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‘I cannot thank people enough’ Crawley mother sends thanks to residents and emergency services after Hawth Ave bus crash

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Residents helped emergency services treat injured passengers at the side of the road.

It was meant to be a lovely day out with her partner, four young children and their grandmother.

A quick trip on the bus from the town centre to Tilgate Park was all it was to take until things changed in seconds.

A Crawley mother who was on the Route 2 Metrobus and who has asked to be kept anonymous recounts the moments of the accident.

“I was standing on the bus with my two youngest in buggies and my older two sat with their Grandmother.

Suddenly I heard a bang and glass shattering and I was thrown to the floor. There was screaming from all the passengers and we were all covered in glass including all my children.

Her partner added:

“I turned round to speak to my partner and I saw the van heading straight towards us and saw it collide with the bus.

He was going pretty quick. No attempt to stop, no skid marks.

Then the adrenaline kicked in and there was panic everwhere. It took a good couple of minutes to open the emergency exits.

When I got out and looked over at the van I could see the driver still inside. I helped people off the bus and helped move them back away. One guy stayed on the bus to support the bus driver.

It took a good couple of minutes to open the emergency exits.”

The mother also added:

There was a desperate struggle to open the emergency exits which took a little while to do. When we got out you could see petrol dripping away but luckily the fire brigade arrived in time.”

The young mother managed to escape with only cuts and bruises and her partner suffered torn tissue in his arm. Luckily the children were uninjured.

But it was the actions of the locals nearby that really touched the mother and her family saying:

“I can’t thank people enough. To all the people that were nearby that offered water, thankyou! To the lady nearby who filled up my babies milk bottle so I could feed him, thankyou!

I really want to thank everyone who helped and hope everyone who was involved in the accident a speedy recovery.

The emergency services were all amazing and I cannot thank them enough.”

Opinion

Cineworld in Crawley could reopen in July, but has lockdown changed the way we now watch films?

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There has always been something exciting about going to watch a film in a cinema.

Be it the excited atmosphere, the thrill of a large number of people all reacting in unison to the plot, or the immersive sound and visual experience.

So when Cineworld along with the other cinema chains had to close their doors due to the lockdown it was another element lost for months from our social calendar.

But, during this lockdown something else happened. Streaming services jumped on the chance to bring the cinema experience with the launch of new films to peoples homes first rather than sit it out waiting for picture houses to reopen.

And it wasn’t a bad experience either.

Instead of being crushed up in a tiny seat with someone hogging your arm rest while you tried to silently tuck into your expensive bag of popcorn whilst getting agitated by the incessant coughing from the row behind, we were able to stretch out on our sofas. We could eat what we wanted without extra fees and, possibly the greatest advantage, pause the film whenever we wanted. It was heaven.

Of course the cinema experience is exactly that, an experience, and there is a market for it. But has the degree of that market changed as a result of the lockdown?

Cineworld has said they are making preparations in their venues so that customers will be able to watch a film in a “safe and enjoyable way”. How they are going to achieve this and how empty will each screen be is yet to be announced.

They have also told their investors that they expect all of their venues to open sometime in July.

This means that Crawley’s Cineworld could see its doors open within the next two months and as further restrictions begin to lift the food venues around it will also see a return of customers.

But will it ever be the same? Will we ever dare to endure the annoying coughing near us without fear of a second wave shutting it all down again?

Whatever the outcome what the lockdown has shown is how we have been able to adapt quickly and so has business. In this case the entertainment world has found a new route and one they will not give up just because of a relaxation in rules.

This lockdown has done one thing, it has expediated what was possibly always going to come, the dawn of the real home cinema for all.

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