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erichw1504's avatar

Have you ever seen a bad car accident happen or pass by a recent one?

Asked by erichw1504 (26398points) March 25th, 2010

** It must be one that you were not involved in. **

Ever witness an actual car crash that was pretty bad or pass by one that recently happened?

Do you know how it happened? How many cars/trucks/motorcycles were involved? What was the weather like? Where did it happen? How close were you to becoming part of the accident? How bad was the damage? Anybody get hurt? Did you stop to help out or call 911?

How did you feel about it emotionally? Did it make you think twice about driving safely?

Anything else you care to share about the experience?

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32 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

I drove up next to an accident once, I didn’t see it happen, but immediately after.

A motorcycle was down, and a man’s legs were sticking out of the front wheel well of a car. It wasn’t bloody, it looked almost like a mechanic under the car. Except the legs were twisted, up in the air. The lack of blood, and not seeing the guy’s face I think saved me a lot of grief. I still think of that poor guy when I see motorcycles.

Another time a car directly behind me on the expressway swerved into the concrete wall, flipped over and turned into traffic. Where the following car hit it face-to-face.

That has made me a more careful driver. I always try to maintain an exit route and safe distance, so I can avoid a sudden wreck in front of me.

Vunessuh's avatar

Yeah, in LA I’ve seen some pretty horrible ones, including blood and brains on the pavement.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I’ve seen them and been in them…hit by a train.That was memorable ;)

erichw1504's avatar

I just saw one the other day. It was on the highway and I probably got there only a mere 5 minutes after it happened. Apparently a motorcycle hit a van and he must have flew off the bike and smashed his head on the pavement. People were helping him and they were holding a cloth to his head because it was bleeding pretty bad. My wife called 911 to make sure it was reported.

It certainly scared me a bit and I felt really bad for the guy. Don’t know if he had a helmet on though, but hopefully he’s doing OK.

erichw1504's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Hit by a train?! Please elaborate!

YoH's avatar

I’ve seen several but the one that impacted me, was when I was 10 yrs old. My family narrowly missed being hit by a passing speeding car. It was night and the road was damp. The car continued on and hit headon, a semi and another car. The whole thing covered about an ¼ of a mile. My father ran to help and ordered us kids to stay in the car,which I didn’t do. I wasn’t as much curious, as I believed I could help. Someone called the police but it was a country area so waiting for help took a while. I remember a little girl laying on the ground, and I simply wanted to hold her hand. Someone stopped me and escorted me back to our car. Later I learned a family of 4 had died instantly,and two others. There were 6 bodies strewn about and metal and glass everywhere. It had a great deal of impact on my driving when I learned to drive. The children laying on the ground,remains unforgettable.

Cruiser's avatar

Not the worst but the most memorable (besides my own) was watching a road rage incident go horribly bad for the rager as he hit the curb easily doing 60, lost control and the car flipped up into the air and landed upside down. Could not have been a good outcome for the driver.

erichw1504's avatar

@YoH Wow, thanks for sharing

Bluefreedom's avatar

During my more than 2 decades of being a military policeman, I’ve seen plenty of traffic accidents ranging from the minor to really nasty. One that always sticks out in my mind is one that I witnessed happening when I was in the Army stationed in Yongson, South Korea in Seoul.

On the night in question, me and one other military policemen were working on opposite sides of a street that split the north and south portions of our army post. We were working gates that border the street and allow pedestrian traffic to enter the installation. About 3 hours into the shift, we heard tires screeching and someone driving erratically down the street. We both went out onto the sidewalk and saw a drunk driver weaving erratically toward us. He passed us, glanced off a curb, and smashed head on into a vehicle about 50 yards distance from where we stood. As you might imagine, witnessing this first hand was pretty shocking.

My friend and I, while sprinting down to the accident, called our patrol supervisor to notify the Korean Police to assist. Upon arriving at the scene, the drunk driver had already exited his vehicle and was walking around in a daze. He had shattered windshield glass embedded in various parts of his face and was bleeding profusely. As first responders, we sat him down and treated him as best we could. The driver in the second vehicle was pinned under the steering wheel in his car. One of his arms was lacerated to the bone and we stopped the bleeding there and waited for emergency services to arrive.

