Lake Placid is a small town not far from Sebring (where my Aunt lives). My parents had visited once before and said that the murals were well worth seeing, so we decided to go there before heading off back to the villa.
I drove us down there, and we parked at the bottom of the road – near where it crosses main street, beside a nice park and opposite the bank. We got out of the van, and while mum and dad were looking around I was applying some sun-screen to Leon’s neck.
So, imagine the scene if you will:
There is a main road which intersects the one which we are parked on, and as I stand at the back of the van, with the van on my right, I can see the intersection and the lights. The bank is over the other side of the road on the left. Mum and dad are standing about two-to-three feet forward (as I am looking) from the bonnet/hood of the van, Leon is to my left, bending over to put sun-screen on.
Suddenly, we can hear screeching of brakes!
A white car (later seen to be an old Pontiac) screams around the corner from the lights and drives into the side of the bank. It veers away from the bank… It’s heading for me!
However, the trajectory was changing and as I ran towards the curb and away from the road, I could see that the car was actually heading directly for my mum and dad
I heard a sickening crunching sound and the whirr of an engine with no resistance as the car hit the curb where my parents had been and flew through into a tree in the park. The car wiped out the tree and hurtled on into the park. With an almighty bang the car was brought to a halt by a much bigger tree.
I looked over to Leon, who was fine, I looked over to see… my parents were both fine, though mum was shaken. I dashed into the park, mobile phone in hand having dialled 911. There was already a first responder on the scene, and the police, fire and ambulances were soon there too.
My dad had seen the car and had dragged my mum out of the way, as the tracks on the pavement were right where mum had been moments before. The local people were so nice, some of them came over to see mum and make sure that she was okay. Lots of them said that my parents must have a guardian angel watching over them!
The policeman was very kind and said that he had enough eyewitnesses; that it would be best not to take a statement as we’d have to come back in a year! The lady driving the car was okay, I gather, though it looked as though she may have broken her nose.
Mum wasn’t looking like she was holding up well, so I suggested that we find a café for a sit down and a drink, before going on to see the murals.
Anyway, we did get on to seeing the murals, and they were every bit as beautiful as we’d heard. It was nice and relaxing to wander around and see them. There were some with people, animals and beautiful scenes.
My favourite (as pictured) was a garden which had been built there. It had murals on all the walls, and fish in a pond and a small stream and a bridge. It was beautiful.
I can’t write down how tranquil and still it was, despite being only a block away from the main road.
So, then we headed back up to say farewell to my Aunt and head off to the villa for a relax.
I was a bit jumpy about car-related noises for several days!