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A little over a week ago I was heading up to Manchester after work.  In hindsight, I should have taken the new route 72 out to I-84, but it’s still sufficiently new that sometimes I forget that it’s there.  Instead I headed south down route 229 to get to I-84.  I got far enough to be committed, and the traffic just stopped.  I figured it was probably typical rush hour, but as I got further I could see the flashing red and blue lights.  There had been an accident just short of the traffic light.  Here are the things I noticed in the order in which I noticed them (leaving out all the police cars and flashy lights):

1.             A white panel van, with its nose comprehensively smashed in;

2.             Something I’ll hold for the end – it’s the punch line;

3.             A four door sedan being winched up onto a flatbed, with its trunk comprehensively smashed in and its nose slightly crunched;

4.             A four door compact with its rear bumper slightly crunched;

2. (reprise)             A queen or king sized mattress, draped across the nose and covering the windshield of the panel van.  The box spring was still on the roof.

Clearly the panel van did not stop *nearly* in time, and smashed into the back of the sedan hard enough to push it forcefully into the compact car in front.  I can even suppose that this all happened when the light turned red.  But here’s the question:

Did the poorly tied on mattress come loose BECAUSE of the impact and slide down the windshield, or did the poorly tied on mattress come loose upon braking and CAUSE the impact?  We’ll never know.

But I’d love to read the police report.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 13th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
Ooooo... I bet the owner of the compact and the owner of the sedan are none to pleased with the owner of the panel van.
Apr. 13th, 2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
Been there. The driver of the Ford Probe was very happy that as the driver of the little hatchback in front of him, I could tell the police that I had watched the whole thing, and he had been stopped *before* he hit me. It was all the SUV's fault, in spite of her attempt to claim that it was mine because I had stopped too quickly.

Unless of course the mattress had come lose first, though in that case it would probably be on the ground rather than draped over the van.
Apr. 13th, 2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
At first glance, I'll go with the accident causing the untying; depends on how far the carrying car had already traveled successfully with it. But I do feel for the poor sod in the front car; my ribs *still* ache from being at the front of a similar 4-car accident 22 years ago. (And I still occasionally think uncharitable thoughts about the blond bimbo driving the SUV that caused the whole thing.)

How come the smallest cars are always in front? Presumably because smaller cars don't have the kinetic energy to push big cars forward to make these chains? It always ends up looking like those cartoons of a little fish being followed by a bigger fish with an open mouth, with ever bigger fishes behind.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )