Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Plastic Cars Go "Crunch" When They Crash

I meant to tell of my commute to and from "awesome" yesterday. I live about an hour away from work (aka "awesome") and I need to time my departures to and from with care. I normally leave my house around 10am to avoid traffic going down. Most of the time this pays off well. And I try to leave there by 3, or 3:30pm to avoid the traffic on the commute back. This makes for a short day, yes. But it is well worth it, because it is very awesome at "awesome."

Anyway, I was driving along, getting ready to get off at my exit. There was a large tractor trailer to my right, and a car in front of me. I had to get in front of the tractor trailer within about a 1/2 mile. No worries. I began to move up to get in front of the big rig when I saw the Jaguar.

She came flying down from my left, I caught a brief glimpse of her in the side view mirror and then she was directly in front of me, moving almost perpendicular to the flow of traffic. Just a bare fraction of driving forward with the flow of traffic existed in her trajectory.

She literally threaded the needle between me and the car in front of me, and whipped in front of the tractor trailer. He slammed on his brakes, and you know when a truck does that, the gears go nuts and the vehicle bounces, jerks, and does all kinds of acrobatics. I thought for sure he was going to tip over, but his rapid decrease in speed allowed me to watch the Jaguar.

As she hit the ramp for the westbound direction of Needham Street, going about 100 miles per hour, she lost control. I've never seen anything like it in my life. There was dirt and gravel flying, she was on two wheels going sideways in a skid. I knew I had to keep my eyes on the highway, but I literally could not take my eyes off of her.

I was taking the eastbound exit for the same road, so I knew that upon coming around my ramp I could look over and see if she was upside down. I turned the corner and there she was -- speeding like a proverbial bat out of hell onto Needham Street, like nothing had happened. The cloud of debris behind her blew up into the air, and she cut off two more people and just kept going.

Honestly, I really hope what she was speeding to was important. Too bad her own safety and the safety of everyone else on earth are not as important.

On the way home, same day, I ended up leaving work at 5:30. Piece of cake for several exits heading north. According to the radio traffic report, an accident in Lexington, an accident in Burlington, and an accident in Wilmington all awaited me. Joy.

People were cruising along nicely. Paying attention. Stopping, managing distance, not tailgating. We approached the last of the accidents and I could see in the distance people were picking up speed. Good. Here we go. I was in the far left lane, beside a jersey barrier. I looked into my side view mirror and saw a little green sports car, not sure of the make, come FLYING up the non-existent lane to the left, and he, she, not sure SLAMMED into the back of a car two slots behind me.

The slamming sounded like my son stomping on a plastic water bottle and crushing it, only much louder. And I saw car parts flying everywhere. Everywhere. The front of the car was flapping in the breeze, the breeze created by it flying in my direction. The driver had not applied the brakes at all, either shocked or unable... She was rolling at a decent speed towards me so I looked to my right, and the guy next to me gently moved right so I could too.

The car passed me -- both airbags deployed in the front. I couldn't see the driver, but could hear the plastic of the front end scraping hard against the jersey barrier. The car eventually came to a halt, and I drove past not knowing what to do. The man who had let me squeeze right so as to avoid getting hit by the rolling crash picked up his cel and I presume he was calling 911. My battery was dead so I could do nothing. He and I just looked at one another and he nodded once, and we moved forward to continue our ride home.

I have no idea what happened or why, or if I should call the police to say I witnessed what happened. All I can remember is the sound of what a plastic sports car sounds like when it hits hard.

It doesn't sound at all like TV.

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