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  #1  
Old 4th November 2006
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Matt88S Matt88S is offline
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Default Accident

There is a bridge in the local, its about 3/4 of a mile long or so, walled in with concrete siderail things, whatever they are called. Not much of a place for cops to sit and pick speeders off except at the ends so it seems like people hit that bridge and drive like lunitics til the hit the other side then slow back down again.

There was an accident on it today, seem like people have lots of accidents on it. This time it was a newer Dodge pickup, full size, big as a mountain. There was a vehicle in front of him, for some reason that the driver of that vehicle seemed peaved with the driver of the Dodge, and when the Dodge went to pass him he made some sort of hand gesture and brake checked the Dodge. The Dodge swerved, you can't swerve in a big truck like that, he was probably going 55 too, he should have braked and hit the guy if he had too. Anyhow, he gets brake checked, he swerves, loses control, goes into oncoming traffic and hits two cars before coming to a stop against the siderail on the other side of the bridge.

It was a mess. The first car he hit was an older Caprice, old lady car complete with old lady and her handicap permit as well as two passengers. It took the side of the car and just smeared it, shoved the dash and side into the lady, she was pretty well pinned, they had to cut the top off the car with "jaws of life" to extract her. She was concious and responsive but it looked like her shoulder had been damaged, maybe clipped by the truck, I saw abrasion marks on her upper arm, she was a little bloody from the glass and metal of the door, the door was shredded pretty well, her arm was resting against a peice of torn metal and was cut up, it was sick. I wanted to move it off but I was afraid to move anything. We couldn't open the door, we didn't try, you couldn't tell the door from the rest of the car, it was all smeared together.


There wasn't really much we could do. Thats not a good feeling. I just kind of tried to comfort her, said everything was going to be fine and so on and so forth. The driver of the truck came over and took a look at all the coolent poring out of the engine and said, "Hey, is that gas?" I thought that was brilliant, to say that right next to a person trapped in a car. I wanted to say something smartass like, no, thats from the radiator you so kindly removed from her car, but I didn't, I just said no, its not.

Fire and rescue got there pretty quick, I'd called them immediently as had probably a half dozen other motorists, welcome to the cell phone age. An EMSA tech was first, he took one look and turned around towards the firetruck that was coming and made a sissor signal with his hands, they came to a stop, jumped out, grabbed the "Jaws of Life" and came running.

It was pretty interesting watching them cut the top off of the car, those Jaws of life are pretty amazing, just snip, snip, snip, snip, then they threw an heavy iron bar across the back and then folded the top back over it. It was a little slower than it sounds, it seemed like it took about a half hour to get her totally out of there but it may have been less.

Anyhow, as far as I know everybody made it, they weren't all in great shape, but they were alive when they loaded them up in the ambulances.

What if that had been a smaller car? Those Caprices are tanks. What if it had been me? I wouldn't have made it, it tore that Caprice up.

It was all rather surreal, one second everything was fine, the next the world had been turned upside down and I was standing in the middle of the bridge next to wreckage and hurt and bleeding people. Your mind kind of has trouble making the jump, its like when did we leave civilization?
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James Bond shifted down into third gear, drifted the Saab 900 Turbo into a tight left-hand turn, clinging to the grass shoulder, then put a fraction more power to bring the car out of the bend.
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  #2  
Old 4th November 2006
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Not to trivialize what you are describing, but are you a reporter? I could see the whole thing in my mind from your brief description, which was more than mere reportage, but rather was almost poetic. I have seen some things kind of like what you are describing, but I do not think I could have reported them as you did. You describe, muse and sprinkle little details throughout that make the story come alive. Sorry you had to experience that kind of emotional trauma, but thanks for sharing it, and for doing so in such a thoughtful and poignant way. It makes me think, which I think is good.
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Old 4th November 2006
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Woah. Crazy day. I hope everyone comes out of it ok.

