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Fatal accident on my way home.

 
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Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/29/2011 12:21:55 AM   
jeffk3510


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Gentlemen-

Please count your blessings and never over use "I Love You"

http://www.andoveramerican.com/newsnow/x556411519/Two-vehicle-accident-claims-life-of-Oklahoma-woman

I was on my way home to see my family in McPherson Friday night (they still live in McPherson, we haven't sold our house), and I drove up on this accident. I was about the 2-3 car to arrive. We tried and tried to pry the son out of the mini van while he was screaming and not making any sense, but we failed. The force of the impact had pinned all involved into their respective cars and couldn't move at all. We couldn't even open the back hatch on the mini van. We talked to the dad until paramedics arrived, so he wouldn't go into shock. Same with the kid in the truck (he told us that he felt like he had broken both of his hips but couldnt tell because the dash pinned him against the seat. The mom in the van had flown clear into the dash in the front and was killed instantly while she laid across her husbands lap, and he kept patiently calling her name, but she never responded. The look on his face was as his life was just sucked right out of him. Dead on impact. I will never ever forget the smell, sight, and sounds. I didn't know it was possible for the entire front of a car to be COMPLETELY gone....I hope no one here ever ever has witness or as witnessed this. You all have many things to be grateful for, don't take anything for granted. I know I sure don't anymore. I have never met anyone in person here, and probably never will, but I consider you all my friends, and do love each and everyone of you.

< Message edited by jeffk3510 -- 5/29/2011 12:23:29 AM >


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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/29/2011 2:26:58 AM   
Mynok


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I drove by an accident not too long ago that has scarred me forever. It was a flatbed truck and the only thing left of the cab was the two doors. Had no clue what happened but I was shaken and confessed to my wife when I got home that I was sure someone died in that wreck. Sure enough, the driver was killed when his load of rebar went right through the cab.

Life is short people. God provides hope if we but trust in Him.


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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/29/2011 2:32:34 AM   
Cribtop


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Also, please don't be in a hurry to beat the light or think you have "enough space" at the stop sign. You are gambling your life and the lives of others in the hope of gaining a few seconds on a trip you will still complete even if you have to wait 10 minutes at an intersection. Running a light or a stop sign is a "high risk, miniscule yield" situation.

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/29/2011 3:34:14 AM   
ItsAMadhouse


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I heard about that wreck on the radio.  Sad to hear.  Especially around a holiday when people are trying to get together with family and all.  It's supposed to be a good time, not a tragic time.

I see you're from McPherson.  I've been through there several times.  Who knows?  Maybe we've walked right past one another.

ItsAMadHouse

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Post #: 4
RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/29/2011 4:15:08 AM   
rjopel

 

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Jeff,

Thank you for stopping and trying to help. Not many people will do that.

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/29/2011 7:07:54 AM   
CaptDave

 

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I once saw a tow truck towing the back half of a station wagon, with the front half and the suitcases in the back half.  That was a sobering sight.

To add to the pleas, please remember that the train ALWAYS has the right of way, both legally and by the might-makes-right rule.  In Washington (state) lately we've been having far too many people getting hit by trains, and it was even worse when I was still in Illinois.

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/29/2011 7:45:38 AM   
Shark7


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Sorry you had to see that jeffk3510. I've been a paramedic for nearly 20 years, so I know what it's like. The only advice I will offer is that you may find you need to talk with someone about it, it does help.

Safety first, always.

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/29/2011 12:33:37 PM   
tocaff


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Travelling home from a college in Ohio to New Jersey on the Pennsylvania Tpke the car suddenly died.  Vehicles passed us and when a mechanic finally arrived he got called to a wreck scene.  When we finally got going again after the wire that came loose was reattached, before harnesses came into being, we passed the accident.  The pack of vehicles we were traveling in and some that passed us were involved in a horrible multi vehicle accident.  A truck cab was compressed by impact to an unbelievable small size.  Somebody was watching over me that day.

