It was your average Wednesday night in the town of Colwyn Bay. The street was filled with young children wearing tracksuits, and holding their mobile phones like speakers, listening to new age rap music. Elderly couples out for their lovely evening walk before bed, deliberately avoid any such groups in fear of being abused. The roads were busy with cars driving in both directions as most people wanted to get home after a late showing of the latest blockbuster at the local theater.
The night was a cold one, the presence of the now gone winter months were still plaguing the streets. The crisp winter air was still looming and grabbing anyone who dared walk in its path. Yes, it was your average Wednesday evening. But for one person, this night was going to be one that would up change her life forever.
Sarah Willows was an average, thirty-eight-year-old woman. She was thin, with long curly blonde hair, and chocolate brown eyes. She was married and had a good paying job as a dental receptionist. Her husband Nathan Willows was a great man. They had their arguments in the past, who didn’t? However, they had always got through them. She was tall, around five foot eleven. People always commented on her height. She had found it hard to find a man who had not been intimidated by her size. Nathan however, was equally tall himself; he was six foot two, and they had fallen for each other from the beginning.
Sarah had just left her friend’s house in the middle of Colwyn Bay. She drove along the street, looking out at the youths smoking on a small bench, popping their heads up and down to the beats of the rap music. Sarah shook her head in disapproval. The young people of today, she thought to herself, as she continued home. Sarah exited the town and began the rural route home. She lived in a small two-bedroom cottage on the outskirts of the small village called Betws Yn Rhos.
The country roads were quiet, and there was not another soul in sight. She turned up the music in the car, listening to her personal collection of the Spice Girls. She loved to sing and dance and could be found quite often, singing to herself in the car and letting the music carry her away into dancing as she drove. Tonight was no exception. Her favorite song came on, and she began to bellow out the lyrics into the air of the car.
Sarah was now in her little world of happiness. She turned the music up louder, singing the songs more and more until a bright light shone on her face. She covered her eyes as the light blinded her. Incoming toward her was another car coming down the narrow lane. She screamed in fear knowing what was coming. The two vehicles collided with an almighty crash. Sarah flew forward. However, she was protected by her seatbelt which dug sharply into her chest.
Her mind was racing, and she was unable to move due to the shock. Where did that car come from she thought to herself? She tried to regain the feeling in her arms and legs to move. She sat there for what seemed like hours until the feeling in her legs came back. She slowly unbuckled herself from the seat and got out of the car.
Both cars were smoking; Sarah’s bonnet was completely bent upwards, and the radiator was leaking fluid. The other car was in a similar state of damage. She walked to the driver side door and looked through the window. She screamed at the sight. Inside was a young man in his mid-twenties. His eyes were dull and unresponsive. The right half of his face was crimson, covered in his blood. Sarah threw open the door and looked to see if there was any pulse. Nothing!
The young man was dead! Sarah scrambled to pull her phone out of her pocket. “Oh my God, he is dead,” She cried to herself as she dialed 999.
“Police emergency,” a female voice answered.
“Hello, I’ve been involved in a crash on the back road between Colwyn Bay and Betws Yn Rhos. The other driver, I think he is dead.” Sarah shouted, tears streaming down her face.
“Ok, have you called an ambulance,” The girl asked.
“No please. Just get here quick, I think he is dead. I cannot find a pulse,” Sarah replied.
“The police are on their way. What is your name?”
“Ok Sarah, I will stay on the phone with you until the officers arrive. Is there anyone else in the car with the man?” Sarah looked into the passenger seat and the rear of the car.
“No, there is no one else with him,” she replied.
“Ok, that is good. Have you hurt yourself in any way?”
“I’m just shocked, I am not hurt,” Sarah said, looking at herself as best she could.
In the distance, she could see the blue flashing lights coming up the hill towards her. Moments later, three police vehicles turned up. Officers jumped out of their cars and ran over to her. “Madam, are you ok?” The first officer asked, checking her over. She nodded, unable to speak. The shock of seeing the man dead had gotten too much for her.
The officers swarmed the car, opening the driver door and shouting to the man inside. No response. Moments later, paramedics arrived on scene. A female officer walked over to Sarah, offering to walk with her to the back of one of the police cars. Sarah felt the cold flee as she sat in the rear. “Sarah can you tell me what happened here this evening,” The officer asked.
“I was driving along the road, singing with the radio when I saw a bright set of headlights,” Sarah said beginning to shake, as she relived the crash in her mind. “And before I could stop the car, we crashed into each other. The road was narrow, so there was no way we were going to get past each other without crashing.” Sarah began to sob into her hands. The female officer placed a reassuring hand on Sarah’s shoulder.
“It’s ok Sarah, take your time, there is no one rushing you here.”
Sarah took a deep breath. “It took me a while to regain the feeling in my body, then I got out of the car and went to check on the other driver, and that is when I found him lying against the steering wheel with blood all over his face. Is he dead?”
The officer looked away for a moment as if to hide the truth away from her.
“He is dead, isn’t he. I killed him,” Sarah said, raising her hand to her mouth her mind going into overdrive.
“I’m sorry to say he is,” The officer replied softly. “Is there anyone who we can call to come and collect you?”
This information did not register in Sarah’s mind, all her emotions and thoughts were on the fact that she had just caused the death of another human being. Her arms began to tremble uncontrollably, and her head pounded in pain.
