Posted: 6/29/2015 1:33:18 AM EDT
Saw this happen tonight. i10 east just before 610. Not pictured is the cobalt that was run out of gas and left in the road it's driver on the shoulder. I noticed it before my friend that was driving did and probably saved us from the same fate. I was on the phone with 911 when the accident occurred. Everyone seemed to be ok. The driver of the cobalt had gotten back in his car and just before the wreck he had walked back over to the side. The driver of the truck was awake and had blood on his face but he seemed ok. Cobalt was destroyed. The roof bent at some funny angle and very messed up. The truck while the frame bent and fenders crushed the cab held up well and the driver should live to tell the tale.
Situational awareness is crucial at all times. Especially driving.
Drive a heavy vehicle. They are harder to kill in a wreck.
Keep you car full of gas and in good shape
I need to buy some road flares and a medical kit / training. I feel that I could've prevented the wreck with road flares thrown into the blocked lane.
Medical training is now a top priority. A fellow that appeared to be MIL. Stopped and I think was trying to render aid that was not needed.
Large vehicles do well in wrecks. Weight is a bad thing unless it gets you a bigger crumple zone.
WORTH READING - HONEST!
You know, the stuff you carry around in your head! I’ve seen 5 or 6 really horrific vehicle accidents in my life. The first occurred when I was a teenager, running up and down the Garden State Parkway every summer weekend, back and forth to Jersey shore locations like: Sandy Hook, Island Beach, Sea Girt, and Wildwood.
Late one afternoon we’re returning from the shore; and the Garden State Parkway was especially crowded. Most of the Parkway was two lanes; but a mile, or two, before several of the toll plazas the lanes expand into four, or more, rows.
That afternoon there was construction work going on in the left-hand lanes; and the far left lane was advertised - with rather large signs - as being closed. There were traffic cones along the perimeter; and nobody was using it. About 25 yards in front of the toll booths the Authority had erected a 12 foot , or so, wide square. It stood about 6 feet tall, and was built out of railroad ties; and the center was filled with sand.
There was a big stop sign on it; and, I suppose, it was there in order to protect the left side booths from some driver, maybe, crashing into them. (Good idea!) Our vehicle was in a still open left-hand lane. Traffic was stop and go; and everybody was just crawling forward. Behind us were 4 young adolescents, older teenagers, who were about our age.
They were riding in a brand new black Mustang convertible that had its top down. I looked at the vehicle, and noticed that the girls were pretty; and the driver looked like a really cool Italian dude who seemed, at least to me, to be, ‘a little full of himself’. (Not that I blamed him: Very nice car with a gorgeous young girl sitting right next to him!)
Next thing I know, I hear somebody’s carburetor open up as the Mustang goes shooting past us, taking full advantage of the unused open left lane. (That was OK, I guess, because, as long as he acted relatively soon, the driver still had plenty of time, and plenty of room to force his way back into line.)
As I watched the Mustang rocket away from us, I quickly realized that: The driver wasn’t looking far enough down the road to see the barricade; and, all of a sudden, he missed his window of opportunity to hit the brakes, and pull back into line. To my absolute amazement the Mustang continued to accelerate straight past the driver’s, ‘point of no return’! For a brief moment I looked down. The conclusion was already foregone! Then horrified, but fascinated, by what I knew was about to happen I looked up, again.
I saw the brake lights suddenly come on. The rear of the car shivered, then fishtailed a little, and I could hear the very loud sound of desperately screeching tires - A long yowl followed by a sharp thud and explosion of metal and glass slamming hard into heavy wood. It sounded as if some sort of a deadly cannon had gone off! Then I saw the flash of a large orange fireball! It wasn’t there long, and flashed out as quickly as it had appeared, leaving only a tall thin plume of jet black smoke rising up into the still vibrating air.
I felt sick! It reminded me of the night I graduated from high school. My steady girl and I were driving home from our graduation party; It was, kind of, a magic night! I felt very free, and as if it were one of the best nights of my life. (Which it, just, might have been!) Everything in life seemed to be in front of me; and I was free to do, or go, wherever I wanted to. (I went to high school in a very strict, private, military-style institution where my daily life had to follow precise routines, and was lived by rote.)
As we came around one of the serpentine curves between Bernardsville and Morristown on historic old Route 202, there along the side of the road was a crumpled up late model Volkswagen Beetle. Taking a closer look I suddenly noticed two very still bodies lying along the side of the road at a fireman’s feet. (Those two limp young corpses hadn’t yet been placed in body bags; so we, both, got a good look at them as we were waved past.)
