Friday, February 17, 2012

Beware of boulders!

On Wednesday, sales manager Ludovic Masciave, 36, was driving his car through the Arly Gorge in the French Alps. The road from Chamonix to Albertville (map here) is described by a biker as 13km of heaven despite the dangers due to motor vehicles slowing to take in the majestic views: "It runs along a twisty gorge of the Arly river, which would otherwise be quite picturesque. However, I rarely got time to look....On the face of it there's a perfect surface and some brilliant bends with good visibility. This road shouts, 'Ride me to the limit,' but the traffic is frequently going 60mph [96.5km per hour] slower than you. Long lines of cars and camper vans crawling around one brilliant bend, followed by another half dozen curves to die for. And die you may."

Masciave wa one of those drivers, proceeding at a very moderate pace: "I'd been driving slowly at between 40 and 50 km [25 to 31 miles] an hour when suddenly there was a terrible shock which brought the vehicle to a sudden halt. I immediately lost consciousness." When he revived, Masciave was pinned in his car, unable to move, and in excruciating agony. "The space was very restricted. It could be measured in centimeters. All I was thinking about was stopping the pain. When firefighters were able to open the door I was finally relieved of the huge pressure...."

Only later did Masciave learn the immensity of the boulder that rolled down the mountainside and crushed his car so badly that rescuers couldn't determine its make or model. It weighed 20 tons. Miraculously, Masciave was spared and flown to a local hospital. His injuries, which included collapsed lungs and broken ribs, require several surgeries, but he is expected to make a full recovery. Says the father of 2, “It’s a miracle I’m alive. Although I’m not a believer, I do think this was a miracle….Now I will see life differently.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.