Friday, 8 September 2006


On the way home from a lovely evening walking along the Thames and popping into a late night viewing at the Hayward Gallery the bus passed a 38 pulled up outside St Paul's on Essex Road that was being boarded by several police officers. Another police car screeching along towards the bus from the opposite direction siren blazing.

We crossed Balls Pond Road and rounded the corner past the mercs dealer and came to halt behind a 476 stopped in the middle of the road with its passengers craning to see what was happening up front, and crowds of onlookers on both sides of the road. To the right was a car crushed into a parked vehicle with the driver inside, a cyclist (wearing shorts and a helmet) talked to him through the window, then a woman, followed by another man. Several people on mobiles. I sat for awhile thinking that when the ambulance arrived we'd be off again soon, others piled off the bus. The police arrived first, then the ambulance. Onlookers stood, witnesses provided reports, much waving of hands and directional pointing, lastly the fire brigade arrived. I decided someone must have to be cut out of the wreckage, which would likely take more time. I got off. In front of the 476 was a white car with its headlight broken, and no driver to be seen. The car crashed into the parked vehicle much worse off. Possibly he turned out of St Paul's Road and clipped the white car, but I wouldn't really know. The restaurant owners and onlookers stood watching. It was probably loud at the time. The passengers and I walked up to Newington Green for an alternative route.

Much later, decanting from the Salsbury at 1.30am, more flashing blue lights. The cops were closing one block from the turning to St Ann's Road, to just beyond Alison Road. Couldn't tell what for. Long queues started. Blue and white tape stretched from one side t'other. Could it be an incident at the snooker hall or perhaps the church. Or maybe one of the turkish men's cafes. We watched. Couldn't make it out so went home.

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