Storytime: That One Time I Flipped my Car for a Squirrel
No, you didn’t read that wrong I flipped me car to avoid a wee red squirrel on the road. They’re endangered ya know! So, wee disclaimer before I start my story, probably best you have your cringe face ready, might wanna not drink at parts in case you laugh at my stupidity and get whatever your drinking up yer nose and same with eating.
It All Began
On a rainy morning, I was living in Scotland at the time and worked a good 50 minutes away from where I lived. It was around 7:30 am in the morning and it was a cold, very wet day in the winter. I was driving along doing 60 mph as was standard for that road. The road was completely empty and I was singing along to my iPod that was attached to a USB port in my little blue Clio that I lovingly named The Beast. He was my first car after passing my test, my partner had bought me him.
I Knew It Was Going to Happen
The red squirrel comes out of nowhere, and I noticed it just in the nick of time to save it, but not enough time to save myself from what was about to happen. I swerved to avoid the little thing and had two choices:
- Hit the trees and become impaled.
- Hit the wall and hope for the best.
I chose option 2 and managed to swerve towards the wall of a large estate house. My car clipped the wall at it’s back as I spun, causing my car to flip.
I flipped my car six times, all I could do was repeat to myself, you’re crashing, you’re going to be fine, tuck your legs under your seat, keep your head straight and your back as straight as you can. Count your flips, wait for the flipping to stop, climb out and ring for help.
Whilst I was flipping Titanium by David Guetta featuring Sia was playing. I remember thinking how ironic it was that it was playing as my car was flipping. I was so thankful no one was near me and the road was empty at the time it all happened.
This isn’t my car, but it’s very similar to what my car looked like. Both the front and back of my car were completely squashed in. If I hadn’t of used my brain and remained calm and tucked my legs under my chair I would have lost my legs without a doubt.
I climbed out of the car and surveyed the damage. I rang 999 immediately whilst walking around the car. I couldn’t tell you what I was feeling at the time, it was such a weird feeling. I took photographs of the damage as I knew I’d need it for my insurance company.
I Climbed Back In
You’re probably thinking, “Are you fucking serious?!” At this point, and yes, yes I was serious. I climbed back in and I pulled out anything that was of value in my car. Completely oblivious to the fact that my car could have gone up in flames at any point. At the time all I could think was, I really need my iPod, it’s brand new and has 10,000 songs I’ll never remember.
Kindness of Strangers
A man in a white van came around the corner about 15 minutes after the accident happened. He got out of his van and came running to me, he asked if I was okay and I said yes. He asked if I called the emergency services and I said yes, but I didn’t know where I was. The van driver rang 999 back and explained where I was and that he was with me and would keep me safe until someone arrived.
It wasn’t long after that a woman came from the road I had been travelling down originally (I was now on the other side of the road with my flipped car and white van man). She pulled up and got out, she wrapped a blanket around me and asked if I was okay. I had spilled coffee all over my coat so it was soaked, she then began to direct traffic so there wasn’t a build up.
The police arrived and I was pumped full of adrenaline at this point. I was no doubt speaking super fast, explaining I swerved to avoid the squirrel and no I hadn’t taken any drugs or hadn’t been drinking.
They took a breathalyser and it came back 0.0 and I don’t think the female officer believed me. She made me do another one and it again came up 0.0. They asked if I needed help to get home and I asked if they could take me to work. Yes, I still wanted to go to work. I asked if it was okay for me to call my dad and partner and boss to let them know and they said yes. They were just going around the car and taking notes.
Dad, Partner & Boss
I called my dad and told him what happened and I think he was as shocked as I was. I didn’t stay on the phone long as I told him I’d to ring work and let them know I’d be late. My family don’t do sick days, not even for car accidents.
I then called my boss and explained the situation, I told her I’d send her a picture of the car in case one of the directors had an issue with my being late. I was working in HR at the time for a food manufacturing company and had been due to work on something with the Operations Director that day.
I then called my partner, he was in Norway with work at the time. He said later that when I called him he was carrying a lot of skiing gear and he just dropped it. He was very upset and very worried about me. He asked if I was sure I was okay and I said yes, but more importantly the squirrel was okay and had gotten away. I was still concerned about the squirrel. I told him I’d send him a picture of the car so he could see the damage and hung up to speak to the police.
He Came Back!
I was talking to the police and had the urge to turn around to where I’d seen the squirrel. Just as I did I saw the squirrel running across the road and it was like he was surveying my car. I yelled to the police, “There he is! If anyone needs to be arrested it’s him, for jaywalking!” The policewoman just looked at me like I was insane and the policeman was laughing and said he’d give him a citation.
