A discussion about the "How it Happened" summary must begin with the knowledge that we have a nameless, first person narrator who has a chauffeur named Perkins. Our narrator is returning from London and is met at the local station by his chauffeur. Our narrator wants to try his new car which had just been purchased and delivered. Before he begins driving however, the narrator is warned that the gears are not what he is used to. Things begin to go wrong after the two drive over the crest of Claystall Hill. The narrator loses control of the car. The narrator desperately tries to get the car home while the wheels are "whirring" and is asked to jump out of the car by Perkins. Our narrator does not jump out. Instead, he arrives home and crashes the gate suddenly. We soon learn that Perkins is injured in the crash. More interestingly, though, our narrator meets Stanley, a deceased friend. This should lead the reader to believe that the narrator has died in the accident.
"Stanley, you are dead."
[Stanley] looked at me with the same old gentle, wistful smile.
“So are you,” he answered.