“Sarah, did you hear what I said?” the officer asked again, shaking her slightly. Sarah opened her mouth, but no speech came out; her mouth was dry and painful. The officer went to the front seat of the vehicle and pulled out a bottle of water.
“Here, drink some water. It will help with the dry mouth.” Sarah took the water and took a long gulp. The water tickled her dry throat as it went down.
“Thank you,” Sarah said, passing the bottle of water back to the officer. “Can my husband be called please, I only live a mile from here, he will come and get me.” Sarah pulled out her mobile and dialed her husband’s number and then passing it over. She did not feel up to telling Nathan what had happened here tonight, not yet anyway.
The officer walked away from the vehicle, as she waited for Nathan to answer his phone. Sarah looked back over at the two crashed cars and saw paramedics wheeling a stretcher over to the driver’s door of the other vehicle. She got out of the police car and moved closer to get a better look at what was going on. She soon wished she hadn’t.
The paramedics and two officers lifted the body of the young man out of the vehicle and placed him in a black plastic body bag. Sarah lost the feeling in her legs and fell to her knees in upset, her blood running cold. I have killed him; it’s all my fault, she thought to herself, holding her hands over her eyes as she wept on the hard tarmac.
The female officer rushed back over and helped Sarah back to her feet.
“Sarah, you should have stayed in the car. You didn’t need to see that,” The officer said, ushering her back to the rear of the police car. Sarah continued to cry, unable to stop the tears flooding out of her like a pressured river bursting its banks.
“I killed him, I killed him,” Sarah repeated. “How old was he?”
“Sarah, you don’t want to go filling your head with all this now. Let’s get you home. Your husband is on his way to collect you now.”
“How old was he?” Sarah said, not listening to the officer’s previous comment.
The police officer took a long intake of air. “He was twenty-one years old, and his name was Gareth Williams.”
“Twenty-one, oh my god he was young,” Sarah wailed, as the officer put her back in the rear of the police car.
Time passed by, and Sarah had not moved from her position in the police car, while she waited for Nathan to arrive. During the wait, two police cars turned up. They were different police officers. However, they were road police officers. They were both tall officers, with vacant expressions. They both wore their long fluorescent jackets with white colored peaked caps, and they made no attempt to speak to the local officers at the scene. The female officer did not leave Sarah’s side until, in the distance, a set of headlights came from the above the crash site.
“Sarah, I think your husband is here. Wait here, and I will go and check.” The officer left and walked up to the headlights in the distance.
“Mrs. Willows?” A deep rough voice called. Sarah looked up, tears still fresh on her cheeks. Standing before her was one of the tall road police officers. He had pale blue eyes which made Sarah instantly feel uneasy.
“Yes,” Sarah replied softly.
“My name is Sergeant Christopher Hardwood from the road policing unit; I have some questions if you don’t mind.” He pushed his chest out importantly, which gave Sarah the impression he thought a lot about himself.
“I will help in any way I can,” Sarah replied.
“Did you notice the other vehicle, before you crashed into it?” Hardwood asked.
“Well, I was listening to my music, and as I came round the corner, I saw a set of bright lights. He must have had his full beams on or something because it blinded me, and before I could do anything, we crashed,” Sarah said thinking back to the incident.
“So, you were not paying any attention,” Hardwood said coldly.
“Excuse me,” Sarah said shocked at his attitude.
“You were too busy listening to your music, which caused you not to notice another member of the public coming towards you,” Hardwood said his face turning ever so red.
“N-o-o. As I came round the corner, the lights blinded me. There was nothing I could do,” Sarah stammered in fear.
“You were careless, and due to that carelessness, it has caused this fatal accident. I take it you were not doing the speed limit.”
Before Sarah could think of a reply, a familiar voice called from behind the Sergeant.
“Excuse me, but I believe that this form of questioning is inappropriate from someone who has just suffered such an ordeal.” Nathan had arrived and had the face of thunder, casting that rage over at Hardwood.
Hardwood spun round like a viper in attack mode. “And who are you?”
Nathan walked past the Sergeant and put his arm around Sarah. For the first time since the crash, she felt the feeling of warmth, and she felt protected. “I am Nathan Willows, Sarah’s husband. Who are you may I ask?”
“Sergeant Christopher Hardwood from the roads policing unit, and I was in the middle of questioning your wife.” Hardwood growled.
“Well as previously said, your form of questioning is not appropriate, Sarah has just been in a horrific crash, and her mind and memory of the events will be comprised,” Nathan began. “I would suggest if you are going to insist on questioning her, that you make an appointment with her and myself at a later date.”
Hardwood looked stunned. “I suggest that Mrs. Willows has a lawyer present.”
“Don’t worry, I am Sarah’s lawyer,” Nathan said, lifting Sarah out of the police car. Nathan had been a defense attorney for nine years and had fought many legal cases in court. Not many people would argue with him when he was on the stand.
“We will be in contact soon, Mrs. Willow.” Hardwood turned away and walked back to the damaged vehicles.
“Come on babe, let’s get you home,” Nathan said with a warm smile. They walked back to his car which was some way up the hill, away from the crash. He held her tightly, as she was still shaky on her feet. As they walked, Sarah saw the female officer who had stayed with her the whole time. She mouthed the words thank you to her. The officer smiled and mouthed back your welcome. Sarah took one last look back at the crash behind her and in the distance, could still see the body bag within the ambulance, she turned away and shuddered.