The race to save a few minutes is just not worth the risk and there are to many devices to distract us from our driving.


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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/29/2011 1:16:49 PM   
SargeantTex


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People get a false sense of security in their vehicle like nothing is gonna happen to them in there. My wife cant stand riding with me cause I drive like every every second a wreck will happen I scan every vehicle around me and my mirrors nonstop if we take a roadtrip of several hours I am absolutely exhausted by the time we get home cause I keep my brain scanning constantly. I have been a lumberyard driver for several yrs and when you are in a 14,000 lbs truck with 12,000 lbs of lumber strapped to it you are a rolling death machine. Ihad a girl pull out in front of me in one of those smart cars on a major highway I was doing 60 mph luckily I had enough room to go to the shoulder cause their was oncoming traffic I passed her on shoulder she hit brakes and pulled off I stopped and walked back to her vehicle and she was terribly shaken sure nuff she had been talking on cell phone!!

I let her know calmly that if I hadnt reacted fast enough she would be dead(even though I felt like my heart was gonna explode from the adrenaline)after she had calmed down she managed to get herself together and went on. luckily it was a flat road with shallow ditches cause here we have a lot of elevated highway or else I would have been dead!!!

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/29/2011 2:21:38 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: SargeantTex

People get a false sense of security in their vehicle like nothing is gonna happen to them in there. My wife cant stand riding with me cause I drive like every every second a wreck will happen I scan every vehicle around me and my mirrors nonstop


This is called defensive driving. I do exactly the same. And that's how everyone should drive. I know it's unfair but my first assumption is "everyone on the road except me sucks [false, I know] so I better pay extra attention..."

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/29/2011 2:45:52 PM   
Hemmingway

 

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Very very sad. I was an EMT for a while. The weirdest thing for me was getting ready to go to work knowing that the people I would be helping were going about their business right then and did not know that they were going to be terribly injured or die. It's helped me put my life in perspective and reminds me that life is short and unpredictable.

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/29/2011 7:46:23 PM   
Nemo121


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Short, unpredictable, violent and often ends messily and painfully. I've had to deal with decapitations ( thank god for skin tone when you have to play match the head to the body ), traumatic amputations and various other horrific situations ( guy getting crushed by a rubbish skip ( steel container ) which rolled over him crushing every bone from foot to face, someone in shock bringing a brain in in a bag asking if we could "put it back in" after the top of the head popped off in a bus crash etc.

I always stop for accidents but often there's nothing you can do. People drive fast, chatting on cellphones and often it isn't just them they kill but whoever is following behind or beside them. There's no rhyme nor reason to it. It just is.

All you can do is be as careful as possible in your own driving and try to avoid people who are obviously in too much of a hurry and are taking chances.

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/29/2011 11:52:05 PM   
jeffk3510


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It was a terrible situation...I am trying to track down the father's address and send him something... I have no idea what. A card, letter, flowers, just a hey, I was there, sorry for you loss, were keeping you in our prayers...I have no idea.

They sent him over to Wichita before I had a chance to stop by the hospital in Pratt when I arrived back home.

MadHouse- Yes I live in Mac/Pratt, we haven't sold our house in McPherson yet. I went to WSU my first semester before I transfered to Mac and finished there....Might have to meet up with you over a beer. Whats your story? You from around the area?

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/30/2011 3:17:47 AM   
ItsAMadhouse


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I'm originally from Illinois.  I joined the Air Force back in '06 and got stationed at McConnell where I work out on the flightline keeping the 50 year old jets flying.  Been here almost 4-1/2 years.  I've gotten settled down since getting here.  Wife, house, dogs, etc.  It doesn't get much better!