My girlfriend became very silent; and, after exchanging a few comments about how sad things were for those young men and their families, the both of us, almost desperately, found something else to talk about; but, conversation aside, the images continued to remain!
Many years later (after I’d reached my forties) I found myself at the top of State Route 17 in Mahwah, NJ. It was early morning, about 2:00 AM, as I crested a long hill on my way back to the city. There in the roadway was what appeared to be the remains of a brand new white Corvette. (Just the kind of car I’d always wanted to own!)
I’m guessing on the exact make and model, of course, because the only recognizable part of that vehicle was the back end. The windshield was gone; and the roof had been partially removed. I could see dark glistening fluid on the road; and I don’t think all of it was oil.
There were two people’s heads showing inside the vehicle; neither was moving. I could, also, see the figure of a man kneeling on what was left of the hood. He was leaning forward with his arms through the opening where the windshield had once been. Then I saw the robe and sash. The man was a priest; and he was, obviously, administering Last Rites to the Corvette’s occupants.
It was such a morose, very sad scene! It looked like those people had a lot to go on living for; and, all of a sudden, it had all been taken away! That memory, too, has stayed with me all these years. If I were an artist I could, probably, take a canvas and easel, and exactly duplicate the tragic scene I saw that night.
About 10 years after that (I was, probably, in my fifties when this next one happened.) I was coming up the West Side Drive, again during the wee hours of the morning, and traffic was moving along at a brisk pace. I guess I was going about 60 mph; and thinking to myself about how tired I felt. Then, traveling southbound on the other side of the roadway, I saw several quickly moving stretch limousines. I didn’t think much of it. It was prom time; so there was nothing unusual about seeing dozens of limos in the city.
Everything happened almost, ‘at the speed of light’. After it was over I had to shake my head and pinch myself awake while I wondered whether or not I’d actually seen what I thought I’d seen! Unfortunately, though, I had! Among the other fast moving traffic on the other side of the road there were 3 long, ‘stretch limos’ traveling fast and, almost, in tandem as they whizzed on by. Suddenly something broke the momentum of the first; (I believe white.) limousine ; and its brake lights came on. Then, with a certain sense of apprehension, I watch the vehicle rapidly decelerate. It made much too quick a stop for all of the fast moving traffic behind it, but, especially for the two following extra-long stretch limousines.
With the two trailing limos among them, three or four vehicles suddenly came together and plowed into each other; but, their ground speed was just too great; and none of the vehicles stopped moving. (Can you guess what happened next? It’s the reason that, to this very day, I will not allow anyone in our family to get into a stretch limousine!)
As if in a slow motion movie the two following limos suddenly split open - Right in the area where the additional length had been added to the car bodies! One of the vehicles turned partially sideways so that I could see inside it. I saw a flash of tuxedos, one frilly powder blue prom gown, and another coffee-colored one. In an effort to remain inside the vehicle everybody was clutching at the side doors and the back of the seat.
The situation was hopeless! As our vehicles came abreast, and we were about to pass each other, one gown (The blue one I think.) came out upside down; I could see the girl look at the roadway beneath her as she flew through the air! The coffee-colored gown came out spread eagle, and disappeared into traffic along the opposite side of what remained of the limo. (I could hear the screech of brakes!)
The tuxedos seemed to come rolling out, low, and almost immediately into the pavement. (I think one of them made a grab for a girl as he flew out.) That’s as much as I saw before my own vehicle shot past, heading north, in the opposite direction. I continued to hear brakes and dull thuds in the background; but I didn’t see anything else; and, neither did I want to. Again it was very sad. In trying to sort things out in my own head all I could think of is that life comes; and life goes. I’d like to think otherwise; but, I very much doubt that any of those kids made it.
Then there was the time only a few years ago, now, when we were traveling west on Interstate Route 80 through Stanhope, NJ. All of a sudden, exactly at the crest of a small rise along the eastbound lanes, I saw an odd flash of motion in the eastbound lanes; I sharpened my focus and looked. To my amazement, I saw a perfectly upside down car flying through the air! It had 3 or 4 feet of clear daylight underneath it; and its tires were pointing straight up in the air! (How do you do that?)
This upside down vehicle had enough speed on to remain airborne long enough to sail all the way off the side of the Interstate. Amazing! It disappeared down an embankment leaving only some scattered vegetation and a light cloud of gray smoke to mark where it had landed. When I realized the crash site couldn’t be seen from the roadway I called this one in; but nobody ever got back to me after the initial report; so I don’t know what happened afterwards. (I think I like it this way, too!)
