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Monday, October 6, 2014

Real horror in Salinas, CA last night!

In a real turn of events, we had a real-life horrific moment (don't worry everything turned out okay).  This weekend, I was at APE (Alternative Press Expo) in San Fransisco, CA.  We planned to drive home to Ventura that same Sunday night after the show, which is about 6 hours away.  So at 7pm, we headed back home, about 10 pm, along the 101, we drove through the town Salinas. 

About 100 yards from me on the road a car made a swerve into the median of the lane.  The car crashed into it, spun around and ran off to right side of the road, crashing into a large oak tree and flipping over.  It was like one of those videos of a race car track crash and there it was right in front of me.  My initial thought was that this guy fell asleep at the wheel.  I pulled over quickly to the side of the road, threw my phone at Nicole, who just woke up and told her to call 911, as I opened the door and headed over to the crash.

I had a flashlight in my hand but as I ran in the night to the crash I didn't know what I would be seeing, the car power of was off, no lights and it was not on fire, but I was fearful that it would be a gruesome sight and I didn't know what I'd be able to do.  What if there was something horrific, like a dismemberment?  How would I react? I ran through the brush and got down to the totaled Honda Accord, and bent down.  I saw a man's arm against the window, and remember this was completely upside down.  The car was clean of blood.  No fluids were leaking so I figured it couldn't get worse.  I saw that were was only one occupant, the driver, male, white, by the top of his head, which I could barely see, salt and pepper gray.  I called out to him.  Again I called out.  No answer.  The door was smashed in and there was no way for me to try to get to him, and I knew that I should not move him.  I told him my name was Andy and I called the police.  I finally got a response, his name was Jim.  I got him talking, he lives in Paso Robles and I kept him talking and told him not to move.  He was out of it a bit and kept asking me, is the car upside down?  I said yes, but don't move, help is on their way. 

I'll say this, the Salinas response team was pretty darn good.  I ran back to Nicole and I spoke to the dispatcher, after a series of questions, they got the info they needed and sent a team over. Within a few minutes we had a helicopter, 2 firetrucks, 2 CHP and a couple of ambulances.  They were doing their job well and I stuck around to make sure Jim was okay and got out of the vehicle.  When I saw the Jaws of Life being carried by the firemen, I must admit I was excited to see that, I've always wanted to see one in action.  Jim was alive, he had a head-wound, but he looked much better than a feared.  The car hit that tree right behind the driver's seat. another 10 inches forward and Jim would have been a goner.  I told him it was me, Andy, wished him luck and left the scene. 

I'm glad I was there to help out and that Jim is okay.  Wear your seatbelts.


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