One Of Us

564543_10151078709578871_582477291_n.jpgToday I won’t be attempting any humour; today I want to talk about something that’s happened in the news that has actually affected me.

It’s not very often that stuff in the news gets to me, either because it’s happened so far away from my doorstep or I don’t care; I usually read something on the news and my initial reaction is, “the world is screwed”. Like the bombings in Boston for instance, that shit was beyond unbelievable. There’s nothing I can even say on that matter I just hope the best for those involved and the worst for those that caused it.

This particular news story actually saddened me deeply though because it’s something that could have happened to a lot of people I care about; it could have even happened to me.

The girl that you see in the corner of this post is named Catrin Pugh; we don’t know each other, we’ve never even met each other but we both worked at the same Ski Resort in France, Alpe D’Huez and we know some of the same people.

Her and the guys she’d been working a Ski Season with were involved in a nasty accident on the way home after the brakes failed on the bus that she was on.

Three Britons remain critically ill in hospital tonight after the coach they were travelling on crashed and exploded in a fireball in the French Alps.

Catrin Pugh, 19, is believed to have been placed in an artificial coma after the horrific accident on Tuesday afternoon.

Ms Pugh was set to return to the UK after working the ski season in France and was joined by 52 other British season staff on their way home at the time of the crash.

Her father was today set to arrive in France from the family’s home in Wrexham to be at her bedside.

A second British woman, aged 23, suffered 80 per cent burns when the vehicle ploughed into the mountainside shortly after leaving the ski resort of Alpe D’Huez.
– Daily Mail

19 years old and the unnamed British woman just 23 and to suffer so much burns! When I went I only managed 5 weeks before I fractured my coccyx and had to come home (partially due to home sickness); these people stayed out for the full season, they were coming home so full of promise, maybe a little sad that it’s come to an end for the winter but looking forward to coming home and then having to end it on such a bad note.

Then I read how the driver actually tried to save as many of them as possible;

‘Matthew said the driver almost stood up to make sure that everyone on the coach had heard, and that he definitely took the decision to crash into the rock to avoid the coach crashing through the barrier on the next hairpin bend.

‘Flames immediately took hold on impact, Matthew was lucky that he was near the back.’.

Yesterday, the relief driver and passengers gave statements to police before boarding a specially-chartered plane from Grenoble-Isère airport to London Gatwick.

The coach crashed shortly after it departed from the ski resort of Alpe D’Huez on Tuesday afternoon.

The doomed driver, Maurice Wrightson, 64, has been praised for his ‘remarkable courage’ after sacrificing himself to save his 52 passengers.

Many of the survivors say he tried to steer the vehicle, weighing 12 tonnes and towing a weight of three tonnes, to safety after shouting that his brakes had failed.

I’ve travelled up that road, I travelled up there while it was two foot deep in snow, it’s so very dodgy even at the best of times. 21 Legendary Bends they say that road has as it goes 2000 feet to the top of a mountain; had the driver not sacrified himself and crashed into the wall everyone on that bus almost certainly would have died as he’d have hit the hairpin barrier and plummeted quite a way down.


alp2The place where they worked is absolutely beautiful, breathtaking even (literally due to the altitude) but it’s so very dangerous to actually get there and I remember being extremely nervous travelling up that very same road as the driver was blasting through the snow at 50mph on tight corners.

The thought that these people worked at the same place as me, stayed in the same resort, went to the same bars, met the same people, went through the same process to get there, worked for the same company; I feel connected to these people and my thoughts go out to all that were involved especially young Catrin and the unnamed 23 year old who will most likely never be able to live a normal life from this point forward. I consider you all almost like distant family and I hope you all get well very soon.


Author: 'Ard Pete

Hey everyone, my names Pete, friends call me 'Ard Pete because... well, I'm well 'Ard. Currently in Chesterfield, England, currently working as an I.T. Technical Lead for BT Business and Public Sector; it sounds more glamourous than it is but I'm a dab hand with Microsoft products. I enjoy television, mainly any Star Trek, all of Stargate, Lost, anything Joss Whedon has produced, 24 and House. Favourite music includes; Mumford and Sons, Jason Mraz, Eminem, Chris Cornell, Ludovico Einaudi, Goo Goo Dolls, Muse, 30 Seconds To Mars basically a wide variety of anything that's real, I hate dance, trance and anything like that, I don't consider that to be music. Not much of a sports guy, I like Professional Wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, I can watch Football but only when I'm forced to watch it. Favourite author is Terry Pratchett, favourite film is Armageddon, favourite comedian is Lee Evans, favourite idiot is Karl Pilkington, favourite game is GTAIII, if there's anything else you wish to know, don't hesitate to ask. I'll more than likely not be busy.

5 thoughts on “One Of Us”

  1. That’s so sad. That bus driver sounds like a truly Christ-like person. Anyone who sacrifices themselves for others restores my faith in humanity.

    Great post Pete.

  2. Those kind of hairpin turns ALWAYS scare me. This is so tragic. There is probably something to be said for traveling such a dangerous road to reach such a beautiful place. It seems symbolic on some level.
    The bus driver’s actions were nothing short of heroic — such a good man.
    Very sad, Pete. It’s more shocking, I’m sure, to have known that very road and destination.

  3. It beaks my heart every time disasters like this happen. It makes me sleep better at night to know that people like that driver still walk among us, to sacrifice his life … I can’t imagine what you must feel like knowing it could have been you.

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