The reply I got back from Boots was, all charges against you have been dropped but please don’t come back to our stores. So again I was let off with a warning……now you start to think that maybe you’re above the law, untouchable even!
I’m sure that, had the Police come down harder on me at a younger age, maybe things would have been different, maybe but you just don’t know.
I’m picking up on the worst things in my life for now, I’ve also done a lot of good during this dark period in my life too but I’ll cover this later on. You see, I want to explain the kind of young man that I was and the events that led me up to the point where I killed this man. If you believe that it was just an accident and that it could have been avoided, well you may be right. But by understanding the boy/man that I was and how I got to this point, well, you may have a different opinion, which is why I’m detailing my life like this.
I wrote this blog for two reasons, firstly, I’d like to help prevent someone else choosing the paths that I have (which is why I now have LIVE CHAT on the site for anyone who may be wants to hear first hand the consequences of doing something wrong) and secondly, I want to keep the memory of the man I hit alive. You see, I’ve never cried over his death until I wrote this – I cried at the scene of the accident but not because of him, I cried because of me. I dealt with the accident in a way that I’ve never explained before……I’m not going to explain it now, I’ll do that later on.
All the signs were clear to see that I was a catastrophe waiting to happen, it was just a shame that I took an innocent mans life instead of my own. People that are close to us as we grow up can spot trouble in us, how you talk to them and try to set them straight is another matter. I hope that by reading this throughout, it will put a lot of people off ever trying what I did, there is nothing good that came from it! (apart from the fact that I maybe able to help others not make the same mistakes)
My long awaited 17 birthday soon came around, finally I was legal to drive. My father gave me a Vauxhall Chevette for my birthday. He’d won it in a game of cards against some of the cronies that frequented his beloved second home, the golf club. I was over joyed, I’d have driven a 3 wheeled van if he’d given it to me, wheels, legal and on the road, was all I needed.
By this time I’d obviously left school and was now at catering college, the reason behind this was, Michelle went there and I had no idea what I was going to do in life, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. Funnily enough, the school careers adviser never gave me any careers advice, so I had to go out and find out for myself. Michelle was 6 months older than me and had passed her driving test soon after her birthday. She had a lovely Golf Driver, it was basically a GTi but without the engine, it had spoilers, wheel arches and the 4 headlights in the front grill, envious wasn’t the word. She’d come and pick me up for college and drive but now I had wheels she’d sit in the passenger seat of my Chevette and I’d drive with my learner plates on.
My mother had told Roy, my driving instructor, the story of me crashing the Porsche, so we used to have a laugh when we went out on lessons. I remember this one day, he was late getting back to the next appointment, as we were driving round the country lanes, he turned to me and said, don’t worry about the speed limit, let’s just get there……no problem I said and I put my foot down but not crazy though.
There was a guy at college called Daryl(not his real name), we became friends and he passed his driving test a week after my birthday, I passed mine 2 weeks after. Anyway, he came round to mine on the day he passed his test and said he’d take me out for a lesson. Now this is back in the day when you could take a learner out as soon as you passed your test, it’s different now-a-days. I think you have to wait a year before you can do this now but if you read on, you can understand why that was a good change in the law. Off we went, two 17 year old boys in a car, clearly this is a recipe for disaster. I drove around no problem, music blaring from my really tinny, crap sounding stereo but hey, who cares how it sounded, we had a car, music and freedom, life couldn’t get much better.
Darryl turned to me and asked if I’d let him have a drive of my car, sure no problem I said. He drove out of town and headed towards the country lanes quite sedately. I didn’t think he was going particularly fast but as we entered this bend Daryl somehow managed to put the car up on two wheels, it flipped over onto its roof, though a hedge and dropped about 15 feet into a field below. Well that’s the story I was told, I was knocked unconscious when the roof caved in, only coming back to reality when I was in the ambulance on the way to hospital.
My Mum and Dad were so disappointed in me yet again, they thought that I’d been showing off which was why I’d crashed the car. But you weren’t driving I hear you say and yes that’s correct, I wasn’t. But you see, Daryl wasn’t insured, I was knocked unconscious, had to be pulled out of a smoking car, Police, Fire and Ambulance all soon turned up at the scene, Daryl panicked and told them I was the driver so I took the blame. What could I say, I know what I wanted to say but what was it going to achieve?
So that is the first car written off over the age of 17, yeah not my fault, technically but in the eyes of everyone else, I wrote it off. As I said, I passed my driving test 2 weeks after my birthday but now didn’t have a car. My sister used to lend me her Renault 5, the really old ones that when you went round a sharp corner, your elbows almost scraped the floor.
Quick funny story about her Renault, I was out driving with this guy who was a few years older than me, I knew him through Michelles sister. He’s been to jail and had a bit of a reputation (I’ll put you straight about this later on in the story…..reputation my ass!) Anyway, I was driving along the road, there was a Ford XR3 convertible, very desirable at the time, with two massive geezers at the wheel. They were right up my ass behind me, so I tapped the brakes a little to warn them that they were too close, well I say a little, I mean I tapped them hard. Well this guy did not like that and when he got the chance he overtook me, not difficult in a Renault 5 and then he cut diagonally in front of my car to stop me dead in my tracks. Him and his angry mate proceeded to jump out of the car and head towards us, I think they were a little upset, to put it mildly and they were huge guys too……….
I drove my Dads pride and joy the family Sierra with his permission though ! Picked up mates on the way out so car was pretty chock a block with people ! We ended up in a ditch in Lindfield some where me showing off as you do at that age ! Not much damage phewwww weeeeee but my pride and confidence extremely dented there was no way on this earth I would do such a thing again really taught me a massive lesson unlike you Richard!
It’s good to hear that you learnt from your experience at such a young age…..unfortunately, some of us take longer to grow up and take life more seriously. I have been fortunate enough to receive a FINAL WARNING – but I wish that I was more like you Helen, I should have learnt many, many years ago which is why my message is, it’s never too late to change…..I just wasted so much of this precious life because I was stupid. Now I have less time to enjoy life…….but I’m sure as hell going to make it the best time!
I also had a Mark 1 VW Golf Driver. Looked great but was a bog standard 1.3 behind all the arches and skirts. Still one of my favourite cars to this day.
I was so jealous of her……gorgeous car, gorgeous girl 🙂