Monday, February 18, 2013

Surviving a major accident - a story of triumph

A few moments after the accident happened, I thought of two major things. First, thank God for my life. God has really blessed me and continues to be there for me. It was just a few hours before my birthday too o! Stacey, my sister, came to the accident scene and said something I'd never forget. "You've been getting so many birthday wishes on your Facebook Timeline (Wall). People love you a lot and that love has saved you right now". Isn't that just beautiful? Second thought? I have triumphed. I've just had an accident with my car seriously damaged and I have no injuries, I am not in shock and I feel extremely normal. Now let me tell you the story of this major car accident.

It's 30th December 2012. 7:30pm. After leaving a pool party organized by my friend Mac-Jordan with my sister and my friend Lydia, I drove to the airport to drop off Lydia for her flight. We were running late in going to see Uncle Ebo Whyte's "Trials of the Ghanaian". I hurried to pick my other sister, Tracey and we headed to the National Theatre where we joined one of my best Stanford buddies Nii Okai and his sister Didi. Trials of the Ghanaian was a great play. It talked about a Ghanaian returnee and all he went through, set around the life of KSM. My sisters and I left for Vienna City near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to meet my cousin who had just arrived from Yonkee and another cousin. My sisters joined them in the car so they could catch up. So, I was riding solo leading the way back to the pool party I'd been at earlier.

I came up the Ako Adjei Interchange roundabout around 10:30pm and turned into the path leading towards Airport Residential Area. As I was leaving the roundabout, a car was joining it from the Osu ramp with speed that shockprised me. Boom! I could see my car turning with its front rear smashed. It wasn't really scary because I thought the impact would not be that much and the cars would just come off a little damaged. "Thank God I was wearing a seat belt!" The airbags stayed put, but my glasses didn't. I couldn't find it initally. I got out of the car to assess the damage and saw the #VimRide lying around on the road. Damn. This is going to cost me. I went over to the other car to check if the driver was alright. He was, his car was seriously damaged too. He looked fine though. I was fine as well. Not trauma, no injuries, just plain old normal me.

And then I remembered my sisters were in the car behind me. Thank God they had joined the other car. They might not have come off as well as I did in the accident. Stacey came and delivered the statement I would never forget, along with Leon, Leo and Tracey. They checked with me to see if I was fine and helped me find my spectacles. It was then that I could witness the spectacle my car had become. Or the eyesore it had become that would have given my bank account an eye sore. The other guy was at fault though so I expected that he would cover all the costs involved. Hey, my car needed some straightening and spraying anyway. Daddy Pay All don come. This guy was going to repair my car for me. Albeit through an accident but the thought of him covering car costs I owed made me happy. Yea, I am like that. (Did he just wink? Ato Paa!!!)

My cousins called the police because that's you do when accidents happen. Erm, not really, in Ghana. "Involving the police will just get both of us in trouble and waste our time", the other guy said. He was right. We'd have to go keep the cars at the police unit, spend days explaining the situation and paying one fee after the other, with even court time to come. It was just a few hours to my birthday. I was supposed to travel to Kumasi to spend my birthday and New Year's in Kumasi with my family. I understood the other guy's reasoning. Besides, he was at fault, the police will bring him to book. "My mother is a police woman, I was going to sell this car tomorrow, I'd be in deep trouble", he said. Fair enough. We needed the police there though to make sure the dude would keep his side of the bargain and pay for all the costs involved in getting my car back to new and back on the road. So Leo called the police and they were on their way. They'd delay alright but these cars were not moving any time soon.

Leo got the dude on video confirming that he was at fault and he'd cover the costs. The dude's mechanic came by and started assessing the damage and a tow car was on the way. We talked about some costs involved and decided that the best thing to do was to tow both cars to my house and keep them there until the dude came over to pay me the negotiated amount blessed by my mechanic. Only then could he take his car away. The tow car came and the driver (as well as some friends of the dude and onlookers) started getting the cars together. That's when a police patrol team arrived at the scene. Snap! We talked to the police and he was ready to "punish the culprit" and get bad drivers off the road. I pleaded with the police to let him go scot free and that I would handle everything with him, he'd pay etc. Of course, I knew this dude from nowhere. He didn't even have his license in the car. He wasn't drunk though. I saved him the trouble but I did it for me too, I couldn't be paying multiple visits to the police station.

The police left, and the cars were attached to the tow car, en route to East Legon. My cousins went to drop off my sisters and left me alone with the dude and his friends and other people. Shortly after, the police we had called, finally showed up. Talk about being late. They were not taking the "we'll settle this matter ourselves story" and were even angry that the police patrol team had not taken any actions with us. That's when my voices of reason took charge again and I convinced the police to let us be. The leader of the police team took my number, I took his, and he told the dude to ensure he paid me for the car services or he'd be in big trouble. In a few minutes, we'd driven away another set of police.

In a few more minutes, we were preparing to tow away to East Legon. That's when I realized I was outnumbered. I didn't know any of these guys. I had no family member or friend with me and the dude had like 7 of his friends with other people. What if they just decided to beat me and towed away their car and left me and VimRide unable to go anywhere? Yes, I thought of that lol. I called some friends of mine (close to 2:33am) to come to my aid. One was able to come but couldn't come sooner. Anyway, they didn't beat me up. I greeted every one of them, made them understand I did all I could to save the dude's ass and that they should be better citizens of Ghana. I must have said "morevim" to you. Triumph. I came out unscathed out of an accident, made some friends and showed them there are some really good people in Ghana. Testimony.

On that slow ride home on the Liberation Road, I chatted up the tow car driver and the dude. At the Shiashie junction off the Madina road, the #vimride got detached for the array of cars and we had to fix the array again. That's when my friend Dzifa drove by, saw me and stopped and the same time Donald who I'd called reached there. I joined Dzifa's car and told them the story. Like I just told you :-)

The next morning, the dude came by the house with his friend and tow car. My mechanic and another friend was there as we negotiated a 'price'. He paid up and towed his car away. I went to Abossey Okai with my friend (a taxi driver) and the mechanic and bought new parts for the car. After that, I didn't see the car again for 3 weeks. When I finally was able to ride it, it had problem after problem that needed to be fixed. Dude didn't pay me enough. Right now, the car is in great condition and I just had yet another I Made Ghana Better Today (#IMGBT) story. Once I stopped to pick up people at a bus stop, one I had waited for a trotro many times. I parked and the #vimride wouldn't move. My mechanic came to save the day. But hey, that didn't stop me from giving more free rides to people. The #VimRide will be fine. We triumphed.
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