I looked around to asses what’s really happening, hoping to determine what the next move is. Contents of the pannier were scattered, tools camping equipment and personal items were all over the road. My motorcycle, which I completely ignored, was still lying on the ground spilling gasoline, my passenger sitting by the road injured looking at her wounds and onlookers wait on what would happen next.
Then the driver of the jeep started to apologise, telling me that he has no money and he has a family to take care of. I felt that he was sincere with his apology but noticed a hint of fear in his voice as he repeated it, as to why, I’m not sure.
I asked where he lives… twice, and then asked where he was going. He said he was going to the city to pick up someone, the city that he mentioned is about 30 mins aways from where I live which is a city nearby.
I told him I’m going to ask for favour, I will put all my things into his jeep, my passenger included, then he will drive us to the city. He said “Yes” but not without excuses. When I told him the destination, he quickly said that he can’t drive that far because of his gas I told him I will pay for it. The next excuse made me realise a lot of things, why he apologised suddenly and why there was fear in his voice.
“I can’t go beyond this boundary”. People in the provinces rarely encounter law enforcers, often their vehicles are not registered or has an expired registration, some don’t even have a license to drive, and some stolen vehicles are often sold in provinces knowing that the chances of it getting caught is very slim. The reply is definitely a red flag.
At this point we both know that he’s going to be in trouble if I decide to take the legal path. But that’s the least of my worries, right now what we need is to get to a hospital to get ourselves checked. So I said I’m fine with it, just take me there and we will just get a cab to take her to the hospital.
Sounds like we have a plan, I told my passenger about it and helped her stand up, she told me that she only got some bruises. From what I can see there seems to be some bruise on her knuckles, fingers and knees, we proceeded to the jeep.
I proceeded to pick up our scattered things on the road, placing them one by one inside. I saw her applying first aid to herself, she had her first aid with her the whole time. I offered to help, she just said “it’s ok” and pointed out that my left hand was bleeding and asked if I’m thinking of patching it up, I just shrugged. Lastly I took our helmets, checking them for damages as I walked back to the jeep.
Picking my motorcycle up I could see that it didn’t receive too much damage, left side mirror was shattered and my hand guards were a bit out of place, other than that everything seems to be intact. With one click it started. I rode it back to the jeep and noticed that it was leaning to the right, something must have been bent. It will affect the handling, but if i ride it slow then I think it wouldn’t be much of a problem.
He then said to me, I will go ahead because I drive slow. I said no, “You leave when I leave”. I’m not putting the life of my passenger in his hands without me there. After checking that everything is good with me and my bike I told him it is time to go. So we proceeded heading to the city, him in front I just followed.
Watching him drive was like an accident waiting to happen. He drove like there were no lines on the road, he overtook a vehicle by driving in the shoulder, which mean half of his jeep is on the road the other half is riding through grass, and there were moments wherein he overshoot… again.
Nearing the city he stopped. I asked why he stopped, he told me that he needs to bleed his brakes as it was already braking on their own. My immediate reaction, which I kept to myself, “Why is this vehicle even on the road?”. I parked my bike in front his jeep then went to my passenger and asked if she’s ok. She immediately told me, I liked the way you drive better. I told her if she feels uncomfortable she could ride again with me. Then the driver asked me, “Do you have some tools, a number 12 wrench?”.
Yes, his driving is not by any standard decent, his jeep is not registered, his brakes far from being in a good condition and lastly he doesn’t even have tools to fix his jeep. It was pathetic, it really was. But he was not a bad man, part of the reason why I’m not angry or have any form of resentment towards the person was, he did not leave us behind. Yes, he had his excuses, and yes I did doubt him. But he could have left us the moment he hit us, could have drove off and we would be stuck there with our injuries, I honestly know that if he did theres really no easy way for us to even get back or to catch him. He stayed, he might be reluctant, but he did and to me that mattered the most.
After fixing his brakes we got to the city. I got a cab with the help of some street kids, transferred my passenger and our belongings to it so we could go to the hospital. But before I got to my bike he told me again the he was really, really sorry about everything. I just held my hand out which he then grasped and told him, “It’s ok”.