ItsAMadHouse

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/31/2011 1:24:14 AM   
rockmedic109

 

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Not only have I been a Paramedic for over 20 years, but I have also been involved in an accident that nobody {including me} knows how I survived.  These are never easy for those who do it all the time and have got to be worse for those who never witness it time and again at work.  I have had several co-workers that quit after such incidents and one who I believe rolled her truck on purpose to create an injury to keep her from coming back.  I've had several incidents where I was running on auto-pilot for a few days.  It does get better.  If I ever loose the feelings of empathy in the presence of such tragedy, it will be time to quit.  If you need to, most fire departments have a chaplain service that can help or maybe even a local ambulance company will have a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing team. 

I still say prayers before shift, after shift, after a critical call, and when getting into my truck.

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/31/2011 2:48:21 AM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rockmedic109

Not only have I been a Paramedic for over 20 years, but I have also been involved in an accident that nobody {including me} knows how I survived.  These are never easy for those who do it all the time and have got to be worse for those who never witness it time and again at work.  I have had several co-workers that quit after such incidents and one who I believe rolled her truck on purpose to create an injury to keep her from coming back.  I've had several incidents where I was running on auto-pilot for a few days.  It does get better.  If I ever loose the feelings of empathy in the presence of such tragedy, it will be time to quit.  If you need to, most fire departments have a chaplain service that can help or maybe even a local ambulance company will have a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing team. 

I still say prayers before shift, after shift, after a critical call, and when getting into my truck.


You know as well as I do that there are some things you never forget. For those that aren't in EMS, they may not know how to deal with it. I know I can focus on the task at hand, but it still hits me after.

Your advice is good, and I believe most FDs or emergency services would be willing to help bystanders work through a tragedy.

For those who aren't in emergency services, I'll say it again, it may be a good idea to find some support or counseling after experiencing such an event.

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/31/2011 7:08:04 AM   
rockmedic109

 

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Very true. I still drive be certain places and can recall in vivid detail an incident that occured there. I just drove past an area today, and I remembered vividly an event that happened back in the 70s {I was still in high school at the time}. And for someone not in EMS, it will probably {and hopfully} be the most tragic situation they ever witness.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7


quote:

ORIGINAL: rockmedic109

Not only have I been a Paramedic for over 20 years, but I have also been involved in an accident that nobody {including me} knows how I survived.  These are never easy for those who do it all the time and have got to be worse for those who never witness it time and again at work.  I have had several co-workers that quit after such incidents and one who I believe rolled her truck on purpose to create an injury to keep her from coming back.  I've had several incidents where I was running on auto-pilot for a few days.  It does get better.  If I ever loose the feelings of empathy in the presence of such tragedy, it will be time to quit.  If you need to, most fire departments have a chaplain service that can help or maybe even a local ambulance company will have a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing team. 

I still say prayers before shift, after shift, after a critical call, and when getting into my truck.


You know as well as I do that there are some things you never forget. For those that aren't in EMS, they may not know how to deal with it. I know I can focus on the task at hand, but it still hits me after.

Your advice is good, and I believe most FDs or emergency services would be willing to help bystanders work through a tragedy.

For those who aren't in emergency services, I'll say it again, it may be a good idea to find some support or counseling after experiencing such an event.


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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/31/2011 3:17:35 PM   
nashvillen


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From a retired fire chief with 8 years as a front line EMT, listen to what rockmedic and shark have to say. They know what they are talking about. Even 20+ years later I can still see the most terrible scenes I have been to. I can still smell the smells and see the damage done to other humans. But, since I had some brothers and sisters to talk to, and cry with, I am OK.

JeffK, please, find someone to talk to about this, even if it is just with the other responders from that wreck. Know that what you did in just comforting those on the scene until the responders arrive is a great thing. They knew that there was someone there that cared for them.


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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/31/2011 3:59:16 PM   
jeffk3510


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I really appreciate that.  I have family that has been there to talk to.  I have actually found the survivors on facebook, not sure if I should approach them...but it has helped to just talk to someone.  Even you guys.  Thanks again.  I plan on stopping anytime something like this happens, and hope people would do the same if it happened to me.  Honestly, I don't see how you can't stop if you're one of the first to arrive...something just kicks in..

