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Old 06-08-2010, 10:35 PM   #1
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I-8 Rollover

Today I watched a Toyota 4-Runner (2000ish) dodge right, skid sideways left, hit the sand/dirt between the highway, and roll about 1/4 mile in front of me on I-8 east. No other vehicles were involved. As I was pulling to a stop, the woman that had been driving alone was climbing out through what had just been her windshield. Not a scratch. Then the car (laying on the passenger side) caught on fire. Within a couple of minutes many cars had stopped and someone popped out with a fire extinguisher and put it out before it got out of controll.

A couple of noteworthy observations:

1. Wow! It happened fast with no warning. I was too far back to see if she blew a tire or what (didn't think it was appropriate to ask), but wow it went bad fast.

2. Going off the road sideways = bad. Would have been much better if she could have kept it straght and accepted going off the right (again no idea if she overcontrolled, just food for thought).

3. I carry a fire extinguisher in my Jeep. Don't have one in the family car. That's going to change. Fire started small and was growing quickly. "First responders" were regular people. Had that guy not had one, by the time the first cop made it, his fire extinguisher would likely not have been enough.

4. Seatbelt. She didn't have a scratch.

5. Finally, she got out of the car with it still running. She was pretty shaken, but if she would have shut it off, the fire may not have started. Not criticizing, just something that likely needs to be thought of before the tumble or you never will after.

Sorry, one more - Glad she was alone. I was the first one there wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Trying to get someone out of a burning car with lots of broken glass and mangled metal would have been less than desirable.
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:49 PM   #2
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Re: I-8 Rollover

Wow, she sounds very lucky. And, I'm very happy that you didn't have to witness anything worse. Entrapment + fire = really awful day for everyone.
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:16 PM   #3
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Re: I-8 Rollover

Amen.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:10 AM   #4
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Re: I-8 Rollover

Carry TWO extinguishers. One in the passenger compartment and one in the cab, easy for the driver to get
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Old 06-13-2010, 07:13 AM   #5
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Re: I-8 Rollover

Many years ago my wife, daughter (then a small child) and I were driving from the midwest to Washington, D.C. We were on I-64 headed east, on a clear summer day with very little traffic. My wife was holding right at the speed limit; I was riding shotgun. About 10 car lengths ahead was a big sedan (GM product I think) towing an Airstream. They, too, were holding the speed limit. Suddenly a sedan sped past us in the left lane - must have been doing about 90. Inexplicably, the guy driving it suddenly cut in between us and the Airstream. I saw his brake lights go on just as he hit the trailer. I have NEVER seen anything like this, and hope I never do again. The force of the collision caused the Airstream and its sedan to jack-knife and become airborne at 70 MPH, across the left lane and into the wide median. The propane tank came off the trailer and flew through the air, spewing a vapor trail. The car landed on its top. Its windows were open and people literally flew out the windows. I saw one woman actually hit the ground face down and bounce! We were able to slow down and get by the accident while stopping. We saw two cars and a truck stop so we drove to the next exit (not far) and called in the accident, giving details to the Highway Patrol. Now the good news - NOBODY was killed; they all recovered. They did not have insurance to cover the trailer and the guy who hit them lied, saying that they slammed on their brakes while he was following them at a safe speed. Our testimony convicted him and required that his insurance pay for their medical and property expenses. Morals? First, luck and God's hand often intervene, but those folks should have been wearing their seat-belts. Second, no matter how safe and sane you are, you can't always protect yourself from the crazy, the drunk, the over-tired, etc. Third, get involved, don't just drive on by, assuming others will help. Fourth, drive something big and solidly built (like a Sporty)!
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