Before I go on, you have to understand that the fire department and police system in Korea isn’t as advanced as here in America or at least it wasn’t when I was there in 1988–89. Additionally, this accident happened off of our post and to Korean nationals which meant our post fire department and medical personnel wouldn’t be showing up. Anyway, a police car showed up along with an ambulance and two tow trucks. Now, instead of seeking out the injured man trapped in his vehicle first, which would be smart, they hooked up one tow truck to each vehicle (they were hooked together after colliding) and they began to tug at them trying to separate them. This jostled the trapped man around causing him what must have been terrible pain. My partner and I raised hell and finally got them to stop doing that until we could extricate the man still trapped in his vehicle. They didn’t have the ‘jaws of life’ or extraction equipment so my partner and I, using all the strength we had, lifted up on the steering wheel while others pulled him out from underneath there.

When the injured parties had been taken to the hospital, there was no accident investigation, no clean up to speak of, and the cars where just towed away as fast as possible. My friend and I were just left shaking our heads in disbelief but glad that it wasn’t a lot worse than it could have been.

Just_Justine's avatar

We must have very bad roads here, as it is often a daily occurrence. The most recent one was a guy who had driven into the side of a bridge, on a highway obviously smashed into it head first. I could see him slumped over. It always reminds me, but I forget far too fast.

wonderingwhy's avatar

witness an actual car crash that was pretty bad or pass by one that recently happened?
several actually, most recently…

Do you know how it happened?
The girl turning west across unregulated traffic just didn’t see the guy coming east and pulled out in front of him.

How many cars/trucks/motorcycles were involved?
3 cars, the two primaries and a guy behind the east bound girl who was too close/didn’t hit his breaks in time.

What was the weather like?
cold, clear, and sunny.

Where did it happen?
4 way intersection of a 4 lane median road with east and west bound traffic and north and south residential access.

How close were you to becoming part of the accident?
Heading east maybe 6 car lengths behind the guy following the girl and one lane over.

How bad was the damage?
Severe for the primaries; both cars appeared to have significant frame damage.

Anybody get hurt?
the guy who pulled out was pretty bad and was in and out of consciousness. Obvious head trauma, and a badly broken arm; his wife was banged up but seemed ok. The girls in the other car were shaken badly and the driver was banged up. The guy in the rear was wobbly from shock but seemed unhurt.

Did you stop to help out or call 911?
Dialed 911, helped get the girl out of the car and calmed down, gave her my coat, and helped get the door open on the guy’s car.

How did you feel about it emotionally?
Didn’t really, just did what I could and was glad it wasn’t me.

Did it make you think twice about driving safely?
Not really.

Anything else you care to share about the experience?
Always look twice, don’t assume the other guy knows your there, if you have the opportunity – help, because if it was you, you’d want the same.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Cruiser What was the road rage driver trying to do (e.g. how did you know it was road rage)?

drClaw's avatar

I’ve seen a handful of accidents, but this is the one that sticks with me…

I was young (10 or so) and driving along with my parents on an icy road when the SUV in front of us slid and flipped on it’s roof. As the car slid along, spinning the whole way, we saw something fly through the back window, a little girl. My dad pulled over, grabbed a blanket from the back seat and ran to the girl while my mom consoled my little brother who was crying.

We stayed in the car watching as my father and wrapped the small girl in the blanket he had grabbed. Another bystander had stopped as well, he was helping get the girls parents from their overturned car and it seemed like everyone was being tended to when a passing semi truck started to jackknife toward the accident.

Luckily the driver regained control of his rig, but not before adding tension to an already intense situation.

After a while an ambulance arrived and took over care for the girl and my dad got back in the car, clearly shaken by what he had just witnessed. He informed us that the little girl was hurt, but surprisingly not horribly. No broken bones, no spinal damage, no head trauma, just a serious cut on her arm that was not life threatening. I remember it vividly because it was the first time I had ever seen my dad cry.

