Friday, April 29, 2011

The I-75 Adventures of Juan Santamarina -- Flying Ladders and More!!

Hi folks -- I am convinced that I-75 between Dayton and Cincinnati is far more dangerous than anything you can run up against while traveling on I-5 or I-15 in Southern California. UD History colleague Juan Santamarina has had more than his share of adventures on I-75, including flying pieces of wood aimed at his windshield, hood, and grill. Here is a short account of his latest heart-rendering event:

Thought you would enjoy my latest I-75 adventures:
I was southbound on I-75, just north of I-275 late yesterday afternoon. There was a tow truck loading a car on the right shoulder and cars were slowing down on the right lane as a result. A Ford Fusion must have been distracted and didn't notice the slowing traffic then slammed the brakes and turned sharply to the right toward the shoulder. Somehow it missed the tow truck/car combo just in front of him and went flying through the grass beyond the shoulder into the ditch and up the other side of it stopping just short of the sound wall and not hitting anything (at that point he was perpendicular to the highway and only stuck in mud and water!). I was a few cars behind but pulled over to see if the driver needed help--so did 2 others. Turns out the driver was maybe 80, a little confused--either by what had just happened or perhaps before....someone else called police who arrived 3 minutes later. Excitement enough?
I was standing on the shoulder telling the cop what had happened when a pickup truck passed us and proceeded to drop his 20+ foot extension ladder out the back, landing a couple of feet in front of us and sliding up the right lane 30 feet forward while cars swerved to avoid it---leaving me to direct cars off the right lane while the cop and tow truck driver fetched the ladder from the right lane and dumped safely in the grass beyond the shoulder. Let me tell you that a big ladder like that hitting the road at 65mph is a little startling!
At that point I told the cop I had enough for one day and if he didn't need me I was on my merry way. He smiled, said thanks and bye.....
First a 2x4 flying at my car, then what was essentially a hit and run, and now this...? I guess I'm free now if these things come in threes--hopefully anyway, even though neither I nor the Benz suffered any damage on this event.

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