The Real Story Behind the Tragedy: An Enthralling Mysterious Family Drama

Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.

‘Police, fire or ambulance?’ ‘Hi, yes, I don’t know. I’m not sure really. I don’t know who I need. There’s no fire, I mean. Obviously there’s no fire because of the rain.’ ‘Can you tell me why you’ve called emergency services today, sir? ‘There was an accident, I mean… a pedestrian was hit. I saw him get hit.’ ‘Right, and what is your location?’

‘I was in Park Hills but I’m closer to Campton Grove now.’ ‘So to confirm, you’re still driving?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘And were you involved in the accident?’ ‘No, God no, of course not. I would have pulled over if I hit him, but I didn’t hit him. I don’t know who did. I was waiting to turn right and this guy just ran across the road in front of all the other cars and I saw him get hit by one of them. The light had turned green, so everyone was already moving. I don’t know why he did it.

I really think I saw him get hit but the rain is so heavy it’s hard to see anything at all. But I definitely heard the sound of it, I mean, the sound of his body hitting the car but there was… there was a thunderclap at the same time. I’m just not sure, but I had to phone just in case.’

‘Do you have any information on the car that hit him? Make, model, colour?’

‘I don’t know. I think it was the car that was in the lane next to mine. But honestly, it was at the front or nearly the front of the queue and I was three cars away from the traffic light so… it wasn’t really easy to see.

It um… it was definitely blue – not dark blue but more sky blue. That’s why I noticed it – it’s odd to see a light blue car and it was a sedan of some sort, I think. But like I say, I’m not entirely sure, I just didn’t want him to be left there in case no one else saw.’

‘And can you give me the name of the street where the accident happened and the nearest cross street if possible?’ ‘I was on Williamsburg Road; you know the road with four lanes? Near um… Cook Avenue.’ ‘And the car that hit him didn’t stop?’ ‘I don’t think so.

To be honest I didn’t actually see. Everyone was moving slowly and I was concentrating on the car in front of me… because of the rain.’ ‘So just to clarify, you’re not sure someone did get hit.’ ‘I’m not entirely sure but I’m fairly sure.’

‘Did you see who was driving the car that you think hit the pedestrian?’ ‘There was a woman driving. I mean, I assume it was a woman – it looked like a woman from behind, but… Shit, I missed my turnoff. I have to go.’ ‘Can I have your name, sir?’ ‘Sir?’ ‘Hello?’

Wednesday, 11:31 a.m.

‘Police, fire or ambulance?’ ‘Yes, I believe it would be the police and I’m quite sure that an ambulance is needed as well. I’m in the traffic heading towards the big pub in Park Hills and… Turn left here, Gerald.’ ‘Sorry, did you say you need an ambulance?’

‘Not me, dear, the man who got hit by a car at the intersection of Williamsburg Road and Cook Avenue. I saw it happen, saw the whole thing and I’m not sure what happened after he got hit because the light changed and everyone moved and I told Gerald to wait but then the person behind us hooted. Everyone is always in a tearing hurry and they should slow down in the rain.

Anyway, we couldn’t see much because of the rain so we just went and…’ ‘Okay, so you saw a man get hit by a car and where is he now?’ ‘Well, I don’t know, dear. Gerald and I are nearly at the pub now.

I just thought I should let someone know in case no one else had called. It was at that intersection by the fruit shop, the big one. A little expensive for my taste but each to his own, I say.’ ‘Did you see the car that hit him? Do you have any information on that?’ ‘Oh, yes, we were directly behind it and it was a gold Audi, although Gerald thinks it was closer to bronze in colour, and a very pretty woman was driving it.

I made sure to look even though it was very hard to see through the rain but I’m pretty certain. Well, I wasn’t wearing my glasses but I’ve got them on now. She turned after she hit him, turned around to see who was behind her, and I thought maybe she was going to reverse. That’s why I told Gerald to wait but the man behind us was obviously in some sort of rush and… 

well, we didn’t want to miss lunch. And then she went, so we went as well.’ ‘Right, can you tell me a cross street closest to where he was hit?’

‘I already told you, dear, Cook Avenue. You’re trained to listen, aren’t you? Now my name is Beverly Stonestreet. That’s like the words stone and street put together. And my number is 0413929811 and I will be happy to speak to the police if they need me to, but I have to go now. Gerald, don’t open the umbrella in the car. Are you mad?’

Wednesday, 11:35 a.m.

‘Police, fire, ambulance?’ ‘Yes, this is Detective Sergeant Jackson with the Park Hills police. I’m off duty but… can you hear me? The rain is really bad.’ ‘I can hear you, sir, go ahead.’ ‘I’m on the side of Williamsburg Road with a man who’s been hit by a car.

I need an ambulance at the corner of Williamsburg Road and Cook Avenue. I’m here with him. I can’t feel a heartbeat but maybe that’s because of the rain and my daughter who’s here with me is not entirely sure she can feel one either but… he’s definitely unconscious. He’s in a pretty bad way.’ ‘Ambulance is on the way, sir. Did you see what happened?’

‘Look, I can’t be sure because I’m with my kids, and when we stopped at the light, I turned to say something to my son who was sitting in the back seat, so I missed him getting hit, but I heard it happen and then I saw him land on the pavement. I think the car that hit him was a black Mercedes, an SUV, but a small one. The light changed colour and the traffic moved off.

I don’t know if anyone noticed because of the rain. It’s really coming down out here. But no one stopped except me. They all just kept going.’ ‘The ambulance should be there soon, sir. There have been another couple of calls about the same accident.’ ‘Wait, I can hear them but the traffic is all backed up.

I don’t know how they’re going to get through and I can tell you – this guy doesn’t have long. My daughter is a trainee nurse and she’s doing CPR. Keep going, Steph, the ambulance is nearly here. Get out of the way, you idiots!’ ‘I can hear them, sir, so I’ll leave you with them.’

‘Yes, thanks, okay, great… Yes, here, here, over here.’

Wednesday, 1 p.m.

Marla fills her glass of wine again, taking a deep sip and savouring the dark cherry flavours of the Merlot. Outside, the rain soaks the lawn, forming puddles of mud where the grass is patchy because Rocky has dug up enthusiastic holes everywhere.

‘Your dog needs to stop digging up the garden if you want the grass to grow properly,’ her gardener, Alex, tells her each time he comes over. Alex has been caring for her garden for years and complaining about Rocky for just as long.

Marla knows she should try and encourage Rocky to find another activity, but the little dog gets such joy from digging she hates to stop him.

‘He’s a Jack Russell and that’s what they like to do,’ Marla always replies, usually with Rocky sitting in front of her, his brown triangle ears perking up at his name. Now Rocky is lying on the floor by the glass double doors that lead from the kitchen to the patio and the garden. He has his little head on his paws as he watches the pounding rain.

‘It will stop soon, puppy,’ she says, and he lifts his head and turns to look at her, and then drops his head back onto his paws again with a heavy sigh. He doesn’t believe her. From her seat at the granite kitchen breakfast bar, she can barely see the garden, with its new spring flowers, through all the rain.

Alex will no doubt have a lot of head-shaking and tutting to do at the damage done by the downpour. Only a few days ago, the whole garden was beautifully in bloom, and she remembers taking pleasure in all the vibrant pinks and purples as she sipped her morning coffee.

The air had been filled with the light warmth that signified an end to the biting Sydney winter and summer felt just around the corner. But everything is different today. The spring sunshine is gone and in its place is a heavy grey sky and incessant rain. Things change from one day to the next, between one breath and another.

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