A Really Nasty Crash
There was a sound, an unfamilar sound, a loud and fearsome sound, just a tiny but truck-like. A sound unlike any other motor vehicle collision I've heard so far.
Large U-Haul truck versus at least one, I think two, passenger cars. One car mostly hidden by the back of the truck where I'm not sure whether what I'm seeing is the car's nose or something else; the other at rest straddling the middle of the street, since blocked from view by one of the handful of fire trucks that arrived shortly after my 911 call. I've no clear idea what happened -- the car I can see is rather destroyed, the truck is half up on the sidewalk, and it's the rear of the truck and the front of the car that are damaged. There was a great deal of shouting, in several waves with lulls of lowered voices in between, and then not much noise other than the arriving fire trucks and ambulances (yeah, plural in both categories.
I saw a firefighter holding an intimidating power tool with a pneumatic hose trailing from it; my guess is that, as I'd feared, they have to cut somebody out of their car. The street is blocked off by police cars, I see two stretchers made ready but nobody lying on them yet, a crowd of neighbours gathered on the sidewalk opposite the wreck -- not quite at the far end of the block from me -- and then mostly dispersed.
I just hope nobody's dead.
It didn't sound like a car crash; it sounded like a half-loaded truck sped off a twenty-inch cliff, bounced, and kept going. And I couldn't really tell what direction the sound had come from, until I looked out the window and saw the scene in the street.
[Added a while later ...]
When I thought I heard a wrecker pull up, I went back to the window to watch again. That not-sure-if-there's-a-car-there behind the U-Haul turned out to be a car turned perpendicular to the street, smashed in at both ends and with a crumpled roof, which I watched being winched onto a rollback.
So on the basis of what I could see from my third-floor window and a whole lot of just plain guessing, what I'm thinkin' seems likely is that the car that landed in the middle of the street rear-ended the crumpled-at-both-ends car, pushing it into the back of the presumably-parked U-Haul and pushing the U-Haul partly onto the sidewalk.
Not that I can get that guess confirmed by watching, oh, the local television news later, of course. They can cover car accidents halfway across the country on 'local' news, but not what happens down the street. I did see a car with a WMAR logo pull up at the traffic light at my end of the block, creep past, then vanish, so at least one station was aware that something had happened here, but the fire trucks had left by then, and if the cameras can't get there in time then it never happened, I think.
Maybe one of my neighbours will be able to fill me in.
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