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Don’t drink and drive, especially a motorcycle

Don?t drink when driveBy Claire Bijou

CSMS Magazine

Sunday February 8, 2015; it was around 07:30pm when my parents, my brother and my best friend/roommate Daniella and I decided it was time to go. My family was going to drop Daniella and me to our house in Tabarre. A calm and nice atmosphere reigned inside of the car. We were all lost in our own thought until we reached Merger.

My eyes glued to my phone when suddenly I raised my head and noticed a motorcycle in front of us. Normally, I would just go back to doing what I was doing, but something about the motorcycle caught my attention. The motorcyclist was riding the bike in snake like movements. Finding it interesting, I motioned to Daniella, who was sitting right next to me, to take a glance.  Upon further observation, we noticed there were four people on the motorbike and a foreigner was the driver.

My parents started to ask what was wrong with the driver. He will go from one lane to the other and repeat the same motion over and over. We started to speculate. At first, we thought he was trying to avoid the bumps on the road, but the more we watched, the more we became confused. Then, we thought maybe he could not see due to the visibility issue—it was indeed quite dark. Then, I simply speculated that maybe he was drunk. Instead of passing in front of the motorbike, my dad decided to slow down and turn on the headlight.

Suddenly, a two-door pickup truck, color green, passed us by.  By then, the motorcycle was close to the opposite lane. The driver of the pickup, upon noticing the movement, rode on the opposite lane and passed the motorcycle. When I saw the action, I said to myself, “If he keeps moving like this, a head-on collision could be unavoidable.” I was a bit worried for those four people.

My fear proved me right, but in a different way.  A white Toyota Hilux pickup passed us in full speed on our left, just then the bike rider was about to veer to the left, and both the pickup and motorcycle were now side by side. Fear grew within me. The driver of the motorcycle quickly drifted a bit, back to its lane, just when I finally released my breath. It soon shifted again, going right back to its original position, in really close range with the pickup. I wasn’t sure if the pickup driver did it on purpose or if he did not realize the movement pattern, but he closed in on them and hit them.

I could see their bodies hitting the back of the pickup, then the motorcycle was thrown off to the right and went swiftly to the left, in a zigzagging pattern. Everyone rolled off the bike and landed on the mud-clogged road. I heard my mom saying “whooch,” in a high pitch, agonizing voice. In a quick reflex, my dad stepped on the brake paddle, and our car made an abrupt halt. Had we been going at a faster speed, their bodies could have ended under our vehicle.

You would think that the Hilux Toyata pickup driver would have stopped. He didn’t. Instead, he sped away, living a cloud of dust in its tail. My dad without thinking decided in one instant to follow the pickup, but we all interfered, reminding him that the people needed our help. Parking the car on the side of the road, we walked out. With my arms intertwined with Daniella’s, we proceeded to the victims.  The first person I saw was the foreigner about 6.5 inches tall, well built with bluish eyes and long hair thrown in a ponytail. To me, he was handsome. Later, Daniella would say the same thing, but what hit me next had me gagging. The smell of the alcohol was strong. I mean, really strong. I turned to Daniella and whispered to her ears, “This guy is drunk.” Her eyes widened and, at that moment, it all made sense. He could hardly keep his eyes open. He was in a daze. He was really lost, like a grog-tempered individual who struggled sluggishly to walk out of a trance. I doubted he realized what had just happened.

People had already gathered. I approached him and asked if he spoke English? I had to repeat myself 3 times until he answered “yes.” After further observation of his body, I saw that he only had scratches. We were so close to the road that we could feel the cars passing right next to our body. Seeing he had only scratches, I proceeded to care for the other passengers who happened to be 3 women dressed in beach attires. One was screaming in pain. The other two had scratches, but looked fine.

Without much debate and my mom persistence, we told my dad that they needed to go to the hospital and that we will bring them. When we told the guy that, he said he is not leaving without his motorcycle. We were more than willing to bring it for him, but our car which also happens to be a pickup, had lots of stuff in the back of it. As my dad was creating space, two nice young men carried the one who looked more injured over to our car. Next, I saw Daniella coming over with the foreigner, leading him toward the car.

As the three of them settled behind the car, a nice man proposed to drive the motorcycle. What a relief! But what was more surprising was that one of the women offered to ride with the driver of the motorcycle. You would think after such a shock, she would be too scared to get back on it again. But she said she was fine; brave indeed. After everyone settled in, we departed. My dad didn’t drive too fast neither too slow. We wanted to avoid bringing more pain to the one that was injured, for we could hear her cry of pain. We decided to bring them to MSF (Medecins Sans Frontiers) which is located at Martissant.

Throughout the journey, we kept a close eye on them. Their facial expressions brought torments in our hearts. One of the ladies was on the phone talking to someone, and the one riding on the motorcycle had a firm grip on the driver. Maybe she was indeed a little scared. But who wouldn’t be? Unfortunately upon arriving at Bizoton, they knocked on the back window. My dad stopped and Daniella opening the right side door and asked them if everything was fine. They said yes, but they did not want to go to the hospital anymore because of the fact that they reeked of alcohol.

We had stopped exactly at the entrance of their destination. We wanted to protest, but we thought, if that was what they wished, we would not force them. A round of people were awaiting them, by the time they got off the car, they were surrounded. Upon seeing they were in good hands, we left but with hope that the one that was in pain would seek a doctor.

It’s ok to drink, but when you drink pass your limit, not only you become a danger to yourself, but to your loved ones as well. Never in a million years would we have thought of seeing what we saw. But for some reason, we had to be there, it had to be us that were behind them to take them to their destination. You could say at that moment we were their guardian angels. Don’t drink and drive, especially a motorcycle. If you are with someone who is drunk and can’t even comprehend what you are saying, best to take away their keys and do the driving or wait till morning. Life is too precious to let it end in a blink of an eye. You are too precious to endanger yourself just for the sake of pleasure and the thrill of pleasing someone.

Note: Claire Bijou is poet and impeccable writer who lives and works in suburban Port-au-Prince. Most of her beautiful writing could be found in the Poetry and Literature section. Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/csmsmagazine    

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