Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Timeline of events of accident

Accident happened little over 15 mins from leaving my agricultural property in Raja Ela Hingurakgoda almost opposite the Eastern Command HQ in Minneriya at 1pm on Sunday January 30th 2011.

I was on my way to Godagama Meegoda Farm loaded with some produce including the much demanded Oranges from Ratmale. I was driving with my man Friday Sagara in the other seat.

When taking a corner at low speed, and having given a wide berth on the dry pavement to the oncoming convoy of a cabinet minister, his last vehicle, a Blue Ministerial Security Division uninsured vehicle whilst trying to corner coming in the opposite direction, skidded right into me on my side of the Tata Pick up I was driving. I was trapped in the vehicle with the engine running, and four burly guys from the Minneriya Wildlife Department not too far away, having witnessed the accident, stopped their vehicle as soon as they saw the accident and yanked me out of the passenger side, I was conscious and in excruciating pain . they thought the cab will catch fire as the engine was still running.

Without another moment to think they bundled me into their vehicle and drove me and my passenger the 25mins to the nearest hospital, namely Polonnaruwa general. Their prompt attention was most welcome and appreciated above and beyond the call of duty.

I was able to remember my sisters home number and relayed the news via the mobile of the rescuers. Upon arrival, I was met my the gurney and wheeled in pain to the X ray room where the xray was taken and put into a ward.

In the meantime the info of the broken femur was relayed to my sister who decided to try and arrange for an ambulance to come to Polonnaruwa to take me to Colombo, with the alternative being using the hospital ambulance to take me to Kandy. As this hospital is only permitted to refer to Kandy, this was in hindsight the best course.

The ambulance came by 10pm and I got the to accident service at the General Hospital Colombo by 6am. Monday morning. I was dreading the journey with the painful leg, but the two guys from St Johns Ambulance were superb completely covering the leg in some silica cushion and then blowing up some balloon round the leg to reduce the knocking and strapped me in smugly.

I told them not to drive too fast as there was no rush, so they a super job keeping me comfortable throughout. The cost of the service to transport me was RS 18,000. I was given a pethedene pain killer injection before leaving to reduce pain too.

I forgot to mention that I had a cut on my head that I had not even noticed, and had to have a few stiches put in at Polonnaruwa, and the pain was moving me from one bed to the other for transport etc within the hospital, sheer agony.

In the meantime, I had lost my phone with all my numbers at the accident, and I understand the Cabinet Minister had turned back once I had been taken to hospital to review the damage and wondered how one survived such a wreck. The vehicle had been towed to the Minneriya police station where it still is today.

As I am known in those parts, people known to me had seen the accident site and informed people I know who had further gathered at the site and some came to the Polonnaruwa hospital, and fortunately was able to borrow a phone from one so I could be in communication. The speed with which they had gathered at the hospital amazed me, as they have no means of transport and are in hard to reach village of Ratmale where my lodge is. They had also brought a sarong and two pillows, the basic needs of hospital stays in SL.


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to more detailed accounts of your experience. It is a fascinating window into how accidents and health problems are dealt with in SL.

Healthcare is a major reason why many diaspora are reluctant to come back and live in SL. Especially the older lot.

All the best on your recovery.

Anonymous said...

My father had a similar incident many years ago. He was also attended to at the ortho unit at the General Hospital. His recovery was gradual but the progress was very good. He went back to full activity with only a small limp to show for it. I wish you a full recovery as well.

Anonymous said...

These accounts are probably difficult for you to write but make for fascinating reading for us. We don't know much about life in rural areas and this blog sheds light on issues we never would have considered. Please keep them coming if possible and if it's not too much trouble.

As a city person, I am still curious whether the Cabinet Minister, whose name apparently rhymes with "shoots with cream," is taking on any of your expenses for hospitalization, damage to property, loss of livelihood, etc.

Wishing you a full and successful recovery.

Anonymous said...

i have had no contact with any of the minister's party since the time his driver came to see me at the polonnaruwa hospital on the evening of the accident, when i gave him my blog address in case he needed to have the real story on who I was.

He asked me if I wanted dinner and I said I was not in the mood for food, but if he brought me small packet of Munchee cream crackers that would suffice.He instead sent me a packet of Maliban cream crackers.

I presume the minister is still reading the blog, wondering how to respond.There have been many friends of mine who happen to know the minister who have approached him possibly further adding to his apprehension!! After all the minister's wife is a patient of my aunt.

Will keep you posted if he plucks up the courage to make some contact

Kirigalpoththa said...

It is the time they stop these convoys now. There is no risk in this country for ministers now after May 2009 and the risk is for all the commuters on the road when those convoys travel at terrifying speed most often on the wrong side of the road. this is not the first time such accidents happen. I have heard about 5-6 such incidents. there can be more..

We have 80 odd ministers but still that is too much. Nearley 10% of the ministers create fatal accidents for innocent road users??

Wish you a speedy recovery!

Anonymous said...

Im a keen follower of your blogs and am truly shaken by what happened.
I wish you a speedy recovery Sir.

As for the ministers,, i think they are the biggest public menace Sri Lanka has ever seen. These idiots have taken over the job the LTTE bombs did: hurting innocent civilians.
Maybe an "Egypt-style" lesson is long overdue here.

Magerata said...

Hi Rajaratarala,
I really hope your surgery goes well and you be back on your adventures, soon. Also your fellow villagers, how ever bad or lazy they are must have known your good qualities. It is good to know they care for you. All our best wishes are with you.

Anonymous said...

Interesting view on the incident. Hope you are recovering fast..
Any chance the minister paid a visit to see how you are doing???

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