The first hint of trouble was the oncoming traffic flashing their lights.
We had been on the road for about an hour. It was drizzling on and off but the sky ahead looked promising.
“Better slow down” Kelly instinctively warned, “probably a police radar trap”. The caution was pretty much a moot point as Ripley is not that often at the speed limit, let alone exceeding it.
Then we saw a car pulled off the road on the opposite side and the driver was signalling for us to slow right down. Then another man standing beside his Ute arms swinging up and down in warning.
We looked at each other. Accident.
Sure enough, as we crept up over the rise, there was an old campervan stopped right in the middle of our lane.
“I’ll pull over just up here and go check out the situation”, I said.
At that point an oncoming car had pulled up right alongside the campervan to offer assistance.
Things then got quickly weird.
A middle aged woman stepped out from in front of the camper strode over to the car and started yelling abuse at the driver. We watched the driver absorb about 30 seconds of nastiness before deciding that his accelerator pedal was the better part of valour.
We were the next target. Over she came, yelling vitriol at us and waving her arms threateningly, holding a cigarette lighter.
Again Kelly and I looked at each other. ” OK..thank you Miss, and bye-bye”.
We swung out and slowly moved past. I was pretty certain she was going to punch Ripley’s lights out. But she didn’t.
Once out of reach I could look back. There seemed to be some minor damage to the front of the camper, but it looked old.
There was now a long semi trailer pulled over on the opposite kerb and the driver was on his way over. The scene had now become a bottleneck for traffic and there was no easy place to pull over without making it worse.
So we drove on.
On reflection we both kinda regret not stopping to help out. But the woman didn’t seem injured and there were plenty of other Samaritans getting involved.
So now we will never know. Mental health issues? Drug effected behaviour?
One thing for sure, was definitely having a bad day.