNed’s car after he was cut out of itGrace & Stella looking at Ned’s carWhat was left of the driver’s seat in Ned’s carThe front of Ned’s car after being hit by a truckGrace finds a shoe in Ned’s car

Friday 25th July – Cairns


I had a relaxing day, having had a reasonable night’s sleep last night, slowly packing for my trip up north.


Bronwen’s Mum drove me to the airport, and I caught a Virgin Blue flight to Cairns. Silas and Lisa picked me up from Cairns, and we went and had Italian food for dinner, before going to bed at Silas and Lisa’s place.

Saturday 26th July – Cooktown


Woke up early at Silas and Lisa’s. Was worried my taxi wasn’t coming, so re-called the taxi place, only to find it was on its way and arrived shortly later. Drove to the SkyTrans terminal and caught a Dash 8 to Cooktown. Was met at the Cooktown Aerodrome by Dad and Mum, and drove to Mum’s place, where I spent most of the rest of the day.

Black Mountain on the flight to CooktownLanding at Cooktown Airport


Sarah came over, and we both drove to the hospital. She had her dog-bite dressing changed, and I had some glass dug out of my hand and my hand re-bandaged. I then installed Sarah’s ADSL modem at her place and set up her wireless network.


Sarah and I walked back to Mum’s, where Dad, Mum, Sarah and I had dinner and had a pleasant chat and watched some TV.