Worst accident you've witnessed

Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
1,790
Location
Ohio
It was 98 or 99, day after Christmas. Witnessed the car ahead of me inexplicably go left of center when the road curved to the right. Once he jumped over the low divider, I realized something bad was happening and looked at trying to pull over, since at the very least he probably damaged his ride with the mighty lurch it made. Looked back in time to see him hit a full-sized van head on in a 45 MPH zone. Van stopped dead, and the ladders that were on the roof went flying. The car ricocheted and did a 360. Found out later the guy driving the van died on impact, although he had his seatbelt on and didn't appear injured. Guy driving the car died a few days later, his wife survived. They never figured out how it happened, he wasn't DUI and didn't have a stroke, so they figured he just got distracted and kept going straight from others and I witnessed and from the tire marks on the divider. Pretty shocking at how suddenly it all happened.
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
2,946
Location
New England, USA
Driving to Florida with my Parents in the late 70's...i was maybe 13 (in a Vista Cruiser!). We catch up to a semi that is drifting, sleepy or whatever, between the middle and breakdown lane at 60 or so. Dad would not pass or even get too close. The semi finally drifted to the right into a fairly deep gully, the cab augured into the muddy bank with the trailer swinging around the cab finally stopping inverted facing the opposite direction. We were first and stopped to help. The windscreen was partly popped out and Dad pulled it out the rest of the way. The driver was injured and bloodied, but we didn't want to move him, so, since the wreck looked stable, we sort of wedged ourselves in and sat with the driver until help came. Other truckers stopped and knew what to do; i remember one taking a small axe to the side of the cab to open the door and I seem to remember another cutting the cables to the trailer for some reason.... I remember it in slow motion like it was yesterday. Non automotive. 1974 South Weymouth Naval Air Station Airshow. Front row, fascinated by an aerobatics display by a red/white/blue Decathlon when the Pilot came out of a maneuver too low, pulled too tight in the recovery and the airplane stalled, dropped a wing and nosed in, hard. There was a fireball and fire that maybe only lasted a minute, if that. The emergency crews covered the wreckage which was not much and a crane lifted it up and hauled it away rather quickly, considering. I suspect that they didn't want to do the extrication in front of ~40K people. Another one burned in my memory, one that I would not mind forgetting actually.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
2,317
Location
missouri
PROBABLY 40 YEARS AGO. In Ks, driver pulled out in front of oncoming traffic, tbone in his door. His lady (wife, GF, side chick, whatever, was out of the car and pulling his door screaming hysterically the car is going to blow. I lite a flare, remember those, toss it out and go to the car. It is stil running, so I reach in and shut it off, turn off the lights. Other car is a Volvo, that couple is out, and trying to help, they of course had first aid kit. Guy is OK looking, but not conscious I tell tell the gf to leave him alone, I check, he is breathing, not bleeding much, car not leaking. I want to leave him there, but the freaked out GF is having none of that. Took two truck drivers to restrain her. Much screaming and cursing. The driver is starting to regain consciousness, I tell him not to move, he is in a wreck, his lady is OK, as if she can not hear her ranting to get him out. 10 minutes later here comes the ambulance. Ambulance workers get back board, complement me on not moving him keeping him calm. Listen to my assessment of his condition while waiting fr them as the work away. Then I get out of the way. The police are now here The GF is screaming, she wants us arrested because we just left him in the the car to die. Police are trying to restrain her, I look at the police, tell them I came on the accident and did not see it, did not hit anything, Truck drivers say the same thing. The woman still wants us arrested for not pulling out the BF, so I looked at the cop, said we do not need to be here, he smiles and all of us took off. Rod
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2010
Messages
10,842
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
This occurred recently on the Adirondack Northway; the part of Interstate 87 between Albany and Montreal, P.Q. I was headed south near Saratoga. Three lanes, moderate traffic, nice day. A northbound car (#1) in the right lane must've lurched to the left abruptly hitting a car (#2) in his middle lane hard. Car 1 continued left, kind of perpendicular to traffic and hit the earthen median hard causing the familiar cloud of dust and denting the guardrail no more than 200 feet in front of me. My side was going ~50 mph so I didn't have long to observe car 2 on its roof spinning in place like a bottle at, say, 100 rpm. That was hairy. I posted it here that day. I can only guess car #2 had no time or a mere instant to react and that whatever evasive maneuver he may have executed plus the energy of his forward momentum plus the collision caused him to flip. The spinning I'll never forget. Do you drive? You do! Do you have a will? Just saving your family some money and pain. You're welcome.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
1,786
Location
Ruidoso, NM USA
On I-40 in Arizona early in the morning I drove up on a Ford Taurus steaming in the road, doors open, facing in the right direction, but obvious damage to hood, sides, etc to indicate a roll over accident. All three occupants ejected and dead. One behind the car, one beside the car and one just in front of the car. The structure of the Ford was intact so I suspect they would have faired much better if they had been restrained by seat belts. My guess is that the driver fell asleep.
 
