Saw Something REALLY Scary -- Lesson Learned

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#1
Coming home tonight I noticed traffic suddenly slow about 1/10th of a mile from my house, on a fairly wide, but not too busy, road. Where people are known to go way too fast. Got to the slow down point in time to realize that a terrible accident had just occurred -- probably would've seen it had I been looking far ahead. Pulled over to see if I could help and witnessed the immediate results of a head on.

Slow motion scene that I'll never forget (I know Yarbo and other cops/firemen here probably see this all the time. But I don't). Young lady in Chevy sedan. I swear not two feet of hood/front wheels/engine/etc. left in front of her. Total car length probably not 5 feet. Front end accordioned to near nothing. Expedition with NO front end left. Tried to figure out, from place of cars, skid marks (none), anything, what happened. Too much destruction, too bizarre a final scene, to be able to even BEGIN to figure out what happened. Air bags everywhere. Hysterically crying young lady behind door forcably opened by several young men. Off duty fireman keeps them from moving her. Can't hear anything, even though I see the lady's crying -- and so is someone else. Vacant-eyed woman sitting on a rail. Minor cut on leg. Three year old with broken face, baseball-sized eye bleeding freely, crying in her lap. She looks at me with ZERO comprehension. More men prying open rear doors of Expedition. I go to help. Men are passing out baby seats. With crying children. CRYING, HEALTHY, SHOOK UP, HEALTHY, NOT-DEAD CHILDREN WHO ARE ONLY NOT SPREAD ALL OVER THAT HIGHWAY RIGHT NOW BECAUSE SOMEONE (NOT THEIR MOM, IT ENDS UP) STRAPPED THEM ALL CAREFULLY AND CORRECTLY INTO THEIR HARNESSES AND CHILD SEATS.

I am still choked up with relief. Just re-living the emotion of the fear, looking into that car, that I'd see children dead, dismembered, and spread all over the inside of that car. Instead, the sight of the children not being in pieces. Scared, in shock, shook up, yes. But being handed out safely. Still in their car seats. Seems like there were 20. I heard later it was only four. Sick and heartbroken over the one who was seriously injured in the face and eye. Pray he is okay. But thank God that that woman strapped those children in.

I will never, ever, let me kids out of their belts for a moment. And I'm digging out my 5-year old's kid-seat just in case he wasn't quite yet ready to move on.

Geez -- you really can't believe what I just saw. Let's all learn from it, okay? :(
 

firecracker22

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#2
That's terrible. Thank God the injuries were so minor. An accident like that is what paid for my college education--my brother and I were 6 and 8, respectively, when someone collided with us head-on on the highway. We would all be dead if we weren't wearing seatbelts, and my brother had not been sitting in the middle instead of on the left side due to the groceries we put there.

I hope everyone keeps their children strapped in at all times. It's your choice if you take a chance with your own life but you carry the burden of the ones who depend on you. I took my roommate's 3-year-old to the doctor for her once when I had my CJ-5--even though we had her in her car seat, I was still white-knuckled with nervousness from having a kid in the car with me. It's something I never thought about until I had this little girl sitting next to me knowing that I alone was responsible if anything should happen. I remember my parents would pull off the road and administer the necessary spankings if our seatbelts were ever removed. Please be careful with all kids.
 

Old CR goat

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#3
I have seen so many people driving with children , not only without seats, but with the kids standing in the passanger's seat. It scares me, sickens me , and angers me. I can't understand how anyone, parent or otherwise would allow such, but it happens. Then people complain when laws are passed and enforced that require them to do what they should do anyway.
I could rant more, I won't.
Thank God that they were OK,
And Thank You, LT, for posting this
 

Senior KX Rider

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#4
Thanx for sharing that LT. You see it every day, people driving down the road with little ones jumping around inside the car. When are people going to wake up and stop the senseless loss of life. It only takes a few seconds to strap them in and could save a life. :think
 

oldguy

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#5
My biggest fear whenever I respond to an accident is children getting hurt or killed. I have seen hundreds of fatalities but the ones that haunt are the kids. Overall I am not a big numbers ticket writer and often give out far more warnings than tickets but the one area I won't forgive is strapping kids in propperly. Most people will take a speeding ticket but every parent I have ticketed for not strapping in their kids has made a comment to the effect "Well kids now we can't do (fill in the blank) because of this ticket". I usually reply I only want to teach you that if strap them in properly they may just be around to do that for years to come.
LT glad the kids came out alive and use this as an example to educate anyone you see not strapping them in
 
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#6
I have nightmares of my wife/kids being involved in the scene that LT describes. Just reading about this gives me the shakes. A key point in his narrative is that the safe kids were CORRECTLY strapped into their car seats. If you don't do it the right way, especially in cars with shoulder belts, the potential for injury in a crash is significantly increased. Take the time to read instructions and do it right.

I too see far too many cars on the road with kids that should be in safety seats but are not. Don't the police ticket for this? If not, they should.
 

XRpredator

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#7
Real wake-up call, LT. Nothing chaps my hide more than seeing a bunch of little orangatangs (I know it's misspelled--sounds better that way) standing up in the back of mom's Suburban. She'd probably tell a person that "they don't like being in car seats." YOU ARE THE FREAKING PARENT!(or at least the adult, as in fc22's case) Who runs the show, huh? Crimonitley! Get a little intestinal fortitude and tell little Bobby or Susie NO!!!!! (gets back to the un-pc discipline thread from a few months ago) Maybe those parents that don't buckle kids in should have to watch the videos from the scenes like LT ran into, only they should have to see both sides. Strap those honyocks in. Better them alive and whining than the alternative.

