Thursday, April 23, 2009

Watch out for that tree..

Yesterday afternoon on my way home from the gym, I passed a rather unusual sight. I live on one of the hills that make up a rather deep valley. To get home, I have to drive a winding, curvy road that twists and turns and has sudden drop-offs that are, for the most part, protected by guardrail. It's a difficult road to drive if you don't know how to handle it, and a lot of people do not know how to handle it.

The first curve of the hill road is one of the worst. It's a sharp, sudden one, wrapping around a jut of rock that has always, to me, resembled a dinosaur head poking out of the hillside. The outer edge of the curve butts against a gravel driveway. As I came up on the curve, I noticed that our sheriff and several other officers were parked in the gravel driveway. Then I saw why. Suspended about 6 feet off the ground was a little red ford taurus. It was stuck firmly in a tree.

It would seem that the drive of the taurus took the curve too quickly, lost control, went airborne across the driveway and went off the side of the hill. Except there happened to be some trees in the way, which stopped the car from going over the side completely. There was no sign of the driver, so I'm assuming they're probably in a hospital somewhere. The sheriff and other officers were all standing around, looking at the car in the tree, obviously trying to figure out how in the holy heck they'd get it out of there.

They must have figured it out because it was gone by this morning.

I really need to remember to carry my camera with me. This particular road has been the source of many, many accidents caused by people who drive it too fast, or don't pay enough attention. Being a rural road, it is of course not uncommon to find escaped livestock wandering across it, or get stuck behind a farmer on a tractor. One of the oddest sights was a local riding a cooler that had somehow been converted into a scooter. But anyone who drives that road on a daily basis learns to look out for the unexpected. I have seen cars upside down in the ditches, cars gone sideways off a curve, cars rolled into trees, cars stuck in the creek at its bottom. Had I remembered my camera, I could now have a coffee table book full of the stupid accidents on this road. Just last week someone flipped their Blazer going too fast down the hill. It's a road you have to treat with respect, because you never know what's around the next loop or bend.

Were it not such a liability, I think they should have left the taurus stuck in the trees as a warning to everyone else. Maybe seeing that would slow people down a little, make them realize that whatever their destination is, and how much of a hurry they're in, it's not worth that much.

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