Lost lives

Sep 1st, 2005 | By | Category: Ireland

Walking past the flowers last night, there was no apparent reason why an accident should have taken place. The road is seven years old, it is wide and straight and very well lit.

The flowers are beginning to wilt now.There must be maybe twenty bouquets; each has a card attached paying the person’s own personal tribute to the young woman who died. It is hard to see what happened; there are no signs of an accident having taken place, no skid marks on the road, no damage to pavements or walls on either side, not even spilt oil.

When the flowers are gathered up, all that will remain will be the paint marks on the tarmac, arrows and numbers, telling the experts in what positions the cars finished.

The local verdict is that the young woman was thrown through the windscreen of a car that had been travelling at speed and was involved in a collision between three and four in the morning. The driver doesn’t even have appeared to have braked sharply; there are no signs of a desperate attempt to stop.

What a pointless tragedy.

When the hospital intensive care units are filled with people struggling to hold on, when west Africa has millions of people struggling for survival, when the scourges of cancer and heart disease place shadows over countless lives, what a pointless tragedy.

A young woman with her whole life before her, gone in an instant because of the way someone drove down our road in the early hours of an August morning.

What a waste of life.

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