I've been so vigilant about it over the years that now my 6-year old boy and 3-year old girl get on MY case if I don't buckle up!:cool: I just wish my boy wasn't so big. They don't make seats for four and a half foot tall, eighty pound six-year olds! But he gets strapped in nonetheless!
 
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#8
Glad to here everyone was ok for the most part.
Im all for starpping every one in right. I also take issue with parents doing the look and reach back. I cant tell you how many times I have been behind a parent, usally mom, that spends more time looking in a rear view mirror (aimed at kids not road) than looking in front of them. And then they reach around and are grabbing at the kid while driving. Some of the parents that have graduated from the minivan to the SUV in the last 5 years or so are the worst because they have a sense of invonarability becuase of the oversized vehicle they are driving. The look and grab at the kids in the back seat is the A # 1 way I can think of to do a head on into opposing traffic or rear end someone.
What the heck are you parents grabbing at?
I really want to know what your turning around while driving and fussing with that kid for, over and over and over while going down the road?
What is so important that you cant wait to stop to try to be more safe?
Kids crying or being unrulley is not the cause of distraction, its the effect of irresponsable parenting.
I dont know man, I dont have any kids and really dont want any, but if I had kids I would be responsible.
Thanks for the wake up call LT.
 
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#9
Yup. Same here. See those mini-vans or SUVs (TTRGuy calls them soccer Moms with distaste) with the little critters standing up and climbing around all the time. Some of them are even pressed up against the back window looking at the traffic behind them.
When I see this, I usually speed up to pass the culprits and give them a dirty look and the ol' headshake. Hey everyone knows of my fondness for chitlans, but I certainly don't want to see them smeared all over the highway because of some careless/irresponsible/lazy parent!!
I wonder if the punishment (ticket) for parents who haven't strapped their kids in is more severe than the punishment for an adult who hasn't put their belt on? I agree with XRP about parents having to watch the videos if they are caught driving with children loose in their vehicle.
 

SirThumper

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#10
Like Oldguy, I have been exposed to countless fatalities, all of which, I wish I had never seen. My dad used to run a tow truck in and around the Houston area and I was with him a lot. Somehow you always know when you are rolling on a scene like that. I can picture every one of them like it was yesterday and I can't forget them. I had a problem with it so bad that when I got my drivers license I did not even want to drive. My mom had to beg me to go to the store to get her this or that.

One thing for sure, it made me a better driver.

When me and the kids get in a car, the seatbelt thing is automatic. yes there is a controversy over the seat belts and trust me I have seen the bad as well as the good points to wearing them.

No matter how tough you are, how big your ego is, or what kind of attitude you have with laws and people telling you what to do, "buckle up"

I'll also agree with Oldguy that the worst ones involved kids. I have never felt so bad for a guy in my whole life than I did for a young guy who after drinking went to pick his little sister up and take her home. He rolled his truck and she was lost. I remeber him sitting on a curb just sobbing and begging god to take him instead.


Thanks Longtime, we all let our guard down sometimes.
 

MX265

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#11
Here are some my the pictures from my encounter with a 30' RV while I was driving my Corolla this past April. I was driving along doing about 50 in the right lane when this half asleep guy driving an RV turned left across all three lanes right in front of me. I slammed on my brakes, slid 40' and nailed the front of his RV so hard I knocked it over a curb. I was wearing a seatbelt and you can see the airbags deployed. This accident is what led to my concussion earlier this year, that I am still getting over. But either way, If I did not have a seatbelt on, I would have taken a windsheild dive for sure. If I had kids in the car and the werent in their seat, you can only imagine. Yikes! But here are the pictures of what a 30' RV can do to a Corolla. I would show pictures ofthe back of my head, but I would'nt want to do that to ya'll. It was messy. :eek:

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=1604850&a=13666506

Andy
 
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#12
MX 265 -- bad wreck. Worse than any I've ever had. But just for scale for everybody -- not one TENTH what those kids just lived through. Night and day. I swear -- if any of us saw these vehicles in a salvage yard somewhere, the odds would be 100 to 1 that anyone lived through the wreck -- 10,000 to one that they all did. Those kids seats, seat belts and airbags worked that good.
 

MX265

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#13
That sounds pretty bad. I am surprised and grateful that everyone made it out alive from the wreck your speaking of. If there were any kids and they were'nt strapped in in my car, you bet there would have been problems. I can only imagine what it would have been like in the accident you saw. Thank god they're making cars safer now. I also think the message is being sent loud and clear now that no matter how good of a driver you are, others are'nt. Be preprared and be ready.
 

zio

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#14
Originally posted by EM rider
A key point in his narrative is that the safe kids were CORRECTLY strapped into their car seats. If you don't do it the right way, especially in cars with shoulder belts, the potential for injury in a crash is significantly increased. Take the time to read instructions and do it right.
Thankfully my wife is a FREAK when it comes to this. Seriously- if we switch the car seats into another car (friend's for example), and there isn't a retaining clip for a shoulder-type seatbelt, the kids don't go. Period. We've had more than one setback because of her insistance on this. Now, we just stock up on clips every once in a while at Baby's R Us.

Parents- take the time to learn how to use your carseat. This isn't a new bike you're putting together....