above: the bus that tried to murder me.
"Ah sure, smoking kills but you could get hit by a bus tomorrow." that thought kept spinning round my mind, again and again as I was lying on the roadside patch of grass. I had just narrowly avoided being turned into roadkill by the psychopath who yesterday stole a bus and caused carnage on the streets of Dublin city.
I was seriously considering taking back up the smokes.
A calm sunny Sunday afternoon, I had risen about 12 and had just woken myself up with a morning brew of caffine. The birds were singing, contentedly and all seemed well with the world. After my coffee, M who was studying decided to send me off to get the Sunday times, it was going to be a good day, one to recharge my batteries in. So as I walked down Aughavanagh road, whistling to myself contentedly I had no idea of the situation I was soon to be facing just a little down the road.
It was about 1pm.
Earlier that day, across the city in Rathcoole at 6.40am the driver (who according to reports had spent some time in a mental hospital) arrived early for his 7am shift at the Dualway coaches bus depot. He had an argument at the depot, the driver took the wrong bus, and without authorisation. He then drove the coach to Heuston station where he tried to murder (with the bus) a man associated with the bus company owner. He failed and made his escape with Garda (the Irish Police force) in pursuit.
At its height, the chase involved 40 cop cars, a helecopter and at least one black mariah. The Gards fired seven shots at the bus's tyres and tried to immobilise the bus with stingers, a total of four times.
All these attempts failed.
Meanwhile, I was on my way for the papers, I had decided since the local Spar was almost certainly out of The Sunday Times, my best chance would be down the road, in the Maxol Station by the Grand Canal. I was crossing the road by that station when the psychopathic fucker handbrake turns around the goddamn corner in his fucked up bus (the left hand headlight and the panels surrounding it were at this point torn off by some kind of impact) at about seventy miles an hour, the rear end fishtailing sickeningly left to right as he barrelled towards me.
I at this point was in the middle of the road, staring dead ahead as grill of the bus drew down on me, and didn't know which way the nutter was going turn that monster. I had about a 1/4 of a second to make a decision as to which way I was going to jump, I jumped instinctively to the right, which turned out to be to the decision that saved my life, over a small wall and landed in a patch of roadside grass. I was just sitting up as the bus screamed its way around the next corner and disappeared out of sight. Then came the caterwalling of what later turned out to be forty or so cop sirens. Many cars raced past, then a black mariah and then two more special branch cars.
I was shaken, to be honest, it's been about five years since anyone tried to kill me, guess I'm just not used to it anymore.
After I had regained my wits, I crossed the road, somewhat unsteadily I might add, and picked up a copy of the paper. On the way back, a man who had been smoking outside a pub by the garage saw me, "It's getting like new York" the man said, all I could do was look at him blankly and mutter "I lived in New York for a couple of years, saw gunfights, crack, smack, lunatics shooting up trains, but never in my life DID SOME PSYCHOPATH IN A BUS TRY TO KILL ME!", I guess I was still a little overwrought at this point.
The Bus itself continued up to the Naas Road, where it drove the wrong way up the dual carrigeway, smashed into a womans car, and dragged the car and the corpse 20 yards down the dual carriageway to near the bluebell bus stop. Witnesses could not believe what was happening. Brendan Flynn, a man who was there to witness the first of the Garda cars try to block the bus's path on the carriageway managed to pull most of the motorists from their cars before the impact, he did not make it to the dead woman's car in time, but did save many other lives by his prompt and brave actions. By the time that had happened the bus had already smashed its way through two garda vans and a garda car, the occupants of which had not managed to pull themselves out in time.
Total score by this deranged "Grand Theft Auto" madman, one dead and fourteen injured.
As for myself, I got back, amazed at my survival, which was ensured only by my inability to freeze under pressure (something which I always wondered whether I would do), sat down, and realized for one of the first times in my life, I was actually pleased to see the boys in Blue.
Getting the Sunday papers is now an extreme sport in Dublin, though I think as a result of it, or rather as a result of my amazement at being alive this morning, my breakfast tasted pretty damn good.
Peace and Hope