Last week, I went to Lofsdalen, to visit my friend Michelle. On the last day at home however, something awful happened.
I was sitting at my desk, editing some photos of my recent berry picking adventure in the forest and trying to organize myself before my travels in order to make sure I wouldn’t forget anything, when I heard a loud bang outside. When I glanced out the window, I saw that the electric wire and the street lamps were swinging, but since the noise was gone I didn’t think much more of it. I thought it must have been some transporter that had gotten too close to the lamps and maybe hit one in passing. This had never happened before and for some reason it was the most realistic scenario I could come up with. It made me go up and actually look out the window though to see if the assumed truck was still there or if it had just continued to drive. Exactly as I was about to turn away from the window, I saw a neighbor running out of her house, visibly upse about something and there I could see that the lantern post in front of her door was broken and just hanging from the cable.

All of the above had only happened in a few seconds and I had already forgotten my thought about the truck and wondered how the wooden pole could have come loose instead. I went to my front door to see better and then it hit me. There was a car in front of her house in the ditch. I immediately put on shoes and a jacket, took my phone and opened the emergency call app while I was already running there to see if I could help. From the distance I saw that they were already on the phone and more neighbors had come, so there was no need for me to also call the emergency hotline and block it. Instead I saw that there was someone climbing out of the car, seemingly okay and another person being taken out of the car. At this point I don’t want to give any more information about the people involved (like age or sex) as to respect their privacy.

When I saw that there were many people taking care, but no emergency supplies there, I can back to my house and car and took my warning triangle, first aid kit and all of my bandages out and back to the place the accident had happened. When I came back it became clear, that the people involved seemed to have no severe visible injuries except for bruises and there was no need for bandages. Instead we could only comfort them until the ambulance arrived. And they came fast. Despite the fact that we are quite remote here and the nearest hospital is in Sollefteå, hence about 40 km away, they were here in less than half an hour (even though every second felt like days). Once they arrived the neighbors that had come from their houses to help and me could no longer contribute, so we went back to our homes to make space for the doctors and nurses that were taking care of the people involved in the accident.

Of course a huge amount of ambulances and other kinds of emergency cars were on site for quite a while and so I was at home trying to get a grasp of what had just happened and work through the shock. Even though I was not directly involved and really just helping and there were no apparent severe injuries, the events had shaken me to the bone. Seeing the car turned upside down in the ditch was scary.

I had a hard time calming myself down on that evening. I talked to my family and some friends and called my boyfriend for emotional support that I really needed. A bit later, when all the emergency cars had finally driven off, I took a short walk down to the lake. It had gotten late by then and I would have to drive several hours the next day, but wasn’t even close to feeling calm enough to pack my things or go to bed. Going down to the lake through the fields helped me feel a lot better and I took some photos in the light of the setting sun. It really helped me get calmer to focus on something else and think about camera angles and light instead of what I had just seen.

Still, I had a hard time sleeping that night and ended up getting up from the bed one more time at about 1:00h to pack my things right there and then in an attempt to get more tired. I didn’t sleep especially well and was just awake enough to feel safe driving to my friend. I hope I will never witness anything similar again and that all of you out there stay safe while driving! ❤

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