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Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
3,917
Location
Richmond, VA
I was working landscaping and putting some gas into a weedeater when I heard tires squealing, look up and see a motorcycle smack into the side of a 4 door car. The cyclist launched and hit head first and somersaulted over the car and landed with a thud on the pavement. I sprinted over and the guy was dead, blood everywhere. It took over 30 minutes for EMT's to get there (it may have been 10 minutes, but it felt like forever). They took 1 look and put a blanket over him. I remember his cell phone was about 10 feet away from his body and it kept ringing. I did not have the guts to answer it. 2nd - F150 into a bridge support, those things don't give. This was on I95 where everyone goes at least 70 MPH, there were no skid marks, guess the guy fell asleep. No idea if he had a seatbelt on, but he was a mess. We drove by right as the paramedics were pulling him out. I told the kids (around 12 years old at the time) to look. My wife was mad at me for telling them to look, I told her this is how they learn. Funniest wreck - I was 16 years old and heard brakes on the road way back behind my parents house, then a loud thud. Jumped in my car and was at the wreck scene about 2 minutes after it happened. A crappy little sedan had met its fate at the base of a massive oak tree. The front end was demolished. The driver, a lady around 21-25 years old was in the car yelling at me and another guy who stopped. She wanted us to push her out of the ditch before the cops got there. She was so intoxicated that she did not notice the compound fracture in her left leg. After I reached in and turned off the ignition (car was not running), she started throwing beer bottles at me because now she couldn't leave. Eventually she noticed the bone sticking out of her leg and was begging us to get her to the hospital. The cops showed up and she tried punching one of them, they put her in cuffs and took her to the hospital. While she was screaming at me I tried to distract her, so I asked where she was going. She slurred out Sandston. I asked why she was going west when Sandston was 30 miles to the east. In an explitive rant she explained that her boyfriend lived in Sandston so she knew how to get there. I learned a lot that night.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
4,280
Location
Virginia
My mother and I witnessed a guy getting his legs crushed between a dock and a truck backing up to it. We were too far away from it to do anything about it but we saw it happening almost in slow motion.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Messages
5,786
Location
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
In 1974 I was on Route 837 heading from McKeesport towards Kennywood and there was an old man with a hat on driving slow ahead of me and I was right behind him, he was driving slow enough to cause a line of of cars behind me but I did not want to take any chance by passing him so I just stayed behind him. We had all just driven past the steel mill and had just got onto the beginning of the bridge at the top of the hill. The road makes a slight right as it enters that bridge, and another slight right after it, and I drove that road home every day and knew that when it rains the runoff deposits dirt in the left lane so there was no way I was going to try to pass the old man with the dirt on the highway in the left lane ahead. A Plymouth Roadrunner with mags on the back comes flying up in the left lane passing everyone including the old man. It is going so fast that the slight right turn in the road was making it a little hard for it to maintain grip, and then it hits the dirt in the left lane and completely loosed control and starts spinning around and hits the metal side of the bridge and bounces off and continues spinning and bouncing off of both sides of the bridge for the entire length of the bridge. He had a lot of speed to loose. I stop and all the cars behind me stop and the old man with the hat in the car in front of me continues on his way like nothing is happening and somehow did not get hit by the Roadrunner as it bounced from side to side of the bridge while spinning as it crossed the length of the bridge as the old man drove past the Roadrunner. Finally the Roadrunner stopped and I moved my car up to it and asked the girl who was in the passengers if she was OK and she said she was fine, but every time they hit a side of the bridge she thought they were going to go over the side. If they had there is no way they would have survived. I looked at the Roadrunner and there was not a piece of metal on the sides or front or back that was not bent and twisted. That car was a total write off. Another one, I was in the Subway on 51 in Brentwood and a car was traveling down the hill on 51 going a little on the fast side and someone pulled out in-front of it and they locked up the tires but did not have time to slow down much. Both cars were totaled, no one died but they were busted up. Another one, not a car wreck, I had just got onto the Boulevard of the Allies by Mercy Hospital and traveled about a 1/4 mile towards downtown and there was a full size deer on the road running and ziz-zagging into the opposing traffic and back into my side a couple of times. The deer was at full speed and obviously panicked, cars were traveling in both directions. The deer was on the outbound side and took a leap off of the road towards the river. Where it leaped the drop off must be well over 150 feet. I do not know where it landed but there was no way it could have survived.
 
