Saturday, September 03, 2011

LEO Interaction

After I wrote the previous post, I went to Costco to pick up my new glasses. On the way home, as I was pulling onto a four-lane road, a woman blew past me in the left lane. Thirty-five mph zone, I had accelerated to 40 mph to get out of her way, but she went around me.

Being a good citizen, I slowed down to the limit ...

We were the only two cars on the road; the skies were smoky from a brisk wind bringing us a haze from the forest and grass fires near Mount Hood and points farther east. 

Half a mile away, as I was coming around a slight curve and over a rise, I heard a crash. I didn't see the impact, so I wasn't an eye witness, but I was close enough that glass was still flying from the smashed headlights when I topped the rise.

The driver who had passed me had hit a car. Both were facing the same direction–all of us heading south–and at first look, I guessed the second car had pulled out and gotten smacked. Given the damage, on second look, I figured the second car could have been making a left and gotten hit. Mostly the front ends on the drivers' side. Probably speed was a factor, but I guessed it was the car that got hit that was mostly at fault.

I was first on the scene. I pulled off the road, dug out my amber strobe, put my flashers on and went to help. Both cars were small, both had the front ends smashed pretty good, neither drivable. Radiator fluid spilling ongo the road, like that. 

There were two young women in the vehicle that had gotten hit and they were exiting the car when I got there. I asked, they seemed to be okay. One girl had a scrape below her left knee. Probably you should get off the road, I allowed.

The driver of the car that had passed me was more rattled. Her left wrist hurt, didn't look broken, no blood, and her face and neck were abraded by the impact with the air bag. The steering wheel and side bags had all deployed. She was pale and having trouble breathing. Turned out she had asthma, and the smoke wasn't helping. She had an inhaler, took a hit, her breathing cleared up, and I got her to the side of the road and told them to call the police, relatives, and their insurance companies.

All three seemed to be in mild shock, so I told them to sit down on the lawn. Happened we were right in front of a medical clinic, but nobody seemed to need immediate medical care.

Within a couple minutes, we had a fire truck with paramedics, an ambulance, and the Beaverton police. The paramedic did a quick interview, poked and prodded, used his stethoscope, and waved the ambulance guys off. Nobody needed a ride. 

One of the BPD officers interviewed me. Big kid, braces on his teeth. Very polite, thanked me for staying on the scene, put my info down on the report for the insurance companies. Made a joke about it being only a couple days past my birthday. 

Another encounter with my local LEOs, and no problems at all.


Jim said...

No, wait... the cops didn't demand to search your car, threaten to arrest you for interfering with an accident scene, or otherwise run roughshod over your constitutional rights? You weren't even waterboarded to see what you knew about the crash? Did he at least run the light show with the Taser?

Complain! You got ripped off!

Hopefully, the sarcasm is clear.

Great job on helping out, Steve. Beats all hell out of the dozens of cars that probably drove by you without doing more than gawking. And for recognizing that you aren't -- quite -- an eyewitness. I love the ones I get that start like this: "Officer, Officer! Listen to me! I know what happened! That guy there is was driving like 100 mph when he hit that guy." OK, and how do you know that? "Well, I heard a crash, and then I looked over and saw..."

Mark said...

Well done.

Justin said...

Too bad Tom Cruise hadn't been around. As a Scientologist, he knows he's the only person who can help. You did okay in his absence, though.
Are you sure you didn't give the speedy lady an "I-told-you-so"?
By the way, I've had nothing but good experiences with LAPD and surround LEOs during my 7+ years in Southern California.