A CRASH caused by a French driver falling asleep at the wheel of his car on the motorway brought a premature end to a mammoth charity challenge that was being undertaken by four taxi insurance brokers.
The #Clock2Rock challenge required the directors of Plan Insurance Brokers to rally the 1437 miles from Big Ben to the Rock of Gibraltar in under 36 hours. To make things harder for themselves they were travelling in a 17 year old black cab with a self imposed “no sat nav” rule.
Their aim was to raise sufficient donations, from fellow attendees at an annual insurance conference hosted by their key insurer partner Tradewise, to cover the cost of the estimated £4,500 fare. All funds were being given to The Magical Taxi Tour, a charity that transports sick and severely disabled children in a convoy of over 200 black cabs to Euro Disney for a weekend of a lifetime.
However, having travelled over 700 miles, during which the cab’s engine had over-heated and a tyre had blown, the #Clock2Rock Challenge came to an abrupt end.
At just after 10pm on the first night, whilst driving cautiously in poor weather, their TX1 was hit from behind at high speed by a driver who has subsequently admitted to falling asleep at the wheel. The impact initially forced the cab down a grass verge by the side of the road before it careered across the motorway and came to a stop against the central reservation.
The sturdy taxi took the brunt well but the doors were crumpled and would not open. The team managed to push out the screen separating the driver’s compartment and all four exited via the drivers’ door into the carriage way as fuel poured out.
The emergency services arrived soon afterwards to close the road and to take them to hospital to be checked over. Incredibly bruising and stiff necks were the worst of injuries including those of the other driver.
Unfortunately, the cab wasn’t so lucky and, having finalised details with the police, there was no other option but to arrange for it to be scrapped. The team then continued their journey, via two planes and multiple cabs, to arrive 45 hours after originally setting off.
Grant Georgiades, who was onboard and charged with updating Plan’s social media followers with details of the trip, explained their shock at the incident:
We anticipated a number of obstacles stopping us in our tracks but this wasn’t one of them.
It was really disappointing after all the effort on behalf of the Magical Taxi Tour not to complete the trip. But the main thing is we’re all safe.
We’re still expecting to reach our fundraising target. Seeing the damage to of the other driver’s car made us appreciate just how important remaining alert at the wheel is.
The #Clock2Rock team have received an overwhelming number of kind messages since the incident. If you would like to donate you can do so at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Clock2RockChallenge.