Saturday Sep 29, 2007

Midnight excitement

    At just before midnight last night, I was awoken by the squealing tires, scraping and thud of an accident. I got up in an anxious state and made my way down the hall to the front of the house and saw headlights aimed into my yard. Quickly making my way back to my bed, I realized that calling 911, as my wife was suggesting, was what my brain was trying to figure out to do, and called. I couldn't really answer many of their questions, except that there had been an accident and my address. Even before I finished putting my pants on, which I immediately did, 911 called back to confirm I had called and to ask how many cars. Again I could not answer.

    I slipped on shoes, grabbed a flashlight and headed out to see if anyone needed help. I found several cars already pulled over, and one of my neighbors already there. The scene was a 2007 Chevy Silverado Z71 on its roof and half off the road. One rear wheel and axle were off, and the other rear wheel was torn off. Fortunately, the driver was alive and being kept company by his brother-in-law. He was back side partially out the passenger window, with minimal bleeding, and talking. Within minutes, police cars arrived from both directions, as this was on the town line. Before long there was an EMT ambulance and several fire trucks as well.

    I went back inside to let my wife know the status, then went back out, as the sound had me sufficiently shaken up that I didn't expect to get to sleep again any time soon. The driver was carefully removed and taken to the hospital, and I had a chat with the driver's brother-in-law. The driver had come from his brother-in-laws house, and had been alone. I had been concerned that a passenger might have been thrown clear and be needing help with no one knowing they were there. The firemen swept up much of the glass and debris, and when the tow truck arrived and moved the vehicle, they sprinkled some kind of powder over the area, and cleaned that up as well.

    For a while, it looked like the tow truck wasn't going to be able to take the vehicle. It was a flat bed tow truck, and after pulling the car out onto the street, tiping it right side up and turning it so it could be approached from the front, the tow truck driver angled the bed and attached the winch cables. When he started the winch, the tow truck slid to the accident vehicle, then started to pull the vehicle onto the bed. it got part way up and couldn't get it higher. He enlisted the help of a fireman to rev the engine, but that didn't seem to help much. The fireman told him to angle the bed less, move the bed forward, while using the winch to keep the vehicle from sliding, the angle the bed down and slide it further under the vehicle. It took some doing, but he eventually got it mostly on the bed, with it hanging some over the end. A heavy vehicle with flat front tires and no rear tires is much harder to pull than one with wheels.

    I went back inside when everything was done and the police were leaving, about 2 hours total time, but still had trouble sleeping. The sudden sound and it's nature really caught me off guard. I did chat with both my neighbors again, one at the scene while this was taking place and the other the next morning when I went out to see the scene in daylight, which I haven't done in several years. Not a very neighborly neighborhood. :-)

A place where Perley Mears sounds off on topics relevant to his work at Oracle.


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