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/31/2011 4:50:50 PM   
nashvillen


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Jeffk -- That is why you are one of the good guys.
Just remember, for anyone else that stops at a wreck or any other emergency scene, please do what the responding personnel say to do. Even if it is "get out of the way" as they know what they are doing and have done this many times. Please don't feel hurt by the abruptness of their response. They are even more stressed than you, even if they are not showing it. They know more about how critical the injured could be, and are thinking many steps ahead of what you may be thinking about.

If they ask you to do something, please do it as rapidly and as best as you can as this will help them. Even if it is something as simple as holding a sheet up to protect someone from the looky-loos while they do their work. It is helping and makes their job easier!

Thank you, Jeffk and to all who are Good Samaritans and take some time to care for their fellow man!


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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/31/2011 10:00:01 PM   
Nemo121


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Jeff,

I wouldn't worry about not knowing what to say. In my experience in breaking bad news to literally hundreds of families over the years they aren't interested in someone finding the perfect words. They're just interested in having an empathic, real human being who empathises for their loss and does their best to answer their questions honestly ( although there's no point being too honest --- things were quick, as painless as possible etc etc. No need to be too honest if it will simply cause more distress. ).

You obviously have empathy. That combined with sincerity is all you need. Don't bother with any fancy schmancy crap. Just be a real, sincere human being who may not find the perfect words but whose heart is in the right place, real people respond to that.

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/31/2011 10:17:33 PM   
Nikademus


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awful tale.

unfortunately Seattle is home of many large SUV type vehicles and i see it everyday....that sense of invulnerability on the road. Worse, technology makes it too tempting for many people to not text or even surf while driving...never mind the classic phone conversation. The other day i swear i saw a person driving with what looked like an iPad propped on his/or her steering wheel at 60mph on the highway. I very quickly put distance between myself and this moron.

That said....i've been guilty on occasion of texting while driving. I chastise myself and this story will serve as further incentive to just Drive....the text can wait.


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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 5/31/2011 10:23:21 PM   
jeffk3510


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Nemo- Thanks for advice, I appreciate it. I will probably contact them, I just haven't figured out how yet.

Nik-  I too am guilty of texting while driving and I do use the phone a lot on the road.  Not anymore...promise.

< Message edited by jeffk3510 -- 5/31/2011 10:25:26 PM >


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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 6/1/2011 1:39:17 AM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nemo121

Jeff,

I wouldn't worry about not knowing what to say. In my experience in breaking bad news to literally hundreds of families over the years they aren't interested in someone finding the perfect words. They're just interested in having an empathic, real human being who empathises for their loss and does their best to answer their questions honestly ( although there's no point being too honest --- things were quick, as painless as possible etc etc. No need to be too honest if it will simply cause more distress. ).

You obviously have empathy. That combined with sincerity is all you need. Don't bother with any fancy schmancy crap. Just be a real, sincere human being who may not find the perfect words but whose heart is in the right place, real people respond to that.


You are right, there is no magic formula, and there is no easy way to tell people bad news. Having had to deliver the bad news many times, I've found that simply stating 'there is nothing more we can do for them' tends to be the best. Just be honest, the honesty goes farther than any fancy words you might try to say.

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 6/1/2011 1:43:18 AM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nikademus

awful tale.

unfortunately Seattle is home of many large SUV type vehicles and i see it everyday....that sense of invulnerability on the road. Worse, technology makes it too tempting for many people to not text or even surf while driving...never mind the classic phone conversation. The other day i swear i saw a person driving with what looked like an iPad propped on his/or her steering wheel at 60mph on the highway. I very quickly put distance between myself and this moron.

That said....i've been guilty on occasion of texting while driving. I chastise myself and this story will serve as further incentive to just Drive....the text can wait.




