Bad Wreck down the road...

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Bookm
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Bad Wreck down the road...

Unread post by Bookm on

While raking leaves in the rear yard around 11:30am on a warm, sunny Easter morning, my wife and I heard the unmistakable sound of a bad wreck at the intersection a 1/4 mile from our house. It's a rural intersection, paved in both directions, stop signs in one direction. I ran out to the road and saw a black van on it's side and another car sitting all crooked in the intersection. I hollered for my wife to call 911, then jumped in my car to head to the scene.

Upon arrival:
- The van was a black Chrysler mini-van (newer) which had a full family of two 30'ish males, a 30'ish female, two young children, and an elderly lady. By the time I arrived, all occupants were out sitting on the ditch bank at the side of the road, except the elderly lady and her grandson who was inside holding her head up. The van had clearly rolled over, all windows were smashed out, and it came to rest on its passenger side.

- The car was a smaller, silver/grey cookie-cutter economy car of unknown make, as the front end was all smashed up. It only had one driver, a male in his late 20's. He was sitting along the opposite ditch holding his neck and head.

It seemed like hours, but in only minutes the first ambulance arrived. Because the crash occurred on the city limits, both city and neighboring township emergency crews responded. Within 15-20 min's, there were 4 ambulances, 5 fire trucks, 2 OPP, and 4 city cruisers. The windshield was sawed out and the elderly lady was removed and loaded in one ambulance. The female passenger received treatment on-scene then loaded in to another ambulance. The driver of the car received a neck brace and was also taken by ambulance. In fact, the only passengers who seemed to escape unscathed were the two children and the driver of the van. All van occupants were clearly seat belted in, but the broken windows caused some cuts and bleeding.

The fact that the kids were just fine shows just how important children's car seats are! Remember, this was a ROLLOVER accident. When I was kid in the 60's, I used to lay on the rear window pan and watch the big cars following us. Those days are HISTORY! I'm not sure if the guy in the car was wearing his belt. I heard him on his cellphone say he hit his head on the windshield, so I doubt he was wearing it.

I spoke with a jogger who was almost struck by the sliding/spinning van. As easy as it was for me to assume the car was at fault (how could a fine, respectable family be at fault, right?) it turns out the van failed to obey the stop sign, didn't see the car coming (gray car against a gray asphalt road) and drove through the intersection into the path of the unlucky guy in the car. He clipped the passenger side of the van (hard) and turned it over.

As the small crowd that had gathered started discussing the incident, I was rather shocked when one guy said, "that car was probable going too dam fast", and others gently nodded in agreement. I just looked at these people and wondered what the heck is wrong with them. Is that really what this province has become? A bunch of mindless zombies who have been brainwashed into thinking speed must be at the root of all wrecks?? Every one KNEW that the van full of family members just simply drove through a stop sign, but because they were a nice, decent family, surely it can't be their fault. Must be the single male driver of the car. Must have been speeding. Yep, That's it. (Groan... people are nuts)


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FiReSTaRT
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Unread post by FiReSTaRT on

That's what you get when you create a nanny state.. There was a thread on a motorcycle forum about a guy who stopped at a Stop sign at an intersection with a major road. Without properly looking, he decided to proceed. Fortunately, he stalled his car and didn't hit the motorcyclist who was going in front of him, as per his right of way. The thread was all about the car driver complaining about the motorcyclist's recklessness. While I understand his point of view, up to a point, but the bottom line was that he was about to enter the intersection without properly checking the traffic that had the right of way and was blaming others for their speed instead of himself for his inattention.
Speed may increase the severity of damage to yourself, your property, others and their property. It may also decrease the time that others have to correct their mistake and increase the chance of you making a mistake. However, the worst killer on the roads is lack of due care and attention. That's what we should really be focusing on.
It really sucks that violating the speed limits is easy to enforce, prove in court and collect money on.
What kind of a man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.


