Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's always something!

A few years ago a seat belt warning light came on in Hans' car and even though it would cost a chunk of change to fix, Hans had it taken care of anyway.

Actually the mechanic told Hans that he was fixing it whether Hans liked it or not.

Monday night that seat belt repair was put to the test when our car and 270 pounds of force (Hans) came up against an airborn car traveling at approximately 60 MPH. I'm relieved to report that the seat belt and Hans survived, as did the handful of other people in vehicles who were hit by the car that was speeding down the wrong side of the road while being chased by at least four police cruisers.

However, our vehicle and the passenger of the speeding car did not.

All Hans remembers is driving through a semi residential neighborhood on his way home from work when out of nowhere he saw a flash of red and a fraction of a second later he was sitting stock still, air bags deployed, looking down at his legs and thinking, "I guess I'm alive." When he couldn't open his driver's side door he crawled out the passenger side. The flash of red he'd seen was a car and its remains were now resting on the front of our car where it eventually came to rest. Lying in the street a few feet behind Hans' vehicle was a man covered in blood and apparently the driver of the red car. We later found out (via the newspaper) that the passenger was dead and pinned between the red vehicle and Hans'.

This is what we've been able to piece together:

The passenger in the red car was apparently wanted by the police. They saw him sitting in the passenger side of the red car and gave chase.

Four police cars and a fleeing suspect speeding through rush hour traffic in a 35 MPH zone? Let's face it there was only going to be one resolution to this, the only question being, how many cars and/or pedestrians would become victims.

The red car was traveling in the wrong direction in Hans' passing lane when he hit a pick up truck directly in front of Hans (Hans never even saw this it happened so fast). This spun the red car sideways and partially ejected the passenger who then slammed into an SUV. The car continued to spin and was airborn when it landed smack in front of Hans car where Hans T-Boned it and apparently crushed the passenger. A car behind Hans was able to jump the curb and keep from rear ending him. Luckily no one was on the sidewalk. Just down the street however a little girl had been riding her scooter on the sidewalk and her father who was watching her said it sounded like a damn bomb had exploded.

The police were driving so fast they went right past the wreck and had to turn around.

This happened around 5:20 PM, I got to the hospital around 6 PM, and I was allowed to sit with Hans in his little emergency room cubicle. These cubicles consist of curtained partitions thus allowing for absolutely no privacy. I am a very queasy person and for the next few hours I was entertained by the sound of gallons of phlegm being sucked out of a poor mans lungs in the cubicle about a foot away from me. On the other side of us a man started demanding drugs before they even finished wheeling him in, during the insertion of his catheter, and before and after he puked. Hans got to leave for X-Rays and then later a CAT scan while I stayed behind and tried desperately not to throw up too.

I'm not being cruel, I just know I could never work in a hospital.

Except for the nasty bruising that was already showing up from his seat belt, Hans was deemed healthy enough to go home and so we left the hospital sometime after 10 PM. Echoing down the halls behind us as we departed I could hear the escalated cries of our neighbor as he called out, "Dear God would you just give me my drugs!"

Hans took yesterday off and needless to say he's moving around pretty carefully. His left elbow and right knee are very sore and his bruises have expanded and are now a lovely shade of magenta. He's also started in on the fun task of dealing with insurance companies etc... At one point one of the insurance people asked Hans if the offending vehicle had insurance or not and Hans told her he was really sorry but they hadn't exchanged niceties and she'd have to ask the police that question.

Which reminds me. While Hans was getting X-Rayed a woman came in and told me Hans had a $200.00 deductible and how would he like to handle it. I started to say I wasn't sure and then all of a sudden something came over me. I told her Hans was damned lucky to be alive, we no longer have a car, this accident should never have happened, and while I know they deserve payment, as far as I was concerned we weren't giving them a penny, someone else could just cough it up. I then told her my ears were on fire I was so mad. She really was a sweet person though and asked if we were part of that awful accident. She then asked me if I had a police report number yet (we didn't) and she said to make sure we got one from the police before we left. We did.