Looks like my state, Texas, is about to pass a statewide ban on texting and driving. We already have a ban on any cell phone use (even hands free) in school zones and it has had a big effect on safety. Surprisingly, most people will obey the law pertaining to school zones, we take the safety of our kids (and other people's kids) seriously.

I'm honestly hoping these texting or cell phone while driving bans go nationwide. I personally have been making myself find a place to pull over safely and stop when trying to talk on my cell phone in the vehicle.

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 6/1/2011 6:05:54 PM   
Yank


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TulliusDetritus:  You are exactly right. It cannot be summed it up better. Assume the other guy on the road with you is incompetent.  If we all took that approach every time we got behind the wheel there would be a lot less mayhem and destruction on our roads.  Here in Boston, we have some of the worst drivers in the world, bar none. And it gets progressively worse every year.  The increase I see in people running red lights, tailgating bumper to bumber at 70mph or faster, and a million other crazy behaviors is just plain scary. 

It is all about defensive habits, situational awareness, and caution.  Unfortuntately too many people think it's about beating you to the next red light so they can be first in line.

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 6/1/2011 6:11:59 PM   
Nikademus


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unfortunatley it means squat IMO. (the laws)

Washington has had a cell phone ban for a while now and IIRC, also a texting ban. People however still do it regardless. I see at least a half dozen every single day yaking away on their phones with no hands free kit.

It's an interesting thing about Human Nature. Sometimes I think we are just wired to disobey any and all rules in favor of our own wants. Or is it just an animal thing? Don't know. Again, i've been guilty myself of yaking on a cell without a hands free but i try to be good......more so with texting as i once sweved into the adjacent lane while doing it. Fortunately.......there was no vehicle occupying. I got off lucky. And i remember it each time i'm tempted to text while drive.

The iPad thing, like reading the paper while driving back in the "dark ages" before PDA's......i'll never fathom that. That's just utter complete insanity.




< Message edited by Nikademus -- 6/1/2011 6:13:47 PM >

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Post #: 27
RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 6/2/2011 7:07:50 AM   
CaptDave

 

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Nik beat me to it, commenting on the ignorance (as in ignoring, not as in being ignorant) of the cell phone law in Washington.  I've been lucky to avoid a couple of drivers in the past 3-4 weeks who were paying more attention to their phones than to their driving (and the drivers around here rival those in Illinois for the worst in the country).

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Post #: 28
RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 6/2/2011 7:52:45 AM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: CaptDave

Nik beat me to it, commenting on the ignorance (as in ignoring, not as in being ignorant) of the cell phone law in Washington.  I've been lucky to avoid a couple of drivers in the past 3-4 weeks who were paying more attention to their phones than to their driving (and the drivers around here rival those in Illinois for the worst in the country).


Try Houston sometime...

Granted, there are some people that ignore the law no matter what. And basically, there is no cure for terminal stupidity. Sad but true.

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RE: Fatal accident on my way home. - 6/2/2011 8:14:06 AM   
Commander Cody


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From: Seoul, Korea
Status: offline
Try driving in Korea (or I'm sure a number of other places). The place teaches you to be defensive real quick. You have to assume EVERY car will pull out in front of you from a side street. You have to assume EVERY bus will ease into your lane if his lane is slowing down. You certainly have to look both ways when the light turns green or you'll be sideswiped 90% of the time. You have to watch every kid on the side of the road. Touch wood, but so far so good (now I've jinxed everything).

Back to topic: I thankfully have never stumbled across such an accident and never hope to. Good on you Jeff K. for what you did and good on the paramedics and others on this thread who deal with or have dealt with this kind of thing professionally (not to mention military folks who no doubt deal with this kind of thing often, even in peacetime).

Cheers,
CC

_____________________________

Beer, because barley makes lousy bread.

(in reply to Shark7)
Post #: 30
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