Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A Rube Goldberg Accident on I-95

On the way to Florida last Wednesday, we were briefly delayed by a rather interesting car accident. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports:

The wreck occurred about 10:50 a.m. when a Budget rental truck traveling south struck a car traveling the same direction. The impact caused the rental truck to swerve left into the center median, striking a pole supporting the [electronic] highway billboard, [state police spokesman Sgt. Kevin] Barrick said.

The pole bent in half, causing the sign to dangle but not fall. A northbound tractor-trailer then struck the sign because it was hanging lower than the top of the trailer.

The sign and its metal framing ripped off the top half of the trailer, which was carrying home appliances, Barrick said.

Almost as amazing as that, injuries were few and minor:

Four people suffered minor injuries and were transported to Southside Regional Hospital in Petersburg, state police said.

At one point, all of I-95's northbound lanes and all but one of the southbound lanes... were closed, causing traffic to back up for miles...

Police reopened all but one lane at about 3:15 p.m. The last of the closed northbound lanes reopened about 5 p.m.

For some reason, we were lucky enough to pass more backups than stopped us - and hopefully the people headed north on Wednesday weren't headed back south Monday.

The Progress-Index (Petersburg) also reports, with a photo and a description suggesting the ultimate cause may have been the car:

At approximately 10:50 a.m. yesterday, a passenger sedan traveling southbound on I-95 swerved left and collided with a Budget rental truck causing it to break through the guardrail and crash into the support of the large lighted electronic display sign.

The sign tipped forward slightly, and a tractor trailer traveling northbound ran into a portion of the sign.


State Police continue to investigate the crash, and charges are pending.

Click here for an explanation of the title.

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