After the initial shock had passed we realised that we had to do something to clear the breakage – at least from off the road. There seemed to be no one to help.
The school bus had passed on along its way, the driver of that vehicle presumably blissfully unaware of our predicament.
‘See if you can clear some of this broken glass from off the road,’ instructed Brian.
With that Brian hurried off along the road while I set about the unenviable task of clearing as much as possible of the broken glass and other debris from off the highway.
Thinking back now I can’t remember any traffic having passed by during the time that I was busily engaged in clearing up around the smashed truck. If anyone had passed by, they certainly didn’t stop to lend a hand.
After a time I glanced up and spied Brian walking back down the road towards me. In his hand he was carrying a shovel and with his other hand he was dragging a yard brush behind him.
‘I went to a farm house,’ he explained, ‘and the farmer’s wife kindly let me use her phone.’
Brian further informed me,
‘I got through to Gerry Cunningham and he is going to send out another lorry and also some of the lads to help us clear up this mess.’
Brian also informed me that Gerry was going to call the breakdown service lorry to pull the ‘old girl’ out of the ditch. We were to transfer what we could of the load to the other lorry. The plan was that he, Brian was to wait there for the breakdown truck and to return with it, while I was to go with the other lorry and the extra help that was sent to continue on with our run as best we could, with whatever we could salvage unbroken from our load.
‘Great! Happy days,’ I thought, ironically. I had just survived a road accident; spent the last half hour clearing broken glass off a road and now I’m told that I have to help rebuild our load on to another truck and continue on with our run using any of the und
‘God knows what time I shall get finished tonight.’ I thought to myself.
The other lorry with the extra help was the first to arrive. It was a Ford D Series Custom Cab, Mick Rafferty’s truck, the pride of our Newry Mineral fleet.
There were five lads including the driver with it, all of them packed into its big roomy cab like sardines. We then set about transferring the entire load – including the breakages, plus the broken glass that we had swept up: all of it was rebuilt on the other vehicle.