Finally, once again I was coming out of the city during the wee hours of the morning, heading north on I-87 (the NY State Thruway). I was just entering the Interstate, somewhere in the vicinity of Belmont Park, when, all of a sudden, I got that, ‘strange old feeling’.
(Some of you will know what I mean: It’s like just before a gunfight begins; and the air around you feels, for lack of a better word, ‘pregnant’. You know something really bad is about to happen; but you don’t know what?)
All of a sudden I got this message inside my head. It seemed to be telling me to stop climbing gears and slow down. So instead of speeding up in order to gain momentum when I should have, instead, I dropped down one or two gears, and just heavily rolled along. The only traffic coming northbound was a good 100 + yards behind me; and, like my vehicle, also in the right-hand lane.
I don’t know; but, then again, you never really know for certain what’s going to happen in a situation like this. You move on pure instinct! I began to feel stupid; and, just as I started telling myself I was being silly, that it was a false alarm: Bingo! I saw it! All of a sudden a set of headlights flashed in my very large, driver’s side, rearview mirror; and, then, I heard an engine behind me start to wind.
It was a warm night; I had my window down; and, even with all the noise my own rig was making, I could very clearly hear this engine coming on. (When you spend a lot of time on the road you learn to, ‘see’ as much with your ears as you do with your eyes.) I could tell by the sound that the fast-approaching vehicle behind me was an older, poorly maintained machine; and, in the city, it (almost) goes without saying what that means!
I knew that bastard had: bald tires, sloppy steering, and worn out suspension. (10 to 1 the driver was, also, on drugs.) I knew that - for whatever reasons - the driver wouldn’t be up to successfully handling any sort of road emergency. (You know, like the large puddles of water I could clearly see across the roadway in front of us!)
The guy went by me at, about, 100 mph; and, when I saw the machine, I became positive that I knew what had to happen next. I remember feeling very glad that I’d stayed to the right, and cut my ground speed to the point where I didn’t need to start getting on my brakes; or, even better, having to start downshifting.
Then, about 50 or 60 yards in front of me it happened! That old piece of crap Chevy went into the first puddle! ‘Angel’s wings’ spewed off the back of the car as it went in. The puddles weren’t particularly deep; but they were large; and the bald tires on that old Chevy, completely, lost all traction. This is the one and only time in my life that I’ve ever seen a car spin like that - Round, and round, and round! Actually faster than the eyes could follow!
The car didn’t flip; but it did complete an amazing 9 or 10 (or 12!) very rapid 360º spins! Wow! Then the careening vehicle slammed into the 3 foot high, concrete, center divider. It climbed up on top of the divider; and, more or less, balanced itself, there, as it continued skidding along.
It was a long skid; (Very impressive!) and, as I watched the vehicle slide, I remember thinking to myself, ‘When is this going to end?’ My question was answered when the Chevy came up on an elevated light stanchion, hit hard, and knocked that light off its heavily bolted mount with a resounding thud! (Man, that’s momentum!) Fortunately for me that enormous pole landed, facing north, in the two left lanes; and I still, had plenty of room to squeeze on by.
If you’ve never earned your living as a professional roadman you’re not going to understand what I say next; but I just had to stop. After letting the upcoming traffic clear the scene I pulled up opposite the wreck, and called down to the lunatic who was laid out behind the wheel, ‘Hey, man, are you OK?’ The guy lifted his head off the back of the seat, and replied, ‘Nah, nah, I’m hurt.’ To which I snickered, ‘That’s too bad!’ ‘I was, kind ‘a, hoping you’d killed yourself so that I wouldn’t have to worry about ever having to meet you again!’ The dope was really, ‘out of it’; and all he said was, ‘Huh?’ as I began to drive off. (I didn’t report that one.)
As I clutched, and started climbing gears, I began thinking to myself about the impulsive, incredibly stupid, 100% irrational things that people do - Some of which will, definitely, kill or seriously maim them for the rest of their lives! It’s not only a lack of situational awareness that’ll get you into trouble on the road; there are, also, 4 specific components behind every physical accident. My first employer taught them to me; and, for the past 50 years, a keen awareness of them has, truly, kept me out of a lot of trouble:
They are, (1) Impulse, (2) Impatience, (3) Impunity, and (4) Improvisation. (The Four, ‘I’s’.) In my experience the biggest killer is impulse; i.e., ‘Here, hold my beer!’ Impulse is closely followed by impunity; i.e., ‘Hell, I know I’m good enough to do this!’ Impunity is followed by, impatience; i.e., ‘Go ahead and wait if you want to; but, me, I’m out ‘a here!’ and, finally, impatience is followed by improvisation; i.e., ‘I don’t need to rest!’ ‘I’ll get all the sleep I want when I’m dead.’ (Which, too often, happens to be completely true!)