So today I took Hans to work and we drove past the accident site. It's just feet from the intersection where Hans was going to turn to come home and I can't believe those cars were able to build up such high speeds. They had to have flown through the intersection and we wonder if they actually had a green light!

The blue car is (was) ours and the body of the driver was a few feet behind it. As far as I know he's still alive.

I'm not sure where the red car's engine ended up, and supposedly the body of the suspect is between the cars.

There have already been a lot of questions raised about the necessity for this chase.

While we were at the hospital we were led to believe that it was the result of an armed robbery in progress. And boy oh boy, if the driver lives he's in a lot of trouble including homicide, we were told. We then heard that the police happened to drive by the red car and recognized the passenger as a wanted suspect. In that case was a high speed chase really necessary? They couldn't have radioed that the suspect was spotted at such and such street and was northbound? If four policemen were so close by (and there was at least one unmarked car in the chase), they couldn't have taken turns and drove a few cars behind (this was a very bright red car) until they were in a safer, less congested area? And I have a feeling they would have found him again at some point anyway as he continued living here during his purse snatching, ripping off pawn shops, life. And so far no one seems to know where and when this robbery occurred.

Other's have said that we have to expect some collateral damage when the law tries to keep us safe from criminals.

That's well and good until you or your family become the collateral damage.


  1. When I read the title to this blog I thought it was just going to be another thing with the boat... but oh no! So glad Hans is alright!

  2. Wow, what a story! Glad Hans ( and you) made it OK. A few years ago my friend was killed as a result of a high speed chase down the streets of B-more. A cop car ran into his car. Mark, my friend, was killed instantly. There was outrage in the city because evidently the cop had his lights on but not the siren. ugh, the whole thing makes me sick.

  3. Verena, it's always something around here whether we're on land or the water!

    Travis and Maggie, What a horrible thing to have happen. I do have all the respect in the world for policemen but I'm very glad my son did not get into the academy. These kinds of accidents are tragic and I can't help but feel that a lot of them weren't necessary.

  4. Good DOG Almighty! I'm glad your husband survived the ordeal and is doing okay.

  5. Leila, I'm just glad all the 'victims' survived. This was truly a very nasty wreck.

  6. Wow, so glad to hear that Hans is okay! While I also respect police officers, the amount of dangerous car chases over things that aren't as important as a life .. just too often! So pointless, and as Travis n Maggie stated .. lives are taken.

    Isn't it ironic how often the driver that causes these kinds of accidents often survive? I'm not saying the driver should die, but why is it that the innocent often perish?

    Again, so glad Hans is okay!

  7. Wow, so glad that Hans is okay! It's my opinion that these police officers get way too excited about these police chases! I can't think of where these chases are more important than a life! I wish these kinds of accidents would cause more awareness, and change!

  8. Hans, you are one lucky dude to still be on this side of the grass. Good thing you're still in "hockey" shape. Best of luck for a full & speedy recovery. And, thank God for a working seat belt!

  9. Thanks everyone, I realize there are times when police chases are necessary but the more I find out about this one the less I feel that it was needed.

  10. Wow - what a story! We are glad that Hans is ok. My hoomas sometimes watch those police TV shows wondering how they can get away with it. Most of the times they put other drivers and pedestrians into danger do follow some small town criminal... It just doesn't seem to right and of course they don't show accidents in those shows either. We have never seen the police doing that in Australia or Germany.
    Cheers Teal'c from Sydney

  11. Glad Hans is alright! Some peeps do very stupid things. Shakin my head.

    Waggin at ya,

  12. I was scrolling down to see what the last post was that I had read and saw those pictures and froze!! Then a quickly went back up and read the title. I was sure this was going to have been something y'all witnessed, but not something in which one of you was involved!! I am truly sorry for everyone involved and SO SO SO happy that y'al are ok. Keep us posted!