Gis a Lift
The police gave me a lift to work after organising to get the car off the road, at least to the other side of the road. The wall had been damaged, but not too bad, it was made of those old rocks. If I can find a picture of a similar wall I’ll put it below so it gives you an idea.
I was still about 30 minutes away from work and I don’t think the police were too pleased they had to go the whole way to my workplace despite offering me in the first place. Either way, it would have been a 30-minute drive from where I was.
When I got to work my boss ran straight out, she was crying as I had sent her a photo of the crash. She couldn’t believe I was standing in front of her, she enveloped me in a big cuddle and asked if I needed anything. I told her I should really treat the scratches I’d gotten by climbing back into my car.
She took me to our First Aid room where our Nurse usually was, she happened to be at another site. I was a bit embarrassed as it was in between waxing appointments so my legs were a bit hairy. I think I was more mortified at that than anything else. She cleaned me up and made me a big cup of tea with sugar while I went to my desk and put my stuff down.
The directors had all been sent the picture of my car so they all called in to see how I was. I don’t think anyone could quite believe I made it out alive, never mind with little to no injuries.
I just got on with my work day like nothing had happened, but I had to ditch my tights which made me super paranoid because of my hairy legs. I was allowed to hold meetings in my office and not have to go elsewhere so I could just sit where I was and not walk around too much. I think my boss thought I’d have had some sort of delayed pain of some sort.
I finished my working day and managed to organise a hire car for Monday. It was Friday 3rd March when this happened, so I was very lucky it was the weekend. I had my hire car sorted very quickly and was back at work the following Monday.
My hire car was a Vauxhall Astra, it was silver and it was brand spanking new. It was in my favourite colour of grey and it honestly drove like a dream. I was so used to driving my wee million-year-old Clio and not used to driving a new car with such easy steering. I had to pass the site of my accident every single working day which was a bit weird.
The next day I went to A&E, just to get a check over. I didn’t think I’d any internal injuries, but I’m not a nurse or doctor so I thought it best to get checked. I’m glad I did as my neck was very stiff the next day, to the point I couldn’t turn my head because it was like the neck muscles were stuck.
It was like that for a good while after, but other than that I was okay. I already have sciatica and have really bad back pain, but it did get worse after the accident. It’s still the same to this day, but other than the neck and scratches I was fine.
I was so very lucky to have gotten out of that crash without so much as a scratch. The only scratches I got were from climbing back in to get my stuff. My neck is fine now, it does get the odd tweak of stiffness but nothing massive and it’s probably something that would happen anyway regardless as to whether or not I had an accident.
I am an Atheist as you probably all know by now, so I don’t believe in what others do. However, I do believe in the afterlife and I do believe one of my relatives was the one talking to me that day. I fully believe it was my Nanna, she was a nurse and she would have known what I needed to do. It was like she was sending the message to my brain to keep me calm and remind me of what I needed to do.
I’m grateful to her because of that, I’m also very grateful that my little buddy squirrel survived and was safe, too. My boss decided that my new mascot would be a red squirrel. She took her adopted daughter to a craft fair and they painted a little red squirrel for me which I have sitting on my office desk, even now until this day.
Dad does get choked up talking about it if we aren’t joking about it of course. He doesn’t like to think how far he came to losing his daughter. It was the same with my grey Golf. Had it not started one day when I was due to go get my lashes done, or if I had of taken it one more drive down the motorway, it would have burst into flames. I’ve definitely someone looking out for me. When my granda took the car it was him that informed my dad about how close I had yet again come to losing my life.
I have learned a few things since then, one of those things being I am much more cautious when driving down country roads and won’t usually do the speed I am supposed to if I am on the road on my own so it’s quicker to slow down.
I got my grey VW Golf two weeks after the accident. Whilst driving to collect the new car I brought my partner’s friend with me as he was going to drive the new car back and I was driving the hire car. We weren’t even 30 minutes down the road when I yet again swerved to avoid a fox. It was a dead fox and my partner’s friend couldn’t believe after all that I was still swerving to avoid animals, even dead ones.
I’ve since moved on from my VW Golf to a jet black VW Golf Sport and then onto my current car.
I still swerve for animals, it’s not something I can ever say I won’t do. I love animals and to me, their little innocent lives are worth more than mine.
Have you guys ever had an accident? If so, leave it in the comments below and let me know.
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