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JONESIE: Why that crash video won't go away, and why it shouldn't

February 16, 2016 - 12:59 PM

It’s the viral video that just won’t go away so easily. 

I have covered my share of car crashes. I know the damage, the carnage, the injuries, the loss of life, the devastation. That’s a big reason why we run this stuff in the news. Reminders.

What I don’t often see is the crash happening. Every now and again YouTube and Facebook will conspire to show me close calls or major colisions from around the world caught on dash cams.

This was a crash caught on a dash-cam. But it was right here. In my own backyard.

The instant reaction among many viewers is anger, probably after making assumptions about the driver of the black SUV that crossed the centre line and hit the Cooper Mini.

My first reaction was remembering the time that driver was me.

I was 22 and driving in a winter storm for no good reason. My new wife and I were returning a giant TV we got for our wedding. We were on a four-lane highway and I couldn’t understand why everyone was going so slow.

I don’t know if they call it black ice because it’s almost impossible to see or because it tends to bring death and destruction.

I have every heartbeat of the next few seconds etched forever in memory.

My over-confidence led me into the fast lane. Within moments, I felt the rear end of my new 1995 Dodge Neon shift. I over-compensated and the front end shifted. I over-compensated again and we were sliding completely sideways on the highway without any loss of speed. The car moved off road left and I thought we’d be lucky to be in the ditch. But we went clear through the wide median and straight towards oncoming traffic.

I saw two oncoming semi trucks in the distance along with a truck and a couple of cars. I was hard on the brake and the steering wheel, completely out of control as my car rose the embankment to the highway, went right across their road and head on into another embankment for a rail line.

We missed the cars and the truck and the semi trucks were just coming to a stop where we hit. The only injury was on my pinky finger from the airbag.

I don’t believe in God, but I would be some kind of fool to not acknowledge my luck and attempt to learn from it. And be more careful.

I know whenever this kind of video or photo is carried on the news, someone somewhere is going to complain that they saw it.

Well I hope you do. Because hopefully it helps someone change their habits without having to go through their own near-death experience. Or worse.

I didn’t include the video in this story. If you are interested, please go see our friends at Global Okanagan.

— Marshall Jones is the editor of infonews.ca

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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