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Bookm
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Unread post by Bookm on

I should add:
There was absolutely no evidence of excessive speed on the cars part. It must not have had anti-lock brakes, because we heard the screech before the bang and there was about 15ft. of skid marks (speed limit 70kph). It was banged up but no where near what high speeds would have produced.


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FiReSTaRT
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Unread post by FiReSTaRT on

And even if the car driver had been speeding, he'd have to be doing at least twice the speed limit for him not to be reasonably anticipated by turning traffic. Under those circumstances, there would have been no survivors.
Too many people turn or make a lane change without looking and blame the other vehicle operator's speed, especially when they profile by the operator's age and/or choice of vehicle.
What kind of a man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

First of all (not that I had any doubt that you would, but still) good job in responding ASAP to the crash. Sounds like a stupid comment to make, but I've seen enough people literally drive by crashes without doing anything. Or worse, I stopped at a collision, got out to help the injured, and had someone roll down his windows: "Wow, that looks like it hurt," and drive off, no call to 911, nothing. At least it sounds like most of the people had minor injuries, hopefully they're all okay. :(

People give into stereotypes so easily: Young male in his 20s in a collision. Hmm... "Young drivers go too damn fast." "Those punk kids cause all the crashes." "Speed kills." Anyone can cause a crash. A collision occurred in front of my apartment building a few months ago: Driver of a Cadillac (young male) was proceeding down the main road in heavy traffic, car turned left in front of him, CRUNCH. After calling 911, I ran over to see if I could help, but in the two minutes it took to get there the police had already arrived. Same thing came from the peanut gallery. The Cadillac driver was, among other things: going too fast, a damn punk, a stupid punk kid, a street racer, someone who deserved to lose his car. None of them actually SAW the crash. The peanut gallery was shocked when the police officer walked over to the lady who made the left turn: "Ma'am, you are being charged under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario with careless driving," and handed her the Provincial Offences Notice. I had to suppress a smirk, not at her, but at the peanut gallery. No one was seriously hurt in the collision, FYI.

Then again, anytime there is a major incident, be it a car crash, fire, police shooting/takedown, airplane crash or whatever, everyone has to put their two cents in. I'm guessing that's what the guy was doing when he said "the car was probably going too damn fast."


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racer
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Unread post by racer on

Good job responding to crash within minutes! Paramedics' most often complain about getting to the scene too late, sometimes by just minutes.

Left turns.... Once, back a few years age, I was driving with my mother along Main St. in Hamilton, near Queen St. (Main there is 5 lane, one-way, speed limit 50, lights all timed for 60 hehe). We were in the 4-th lane (5-th is used for parking, parking prohibited on the 1-st lane due to bus routes), when a lady, must be in her 70-s, with another older gentleman also in the same age group, signals left. I slowed down a bit (to 55 from 60), thinking she wanted to change lanes. NOPE. Made a left turn, not from the leftmost lane, not even from from lane adjacent to that, but from 3-rd lane in... I was a new driver at the time, and I always had my left foot at the brake, had I not had it there it might have been a crash. And her insurance must have been 3 times lower than mine...
"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
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FiReSTaRT
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Unread post by FiReSTaRT on

Last season, I was in the left lane and a guy driving an old green Escort wagon was making a right out of the right lane. Just as I'm about to pass him, he decides to swing over to the left without looking or signalling. Fortunately, I'm always on the ball and managed to stop 6" from his car. Had he done that a second sooner, I would have been seriously hurt (even at 50km/h, tumbling over a car and onto the pavement can inflict a lot of damage) or run over and dead. He's lucky I got over the raw fear 2min later. Had I been more coherent, I would have chased the bastard down. Had I been driving a car, I would have just stepped on it in hopes of hitting him as hard as possible and claimed that my foot slipped off the brake pedal.
What kind of a man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.


