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John Barker is helpless to stop a slow-motion accident
'Ever had one of those mornings when you wish you hadn’t got out of bed?’ asked the truck driver. The witty reply would have been ‘I’m having one now’, but I was still a bit pumped up and concentrating on getting the details of the accident down on the back of an envelope.
I still couldn’t quite believe what had just happened. On my side of the road, on double yellows, there had been a Transit off-loading stuff to a building site, blocking the entrance. Just beyond it, waiting to get access, was a large tipper lorry, parked in the centre lane. I’d seen traffic a few hundred yards in front of me pull out to pass the Transit and tuck back in ahead of the lorry.
I went to do the same and thought the gap was a bit tight, so I stopped alongside the Transit with the cab of the DAF truck looming just in front. It was then that I noticed the truck was rolling ever so slowly towards me. I hit the horn thinking the truckie wasn’t paying attention. Then I looked up into the cab and noticed there was no driver…
I hurriedly snicked the RS4 into reverse and backed up a bit, which got the van behind me tooting his horn. I was trapped, and the truck was still advancing, gradually filling the windscreen. More blasts on the horn and suddenly a figure ran from the pavement, flung the truck door open and clambered up. Too late. I had my foot hard on the brake as the bumper of the DAF crunched slowly, gently even, into the front of the Audi.
As I swapped details with the truckie, he claimed he’d pulled on the air brake but admitted that it couldn’t have engaged fully, hence its slow creep along the near-level road.
Stopping it with the bonnet and bumper of the RS4 will cost a tidy sum, I reckon, even though the damage is less than I expected. I’m just glad nobody was crossing the road.
|Date acquired||March 2006|
|Costs this month||£0|
|Mileage this month||1,320|
|MPG this month||22.4mpg|