A Close Shave

A Close Shave

I long time ago when I worked in the inner city of Brisbane I had a very unnerving experience. I had been visiting the head of the Alcohol and Drug services at the Princess Alexander Hospital in South Brisbane. We had been discussing a potential research project and as I drove back to work my head was busy regurgitating a very interesting conversation about early intervention in the A&E.

It was wet and windy and it was that time of the afternoon when the roads are starting to congest. I had my radio blaring as I came close to one of the busiest intersections in town. We’re talking a four way intersection with traffic lights and three lanes in each of the intersecting roads. As I approached the intersection to turn right the traffic light turned amber and for one split second I thought I might continue through the lights. But, I decided to slow down and stop on the red light.

Split second decision paid off?

K’n oath #fark

In a surreal two seconds a council bus aquaplaned across the intersection – at least 10 metres of sideways bus sliding – and came to a stop some two feet in front of the bonnet of my car.

There was a huge bus in front of my car, people 😞

A well placed power pole had stopped the bus from careening any further.

A few seconds later the door of the bus opened and a woman came running out of the bus in a very distressed state – maybe crying, maybe screaming. The bus had a crumpled front end but the driver appeared OK.

I sat at those traffic lights for at least two changes of the lights and then drove around the bus and back to work. My heart was pounding and I felt like I was stuck in a bad dream. I was in shock and didn’t even think to stop and wait for the police.

This is how I remember that incident. A good friend of mine always used to say he could rely on the unreliability of memory and I agree. I am bound to have some of the details wrong but I do know that it was a close shave.

If I had turned right on the amber light I would have most definitely T-boned the bus; and as we know the bus is most often the winner when up against a car in the crashing arena.

horror movie –
an aquaplaning bus
fills the screen


Note: Have you had a close shave? Have a good think about that and I will get back to you with an idea – maybe a Close Shave Week along the lines of Citrus Fiesta and Penguin Week.

15 thoughts on “A Close Shave

  1. An amazing turn of events…yesterday I paused before heading through a green light…a car at full speed ran the red light on his side…I often pause before entering an intersection…SoCal drivers are rather notorious for such things.

  2. Whew! And glad at your split-second decision, Gabe. I had a similar one at an intersection where I was not required to stop, but the traffic coming from the right was – I did, some idiot didn’t. It’s stayed with me for years. My mum always told us to trust our instincts – one of the few times I didn’t in a situation where I felt that I was in danger, I ended up being held up at gunpoint 😁

  3. Your recollection of the incident, far from being blurred, is probably vivid as these things often are. What a narrow escape! Providence, luck, how the small cake goes into smaller particles … who knows!

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