Friday, June 12, 2009

A Slammer

When a thunderstorm hits close, or better yet, directly, you often get the privilege of experiencing a "slammer." That's when there is no time between the lightning and the thunder. No precious second or two to get your hands up to your ears. No time to count and estimate the distance. This one was right here, right now.

This story is not about lightning. The slammer I'm talking about in this case is when two cars hit, sometimes you can estimate speed by the length of the skid mark or the duration of the skid sound if you are there at the moment. Sometimes not. Sometimes a long skid just tells you the speed when the car began stopping. Sometimes a short skid is the worst of all. No time to react. That's what happened earlier tonight.

I was walking through an intersection. The road was wet, but it was barely drizzling at the time. I was through the intersection and about 20 feet past it continuing to the parking lot where my car was waiting for me. Behind me came the sound of tires skidding on wet pavement. It was a short skid. Maybe 1/2 to a full second. As I whirled around I saw the two cars collide where I had walked through about 15 seconds earlier. Both cars, opposing directions, had green lights. One of them turned left across the path of the other. Apparently he just didn't see the other car. The little Chevy Aveo slammed right into the side of the turning Honda Accord. I immediately ran to the scene to offer what aid I could. Not much at that point. A helpful "Look out!!!" 10 seconds earlier might have been useful.

The side curtain airbags in the Accord had deployed, but no one was in either passenger side seat. The steering wheel bag had not deployed. No airbag deployment in the Aveo, which was surprising considering the frontal impact. But the little Aveo seemed to fare better than the Accord. It hit like a battering ram sustaining less frontal damage then the devastated side of the Accord. Both passenger side doors on the Honda were wrecked leaving 3 inch gaps at the top of the door frame where rain would surely pour in later tonight. I told him to pull it into the parking garage and leave it until morning. But he took it home anyway, even though he said he had no garage.

The couple in the Aveo were shaken but not stirred. Neither was hurt at the scene, but the driver said her father was going to kill her. So there may have been a fatality after all.

A little excitement after a hard day's work. I'm glad no one was hurt. And the couple had recently gotten engaged, and want us to shoot their wedding. How serendipitous!

I think I'll have to loiter around intersections more often. Though next time, I think I want to see a real a Smart Car vs an ice cream truck. If the little Aveo tonight is any indication of David's might against Goliath, the smart money is on the Smart Car.

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