As for the safety of the 900 vs. the Caprice, I'd prefer to take my chances with the 900. They're every bit as much a tank as the Caprice and built with saftey as top priority. The Caprice is just safety as a result of size. Does them a lot of good until they hit something the same size/weight.
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Old 4th November 2006
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The 900 is a safe car, but it's not like nobody at Chevrolet was thinking about the reaction of the car in a crash when they were developing it in the mid 1970's (unless it was a newer one then it would be late 1980's ).
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  #5  
Old 5th November 2006
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Some people are just douchebags.

You did the best you could for her; congratulations for doing so. Most people these days would rubberneck or, at best, take pictures with their cameraphones to send to the local news

I am a trained First Responder, and last year I came across an accident where a woman had pulled out from a main road onto a side street, and a person (blowing a stop sign) (in the dark) (with no headlights) t-boned her on her driver's side. Her young son was sitting in the rear seat, passenger side. I couldn't get the driver's door or the rear door on that side open. The driver of the small car ended up with a fractured spleen, busted shoulder, and ankle. Her little boy was freaked out but OK. But if he sat behind his mother like he usually did, he probably would be dead. Sometimes all you can do is apply traction and tell them they'd be OK even if the car is leaking gas and the jerk who hit them is standing nearby about to light a cigarette.

Again... some people are just douchebags. You are not. Good job.
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  #6  
Old 5th November 2006
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Good job.

We train for extrication at our airport...very fun cutting up cars etc.
(if you ever need to bust a windshield use a centre punch or break a spark plug and toss a shard at the glass...usually will shatter )
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  #7  
Old 5th November 2006
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No, I'm not a reporter, sorry, I take what you said as a complement though.

Here are the vehicles involved, it looked like the Caprice was a 89-90. I don't know Mag-X and 900T, against that Dodge, I think I might go with the Caprice, just for the simple matter of brawn against brawn. Those trucks are immense though, can you imagine being hit by one going 55 mph? With you going about the same towards it? If you look at the truck the fender is about window hight of the Caprice, thats what hit the car, I can't belive the driver of the Caprice wasn't brained. She may have had some pretty bad head damage internally too, you can't always tell from the outside, she might be in the ICU right now with a shunt in her head and a brain the size of a watermelon. I'm waiting on the paper to come out so I can look up her info and see how she is doing. She looked familiar, I can't place her though, she might be a patron from work or somebody I used to go to church with.

Hi Guru, its a crazy world out there isn't it? Thanks for your kind words, you seem to think I'm a good person, I'm not, I didn't really do anything and I really ran up there to see if any Saabs were envolved, I was hoping to aquire a parts car. Just kidding around, I think the shock has worn off, I get silly after things like this.

The local community college offers paramedic/first responder type courses, maybe I should take one or two just so I would know a little more what to do next time.

Hey Spidey, they make a knife with a spring loaded widow punch and a shepfoot type blade for sliding under and slitting seatbelts. I've thought about getting one before, maybe I should go ahead and do it.

Its really sad what happened here, it could have totally been avoided if driver A had not been a moron and brake checked the Dodge, or if driver B had not been a moron and following to closely. The 2 second rule would have prevented all of this. Knowing your vehicle would also have helped. I heard the driver say, "She brake check me hard as I went to pass and I has to swerve and its a 4x4 man, they don't handle so well and I lost control...."

He was just a kid, probably 19-23 range, he was pretty upset too, he was there on scene and saw up close and personal what his mistake had caused. I don't know if he's going to be in legal trouble for this, it was his fault for following to closely, but it was also directly the fault of the idiot who brake checked him.

I don't know about you guys, but I have a truck, and when I drive it I'm fully aware that I'm driving a 2.5 ton weapon that if I'm careless can or will kill someone. I know people though who drive huge vehicles, trucks, Expeditions, Excursions, Suburbans, and they treat them like toys and bully people with them. I just want to smack the shiite out of people like that.


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James Bond shifted down into third gear, drifted the Saab 900 Turbo into a tight left-hand turn, clinging to the grass shoulder, then put a fraction more power to bring the car out of the bend.

