Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I just witnessed a road accident

Quite a number of off-topic postings from me recently. But a road accident that I just witnessed 2 hours ago left me with deep reflections about myself.

I was waiting for the bus after meeting a client at 6:30pm at Bedok Reservoir. Out of sudden, I heard a loud "screech" of a mini van around 20 metres away from me. When I turned my head, I saw an Malay Lady around 40 yrs old lying on the right lane of the road, bleeding from mouth and head. She was unconscious.

A lot of people rushed forward and stood around the lady, some making phone calls, squat around the lady, some just looking. I was tempted to go forward because I have some basic first aid knowledge and I might be able to help in some ways.

At that critical moment, I was still trying to imagine what I can do if I'm right in front of the casualty. I don't feel confident to do it right, I was worried that I will make things worse. But I realised that everyone was panic and simply don't know what to do.
Two of them even tried to move her away. I was screaming in my heart, "NO. NO." "Don't move her?"

I was hoping that someone will step out and do things like checking if the blood is choking her, if she has heart-beat, is breathing or if she have any broken bones that deters CPR, etc. I knew what are some of the things that they can do, but I still din step out to lead the situation. I'm still hoping that someone else will come out and do things right. Fortunately, after around 2 minutes, a young gentleman in his early 20s stepped out and do the things that I was thinking in my heart.


Few things lingers in my mind after the incident.
1) I simply lack confidence about myself. I knew I can do something, but I din because I fear doing it wrongly. I took too long to think. 2 minutes can mean a life saved.
2) I need a situation whereby leadership is forced upon me, else I may not dare to lead. I don't dare to stick my head out from the crowd and give commands.
3) If we try to analyse and make sure that we can do it before we do it, it will be too late. A life might already be lost.
4) I presumed that most people are more knowledgeable than me and know what to do. Maybe yes, but when they panicked, they forgot what can be done. I was quite a distance away, I am more clear minded than them.
5) Life is unpredictable. I do not know if the lady survived. If she din, the last thing she can remember is that "She is crossing the road"

* I don't feel good after the incident because I felt that I had failed to do something for that lady.
* I told myself that if I'm faced with such situation again, I must try to do something... I must not wait till that very last minute to make the decision to help or not to help.
* This may happen to you. You may like to ponder on my points.


Jem said...

Hi Kiat

I was a medic during my ns days at scdf. In this situation, it's not easy to handle it given that you did not have experience in handling such cases before. But u know exactly what to do and thats very commendable already. I'm sure in future if this scenario were to replay itself, you will go forward to offer your assistance. It's a valuable life experience in relaying such incidents to your client =)

Anonymous said...

If you are needed to be a witness to the accident will you come forward?
You can make up for what you didn't do.

Khiat Han Hwee Adrian said...

I will be witness if called upon if I really witnessed it. But I din leh.
I only hear the screech and the next moment, a lady was already lying with blood around her.

What an experience...

Anonymous said...


Did you see the blue accident sign in the area recently? Did it show fatal/serious accident? I was there when the accident happened and would like to come forward as witness (although I can't remember in detail - was too shocked) but maybe whatever info I can give will help.

Anonymous said...

Hi Adrian

Your the S1 of an NS unit. Being in a Leadership position you shouldnt have this problem of fear.

You need a certain degree of mental toughness to come out number 1 in SISPEC and OCS.