Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fatal Crash . . .

. . . in our neighborhood.

Mrs. B and I were on the way to Walmart today, northbound on West Neck Road (picture below). The road has been under repair for the last several months, and just opened for traffic on Friday.

Just south of the area in the picture, we saw a police car helping someone who had pulled off the road and sunk to the axles in the fresh mud and sand on the shoulder.

Further north, marked by the red circle, we saw a half-dozen police cars in the road and clustered around a large excavator parked on the shoulder. Since the roadwork was just completed on Friday, I guess the excavator was waiting for pickup.

When we drove by, we saw that a car had crashed into the back of the excavator. The car was so crushed that the large outrigger pads on the back of the machine had penetrated almost to the windshield.

The police had thrown a tarp over the car to cover the windshield and the driver's side window. That's almost always an indication that the crash was fatal and that the police are waiting for the medical crew to extract the body.

That tarp sent chills up my spine - not only because of the fatality, but because Mrs B had gone off the road into a ditch about 100 yards south of this location. The ditch there is almost eight feet deep. The fire department had to use a ladder to get down to her and help her climb out. The car didn't upset, and she wasn't hurt, thank God.

I took this photo a couple of hours later on the way to the grocery store. Notice that there are absolutely no skid marks. The driver never saw it coming.

The excavator didn't move an inch. a 2,500 lbs. car isn't much of a match for a 44,000 lbs. machine. It was obviously the driver's fault, but it seems a bit irresponsible to leave a machine like that parked next to a fairly well-travelled road - especially with no signs, cones or yellow barrels.