Witnessing a car crash as a teenager, I saw everything happen in slow motion. I thought I could see a large bird flying slowly through the air, but it was actually a motorcyclist who had been hit by a car. That car then ploughed into the car right in front of ours. The car in front had my grandparents and mother in it.
It was late at night on Mother's Day, and we were driving home from a family gathering along a fairly quiet B road. I was in the car with my father, and my mother had gone in my grandparents' car. I realised that my grandparents' car had stopped suddenly in front of us. My dad and I got out of our car and ran towards theirs, and I saw the motorcyclist lying in the road and another car across the road. It all gets fuzzy from there. I remember seeing a smashed motorbike and running to the hotel down the road to get them to call the police and ambulance – this was before mobile phones were popular and reliable.
I remember feeling that I could do nothing to help anyone: my grandmother who couldn't breathe, my grandfather who was panicking, and my mother who was making sure the other driver was okay. It made me very aware of how young I was, and, in that moment, I wanted to be an adult because I wanted to be able to help – and I was so frustrated at myself. I have never felt so helpless in my life.
It was so quiet, slow, and still; it felt like I was watching it on TV. I find it hard to put the events into chronological order as everything happened at once and also out of order. Both my grandfather and mother were lucky they just had minor bruises, but my grandmother fractured her breastbone. As far as I remember, the motorcyclist recovered as well. We were so lucky that it was not more serious.