Sunday, March 8, 2009

Another Rant about "Impatient Drivers"

Last year in May I posted a rant about impatient drivers (Look here for the post.) and this morning, I'm going to do it again. Yesterday morning, I read about a bad accident on highway 166 down near San Luis Obispo/Santa Maria involving two big rigs (according to the original article) that happened Friday evening. There weren't many details yesterday, but this morning the San Luis Obispo newspaper has another article on their web site about the accident which gives a lot more details. Another article on the KSBY Channel 6 web site gives even more. The accident was caused by an impatient driver trying to pass a couple of trucks.

hiway166accidentAccording to the articles, a man from Santa Maria (who's identity hasn't been disclosed) in a F-150 pickup crossed a double yellow line and attempted to pass two big rigs. When he pulled out into the opposing (westbound) lane, he sideswiped a Honda being driven by a woman from Bakersfield, then sideswiped another pickup truck (A Chevy) driven by a man from Bakersfield. He then hit another big rig head on. That rig went on into the eastbound lane and crashed into another big rig, causing it to roll over. Then both rigs caught on fire. The pickup then hit another eastbound big rig, then sideswiped another westbound car (A Saturn) driven by another woman from Bakersfield.

The driver of the rig that was hit head on died, either in the initial crash or in the fire. That driver could not be identified yet. The driver of the rig that rolled over luckily only suffered minor injuries. The woman in the Honda also suffered minor injuries and the man in the other pickup, the man in the 3rd big rig and the woman in the Saturn were truly lucky, they weren't injured at all. The impatient man is in the hospital with "major" injuries. The accident scene covered over 2,000 feet of the highway and the wreckage, cleanup and investigation had the highway closed for nearly a full day.

hiway166accident-F150One idiot who thought he was going to get where he was going just a little sooner by passing a couple trucks on a curve with double yellow lines didn't get where he was going that night. He got a trip to the hospital and probably will have a long convalescence from his injuries. He killed a man. He injured two other people. He wrecked 7 vehicles, including his own. (I think the photo to the left is the F150, or what's left of it.) His impatience and stupidity closed a highway for a day, causing other drivers to take long detours in order to get from one side of the coastal range to the other.

Amazingly, or maybe it's not that amazing, the first comment below the article in the San Luis Obispo paper blames the trucks for the accidents.

"croberts wrote on 03/07/2009 08:31:05 PM:

To repeat: As a regular 'user' of 166 I can say without hesitation that 166 is unsafe due to overuse by large truck/trailer combos. This should NOT be allowed as a 'truck-route', used by commercial and semi-tractor trailer rigs looking for the sort-cut to I-5/99. The combination of hills, curves, one-lane each way, bad passing areas, motor-homes, pickups towing trailers, U-Hauls, and autos driven by the unskilled and impatient result in deadly accidents. Add to the mix an obvious lack of law enforcement. (Never seen a Chippy)."

As I look at a Google map showing the highway this accident happened on, I see that Highway 166 isn't a "shortcut". I see that it is the most direct route between Santa Maria and Bakersfield. Perhaps this guy who wrote this comment is one of those guys who do stupid things to get around trucks? Blame it all on the trucks... Sheesh!

View Larger Map

San Luis Obispo Tribune
KSBY Channel 6 (Also has a video and more photos)
Original article about the crash; San Luis Obispo Tribune


Ajlouny said...

The photos of the accident alone speaks louder than your blog. It's incredible carnage and it was probably an unthinking selfish act that caused it. There are so many people that take chances like that thinking that something horrible can't possibly happen to them. Unfortunately the odd are against them and they also have victims that are effected by their bad decisions.

Anakerie said...

I agree... The photos of the wreckage I've seen (Not just the ones I posted here) make me ill. Especially knowing now that lives were lost and other people were injured. All caused by an impatient man who had to get just ahead to get where he was going a couple minutes faster. Unfortunately that impatient man won't be getting anywhere. Nor will the other man, Mr. Zamora.

When I drove trucks, I saw way too many careless and impatient drivers doing stupid things to get around my rig. People are in too much of a hurry and they don't choose wisely when they elect to drive recklessly.

Anonymous said...

Everybody please keep Ricardo's family in your thoughts and prayers. Ricardo was a coworker of mine. He had a 2year child and a baby on the way. Two children who will never know their daddy. His life was taken from us way to fast over a careless and senseless IDIOT!!!!!! How can anybody be so selfish and thoughtless? Ricardo was a great person who will be dearly missed. Rest in peace my friend.