In 2012, New Zealander Marnie Walters was working in Cambodia managing communications for the Cambodian Children’s Trust. Returning to Battambang City after visiting isolated families in Prey Veng province, her vehicle was involved in a terrible accident. This is the second part of her story about what happened. It continues from Part One, which you can read here.
Glowing in the centre of the scene, the two crushed cars illuminated each other with their headlights, but the surrounding countryside was vast and dark. There were no flashing lights of salvation, no emergency services to call. I examined my phone again and could now make some sense of it. I must have made over fifty calls sitting there, first to New Zealand, then to nearby Battambang, but it was late and for so, so long, nobody answered. When one of our social workers finally picked up, my tongue turned heavy and clumsy in my mouth.
“Bub-bub-bub-bub-bub-” I burbled. “Bub-bub-bub.”
As hard as I tried, I could not convert thoughts into recognisable sounds. I had to hang up. Eventually, I managed to send a text to my friend Erin, a message that I would take back if I could. We had a horrible car crash. People are dead. Please call me. After reading that text, Erin rushed to find help and nearly came off her motorbike in panic.