Well, that was cathartic! I’m glad to be able to finally get these events, ‘off my chest’.
I know truckers are on a tight got to get there schedule, but you witnessed multiple possibly fatal wrecks and couldn't be bothered to at least report them ? Pretty callous in my eyes.
At least you call them in so that ambulances and fire can be rolled.
After letting the upcoming traffic clear the scene I pulled up opposite the wreck, and called down to the lunatic who was laid out behind the wheel, ‘Hey, man, are you OK?’ The guy lifted his head off the back of the seat, and replied, ‘Nah, nah, I’m hurt.’ To which I snickered, ‘That’s too bad!’ ‘I was, kind ‘a, hoping you’d killed yourself so that I wouldn’t have to worry about ever having to meet you again!’ The dope was really, ‘out of it’; and all he said was, ‘Huh?’ as I began to drive off. (I didn’t report that one.)
The worst I've seen was a convertible (Mustang) upside down in the middle of a curve on a winding mountain road with two wide flows of blood running from beneath it. On the side of the road behind it was another dazed, bloody guy staring at the wreck. A smashed cooler and cans of beer were strewn beside him.
I got on my ham radio to call for help while looking for a place to pull off. Another ham answered that there were ambulances already on the way. In the middle of the conversation, a police car passed me.
I know truckers are on a tight got to get there schedule, but you witnessed multiple possibly fatal wrecks and couldn't be bothered to at least report them ? Pretty callous in my eyes. At least you call them in so that ambulances and fire can be rolled.
You are, obviously, simpleminded and need to work on your reading comprehension skills. Pretty sad!
1. First accident: In front of toll booths. Cell phones weren’t invented yet; and the police substation was right there.
2. Second accident: Fire and Rescue were already there.
3. Third accident: Fire and Rescue were, again, already there.
4. Fourth Accident: Happened on a crowded thoroughfare, right in the middle of NYC, and involved multiple vehicles. It wasn’t necessary for me to risk more lives by becoming either involved, or anymore distracted than I already was. (Sometimes you have to be smart enough to know what to, and what NOT to involve yourself in.)
5. Fifth Accident: Cell phones were invented; and I phone it in for two reasons: (1) Even though there were other cars on the road, the wreck was hidden from view; and (2) I might, very well, have been the only respondent to take down the exact mile marker and site location details.
6. Sixth Accident: If some NYC drug addict wants to commit suicide - Fine! I worked among them for many years; and I know better than to get involved. (However there were times when I spent my own money in order to feed some starving, hopelessly self-destructive, poor bastard.) Generally speaking, though, the less you have to do with those people the better; because if they ain’t crashing into you and endangering YOUR LIFE on the roadways (as many of them will) then they’re hanging around isolated loading zones, watching and waiting for any opportunity to rob you.
(Remember, I said someone who hasn’t driven for a living, probably, wouldn’t understand; well, you just proved it. Besides, back then, the world wasn’t full of cell phones in the same way that it is today; and, as you also wouldn't know, it's oftentimes very difficult and needlessly risky to take a big rig onto urban side streets and/or find a safe place to park in order to make that call. Neither are manufacturers all that happy about any driver who deliberately places a van full of finished merchandise at risk.)
Now, would you like me to tell you about the time I was injured during the chase and capture of a hit and run driver? (In court the judge thanked me.) What is more, how about another time when I stopped to pull some dizzy teenage girl out of a vehicle she had stalled on the blind side of a fast downhill curve. Less than a minute after I pulled her out a large dump truck came speeding around that curve and plowed right into the rear of her vehicle. She had some silly ideas about protecting her stalled vehicle from harm; and I had to actually pull her out of the driver's seat in order to protect her. (Yup, I did THAT too!)
Don’t be so frigg ‘in self-righteous. You weren’t, there, at any of those accident scenes; so you 're really not justified to make any sort of accusation either one way, or the other. What you should have noticed, but clearly did not, are the very worthwhile Safety Rules I concluded my initial comments with. During my life these rules have saved me from harm over and over again! (Are things becoming a little more clear to you now? Probably not, huh!)