Flying through the air with the greatest of ease, one might say in hindsight. The young man landed feet first and slid into the soft narrow ditch along the side of the road as if caught by an angel and carefully set down.
Finally the ambulance arrived. The boy was conscious and it seemed that he would be all right although the medics very carefully lifted him onto a stretcher, neck brace carefully in place. About 20 minutes after the departure of the ambulance for the hospital, the gendarmes arrived!
As my husband carefully explained in limited French, imagine our surprise when the gendarme replied in perfect English, it's all right, I speak English! My husband explained what happened, the witness corrorborated the facts as we described them -- we had indicated, the motorcycle had come up from behind us a great speed, etc. The gendarme told us that it appeared that the boy was not seriously injured and that since no one had been injured the incident would in all likelyhood be handled by the insurance companies. After taking photographs the gendarmes left to interview the boy in the hospital.
Later that evening it was with great joy that the English-speaking gendarme telephoned us with the good news that the boy had suffered only minor bruising and there would be no further police involvement.
Two days later we were to all meet in a very civilized fashion at the home of our mutual insurance agent.