I don’t know what it is about these situations that cause me to sort of lose all emotion, but even as a child I wasn’t shaken by what I had witnessed. It was seeing my father cry that made me realize that this was a traumatic event and that day has never been forgotten.

lilikoi's avatar

The worst one I have ever seen happened on a road that wrapped around the edge of a very sheer cliff in Kenya. You have to understand that these people play “chicken” like I have never seen before – I’d lose every time, and I’m confident in my driving and reflex response.

There was an 18-wheeler truck pulling something like an old Matson container. The two were connected by heavy duty chain link. The traffic was backed up all the way up and down the hill when we arrived because the truck was suspended by the chain link and a bit o’ friction on its rear tires, completely hanging over the edge of the cliff. The container was the only thing still on the road. It was smashed, and diesel fumes were thick and wafting around it. Our driver person kept saying not to take a picture (I’m not sure why), but I couldn’t help myself. I’m glad I did (discretely), because it was pretty incredible.

The other one was when I was a kid and a car collided with a motorcyclist – cyclist went aerial, soared over both lanes of traffic and hit his head on my mom’s tire. Not sure if he made it…

Cruiser's avatar

@Dr_Dredd I was the other driver and saw it all unfold in my rear view mirror

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Cruiser Oops. Did he think you were going too slowly? People are definitely crazy.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@erichw1504 -My boyfriend and his two friends were coming from a Halloween party and the driver(myBF) went through the stop signal and the train hit the back of his car and we did a 360 and kept going.The whole back end of his car was pushed up to the back seat.No one got hurt.It was crazy.I have been in accidents since,but nothing comes close to thaty one for me.

neverawake's avatar

Yup. I was in the car with my dad and this huge truck went by and it was tilting all the way to the left side and eventually it fell over. The guy inside didn’t get hurt though.

Cruiser's avatar

@Dr_Dredd Yes he thought I should drive faster and apparently didn’t like my hand signaling either.

ubersiren's avatar

I was in stopped traffic for two hours once on I-70 in Maryland and there were guardrails on either side, so I couldn’t go anywhere. In that two hours, 4 MEDEVAC helicopters landed and took people away. I was maybe 30 yards away, but couldn’t see anything because it was around a slight bend. When traffic was finally allowed to go past, there was some sort of unrecognizable car, and a white van in the mess. The unrecognizable car looked like a ball of crumpled up foil. The white van was snapped in half and the roof was completely gone. All the seats were on the ground, which could’ve been done by the rescue team. And there was significant amount of blood on the road. It was very alarming. I don’t think I accelerated over 40 the rest of the way to my destination.

TexasDude's avatar


I saw a dead baby on the road where another car had ramped off the median and cleaved the top of the car off the baby was in. His mother was killed too. It still fucks me up to think about it today. I was the lucky one to be driving past before they had managed to cover anything up :-(

BoBo1946's avatar

Yes, my first year to coach and teach. Head on collison in front of our bus. Bad injuries, but everyone lived.

Also, came up after a car jumped concrete rails to the highway and plunged about 30 feet. 7 people in the car…all dead! Car caught fire when it hit the ground. Worst site I’ve ever seen in my life. Came up right after it happened. Bad deal!

phillis's avatar

Yes, as a paramedic I’ve seen tons of them. As an off duty paramedic I’ve stopped to render assistance until I could turn over the scene. As a civilian, I am always the one yelling at the vehicles in front of me, “GO ON, ASSHOLE! It’s none of your fucking business!!”