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Unread post by racer on

Bookm wrote:... didn't see the car coming (gray car against a gray asphalt road) and drove through the intersection into the path of the unlucky guy in the car. He clipped the passenger side of the van (hard) and turned it over.
Great. Now insurance rates will increase for grey cars due to the fact that they are harder to see on the road, thus increasing their chances of collision. Red cars' insurance is higher, despite the fact that red and bright-orange cars are least likely to be in an accident (% wise, makes sense - red=danger. Bright orange similar to red).
"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com


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Unread post by hwybear on

racer wrote:
Bookm wrote:... didn't see the car coming (gray car against a gray asphalt road) and drove through the intersection into the path of the unlucky guy in the car. He clipped the passenger side of the van (hard) and turned it over.
Great. Now insurance rates will increase for grey cars due to the fact that they are harder to see on the road, thus increasing their chances of collision. Red cars' insurance is higher, despite the fact that red and bright-orange cars are least likely to be in an accident (% wise, makes sense - red=danger. Bright orange similar to red).
And yellow cars to be purchased by drivers with records...so everyone around can use "caution".

Green cars to go fast
Blue for our blue hair drivers on the road.
Brown for pieces of .... (ah you know what I mean) cars, that have no insurance and are falling apart.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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Reflections
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Unread post by Reflections on

I drive a black car, does that mean I can drive at night and not be scene???
http://www.OHTA.ca OR http://www.OntarioTrafficAct.com


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

racer wrote:Great. Now insurance rates will increase for grey cars due to the fact that they are harder to see on the road, thus increasing their chances of collision.
I have a grey car. Terrific... :x


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ditchMD
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Unread post by ditchMD on

racer wrote: Paramedics' most often complain about getting to the scene too late, sometimes by just minutes.
I don't quite understand what you mean by that....


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ditchMD
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Unread post by ditchMD on

Kudos to Bookm for rendering assistance. :D Too many people these days just drive by without giving a second thought about the people involved. Some argue they don't have the tools...true, but simply one's presence can provide much relief to accident victims.

I have always expressed that speed in itself does not kill. As mentioned, it does reduce reaction time, and increases the severity of both bodily and property damage. Most collisions are rooted in inattention. If you rear-end another vehicle at 60 km/h, it's because you were not paying attention. If you get hit head-on at the crest of a hill because the other driver is in your lane, his inattention is the cause.

Many people do not look towards their intended direction while maneuvering their cars. The follwing link is to an article about a collision whose cause, in my opinion, is pure driver inattention. http://www.northernlife.ca/News/Policea ... n070409008


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Reflections
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Unread post by Reflections on

Car Vs. Tractortrailer....... No brainer, so is a U-turn in front of a truck. There are many causes of accidents, speed can be one of them, however it's not the only one. I wonder how much of a decrease we would have if we trained young drivers properly????
http://www.OHTA.ca OR http://www.OntarioTrafficAct.com


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Bookm
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Unread post by Bookm on

To be honest though, I'm not real good with the sight of blood. And the first aid course I took over 10 years ago is virtually useless to me now. So there's no way I was rollin' in there to take control of the entire situation. But I think there's several things fellow citizens CAN do at "fresh" accident scene such as keeping an eye out for secondary hazards such as leaking fuel, approaching traffic, traumatized victims wandering on the road, downed power lines, engines still running (or fuel pumps still running),... just small things that many extra eyes just might pick up on.

In this case, I hopped out (left my hazard lights on in the middle of the road) and made a quick visual scan of the scene. I could see a woman's arm and hand extending from a broken window (with a little blood) but was quite glad to see her fingers moving (phew!). It was clear that this lady would be hanging sideways in her seatbelt, as the van was on its side. I asked a guy who was pulling stuff out of the van if anyone was helping her. He said her grandson was inside holding her up in the seat and could manage it by himself. I know many injuries occur when well-intentioned folks move injured people unnecessarily, causing further injury, so I didn't jump in and help (though I would have if requested).






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