Last edited by Matt88S; 5th November 2006 at 08:31 PM.
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  #8  
Old 5th November 2006
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I congratulate you on your efforts, Matt, helping out at the scene best you can and taking consideration of the public when driving a truck. I drive big vans for work, Econoline E350s, no rearview mirror in the cab, and I am ever so careful with them, they flip easy, can be hard to stop and can cause alot of damage. Sadly when driving and seeing someone drive a similar or larger sized vehicle, they act like theyre driving a Corolla and get right up your tail and hang there with a full sized van, bus, 18 wheeler, or whatever large commercial vehicle you can think of. Hopefully the young man who caused this and the person who brake checked learned a lesson and will both be careful in the future. Those Rams are large trucks, you have to respect them. And at the same time the accident could have been much worse, it could have happened on a street complete with sidewalks and store fronts and that would not have ended well

Even SUVs are dangerous, as we all know, there was an incident where I think it was a Ford Explorer or an Explorer sized SUV had swerved and gone off the Tappan Zee Bridge and into the Hudson River. But at the same time no matter what size vehicle you drive, Saab, Mack Truck or Honda, its still a potentially dangerous weapon
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  #9  
Old 5th November 2006
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Matt

Your 900 is much safer than that chevy.

I was t-boned directly on my left shoulder by a Honda MPV - I was doing 20-she 30-I didn't have a scratch-it didn't breech the cabin.

I wouldn't be worried.

Rogo
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  #10  
Old 6th November 2006
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On driving SUVs - I had a Durango for a corp. thing this summer and they are
  • huge
  • heavy!
  • have blind spots the size of another durango
  • stop and change direction VERY poorly
  • have bumper heights that will 'submarine' most cars
Ergo the 2.5 tonne weapon comment is very apt.

On size vs. safety:

The mother and grandmother of a good friend of mine were in a Suburban (later 90s) and got hit head on by a Malibu and were seriously hurt/killed. Down to physics and poor design.

And finally, I (heart) my saab and the safety trolls.
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  #11  
Old 6th November 2006
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Matt,

Sorry to hear all this, my dad saw a head on accident happen a few hundred feet ahead of him years ago. The lady was killed, and it was difficult for him for a couple of weeks. I could understand how you can be shaken. Good to see that you tried to help how you could.

As far as large trucks and weapons go, ALL cars are dangerous weapons! Lets not forget, its all physics. 1200 lbs going 120 mph can be just as dangerous as something weighing more, going slower.

I hear lots of storues of people taking their saabs up to 130 mph and above, lets remeber, this is just as dangerous.

Tboy
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  #12  
Old 6th November 2006
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I wholeheartedly agree, all vehicles are dangerous and people should treat them as such. I think more people should be aware of this little fact, so many people seem to take driving forgranted and accidents as something that just happens. They don't just happen, just like the other day it is usually some simple stupid thing that causes them.

I've always had a peculiar approach to driving. I was reading a motorcycle book the other day and it sumed up my viewpoints on the matter very well.

Attitude Number 1: Motorcyclists are responsible for everything that happens on the road.
Attitude Number 2: All other drivers are deliberately trying to kill you.
Attitude Number 3: The road is designed to make you crash.

Now this is from the viewpoint of a Motorcyclist, but you can insert "drivers" where "motorcyclists" is and find its just as applicable for auto drivers as well.

I'm also rather fond of the popular saying, "If it happens to you its your fault". And when it comes to many things this is true. While everything might not be your fault, we do let a lot of things happen to us. Auto accidents should not be one of these things. Most could be avoided if people would not eat, drink, talk on their cell, text, read, and so on and so forth, and instead focus on the task at hand, driving.

I can't begin to count or remember all the accidents I've avoided from simply being alert at the time and seeing a hazzard in time to react and drive around or brake or whatnot.

I don't mean to preach, I really don't. I just see so many examples of bad driving every day, I just don't understand how people can do it. It's like they expect to get in an accident occationally.

Its a crazy place out there. I'm going to get nailed one of these days, its bound to happen as many miles as I cover. Its horrible when a decent law abiding Saab can't go about its daily business without being in fear of imminent distruction.

Ah well, life goes on.
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James Bond shifted down into third gear, drifted the Saab 900 Turbo into a tight left-hand turn, clinging to the grass shoulder, then put a fraction more power to bring the car out of the bend.
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