Atlanta is THE rubbernecking capitol of the U.S. These people couldn’t give a shit less if they inconvenience everybody else, or whether they should possibly give the victims a little damn dignity. The delays they create last for hours around here almost every day.

deni's avatar

one time in houston me and my friend got stuck in traffic for 2 or 3 hours. no one moved an inch. people were playing frisbee and had out lawn chairs. hours later when traffic resumed moving we saw that the reason was because the six or five or however many lane highway we were one was being narrowed down to one lane. when we finally funneled into that one lane, we soon passed by the cause—it was a motorcycle accident. there was a pile of human flesh and blood that was “covered” but not totally. the motorcycle was laying there all messed up, there was a boot over there, a helmet over there, it was fucking awful. i looked it up later and it turns out both people on the motorcycle died because the driver had been weaving in and out of lanes and clipped the back of a car, both of them went flying and got run over multiple times.

it was really bad. i was very sad. it upset me because i have several friends that ride street bikes and my dad just got a new motorcycle last year. and people don’t wear helmets? i’ll never get it. it was really upsetting.

meagan's avatar

I recently saw a small car jam itself under an 18wheeler. So scary. Luckily there was a police officer RIGHT THERE and no one was hurt.

Utah_Accident_Attorney's avatar

A couple years ago I’m on the freeway in the slow lane taking my sick son to his pediatrician and I see this car on my left suddenly swerve over just behind me and then swerve back toward the left and into the median. There was a terrible loud noise as the car rolled and then there was dust everywhere. I searched the news and learned that the guy driving the car lost his life in that accident. I sometimes muse that he was there, alive, and then seconds later, he suffered a life-ending injury. Life can be so fleeting.

JeffVader's avatar

Yeh, a couple of times. When I lived in Spain I saw a bad accident on the N340 between Fuengirola & Marbella. Some kid had lost control of his car & gone off the road where there was no barrier, hitting a tree. He cant have been wearing a seat belt because his head had torn through the laminated windscreen which had sliced his neck so badly he was decapitated. This being Spain the Police had kindly laid the body & the severed head by the side of the road for the ambulance to pick-up later.
The second was on the A14 near Newmarket where a car had gone through the barrier on a bridge going over the A14 & the car had landed upside-down on the dual-carriageway…. there was alot of blood.

Coloma's avatar

I have witnessed two really bad motorcycle wrecks. One with a guy that hit a dog and went down right in front of me by several hundred feet…thank god I was alert. Another the guy hit a deer and went down. Disemboweld the deer, it was amazing..a pile of deer intestines splatterd all over the road. Both guys had broken legs. The one that hit the dog, I was the only one on the road behind him, he landed on the shoulder so thankfully I did not have to try to stop traffic or make a move to drag him out of the middle of the highway.

I had a blanket in my trunk and covered up the guy and talked to him, he was in a panic/shock and was trying to move and pull his helmet off, really scary as he said he couldn’t breathe but I was too afraid to try to take his helmet off.

My area is a prime weekend biker and bicyclist touring area…everyone rides these mountain roads. Weekend warriors..I always pull over, the suicide bikes are the worst, crazy ass moves at high speed on blind curves and hundreds of deer….really foolish.

phil196662's avatar

Distracted by his cell phone and going seventy in the right lane he plows right into a stopped flat bed tow truck, I waited and saw the guy walk away surprisingly without a scratch!

mrentropy's avatar

I was driving in NJ and saw a car crossing a median. He pulled out right in front of an 18 wheeler.

My wife and I were driving from NJ back to TX. We saw an SUV, a light one like a Montero or Rodeo. It had those dumb, tiny tires on it. It was also loaded with stuff. I mean, fully packed with things. Like they were moving. My wife didn’t feel comfortable driving next to it, so she started to speed up to pass it (they were on our left). My wife was looking in the rear view mirror and she just turned white and said, “Oh my God!” I looked at her and I saw one of those tiny tires bouncing past us. The SUV swerved a couple of times and then the driver lost all control and it started flipping down the highway, throwing stuff all over the highway and both people in it were ejected from the vehicle.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Guy and gal on the bike in front of me came up on some deer crossing the road. The biker tried to kick a deer away from his new Harley. He and his lady both lived, but his leg is now 4” shorter than the other one and his lady had to have her face rebuilt, it was pretty much all scraped off on the blacktop. The bike was a complete loss.

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