Joined
May 12, 2015
Messages
3,010
Location
America
An intersection on a state route with 55 mph limit. The lights turned red and the left turn arrow lit green. A Nissan Maxima with an elderly couple in it starts turning left. A Saab SUV driven by a teenie bopper fails to see the rest light and drives through the intersection and t-bones the rear of the Maxima. The SUV flies and flips in the air. The SUV lands on it's wheels, and a girl gets out of it. Shaken but manages to start calling people. The elderly do not have visible signs of injuries and are alert but are trapped in the car. Quite amazing how safe modern cars are.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
18
Location
Illinois
Was working at a corner full-serve gas station in the late 70's outside in the summer pumping gas. 4-lane highway divided by concrete median at an intersection. 4 cars (2 in each lane one behind the other) pointing East at the stoplight waiting for the green. Motorcycle in right lane behind 2 of the stopped cars. A really loud hissing noise pulsed on and off. I'm staring at the four cars and the motorcycle. I can't figure out what the hissing is or where it is coming from. Motorcycle splits lanes and moves between the four stopped cars. Semi smashes into the two cars in the right lane from behind and pushes those two right lane cars somewhat sideways into the two left lane stopped cars. Motorcycle is squished between the four cars and the early 70's Grand Prix (pretty big car) first hit by the semi is crushed to the back of the drivers seat by the semi where seconds earlier the motorcycle had been stopped. Motorcyclist not only moved from behind the Grand Prix and in between the cars, but also lifted his legs when the semi hit and pushed the cars together crushing the bike between the left and right lane cars' doors. Motorcyclist was watching his six and walked away. Unbelievably, no one was seriously injured. Since I was an eye witness police asked to talk. I learned that semi-driver said brakes failed. No semi skid marks....and loss of air pressure didn't lock the semi's brakes. Hmmmm.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
7,723
Location
New England
Motorcyclist in France hit guard rail high speed and watching the helmet(with head) roll on by. Did not see the body/bike just remember the helmet and stump.
 

Pew

Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
2,284
Location
IL
Jan 2014, ~6 of us in Evos, 1 GTI, 1 Altima (all with snow tires) were going from IL to Sinissippi Lake, WI for a snow/ice racing event. We were all on a 2-lane country road with snow drifts that occasionally covered the road and came across a 2010 style Chevy Impala doing 30-35mph. One by one we start to overtake the Impala. I was the third to last guy in our convoy so when it was my turn to pass the Impala I accelerated and the Impala did the same, matching my speed of 50-60mph. We starting going around a bend in the road and there was incoming traffic; the conditions weren't safe enough to just speed away like I would normally do on a dry day so I slowed down and got back behind the Impala who then decided to slow back down into the 30s. A second chance came up to pass the impala so I did, accelerated back up to 60mph, Impala tried to do the same, started fish tailing, and smashed the passenger B-pillar into a rail-road crossing light with the front half of the car on the tracks. We all stopped, ran to the crashed car and saw two elderly folks inside - both dazed but partially responsive. We decided to not move them out of the car, called the cops and they stopped the train traffic. Cops came, knew where we were going, asked us what happened and let us go. 3-4 hours later we're on our way back and stop at hooters for some dinner. The accident was on the news and the passenger ended up dying. Nobody spoke about that day until a few years later.
 
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jurko

Site Donor 2022
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
833
Location
Nevada
Strange that I've never witnessed any horrible accident as it happened during my 40 years of driving, only afterwords and some of them were truly horrendous. But I have to tell you about the most bizarre and tragic accident I've ever heard of that happened in a small mountainous village close to Polish border where I was born and raised. Guy was riding motorcycle and as he entered into left hand curve there was a tractor going opposite way carrying sheets of metal on trailer. One of the sheets of metal came loose in that turn (it must have been not tied down) and cut the motorcyclist head off like with guillotine.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
2,353
Location
A Barrier Island
1991 Al Mishab, Saudi Arabia, during Desert Storm. A C-130 carrying 105 Senegalese soldiers crashed on the runway about 100 yards from where my USN medical unit was operating. The a/c was incinerated. We managed to rescue 5 but their injuries were all eventually fatal. That was as close to dying as I've ever been. That day still bothers me.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
53
Location
Maryland
50 East heading towards Ocean City, MD, very heavy traffic past where the Bay Bridge deposits everyone onto Kent Island. I was in the center lane and all the cars around me were moving to the left and right lanes. Something was obstructing the center lane. Finally the truck in front of me moved and I was sitting about 20 feet from a face down dead body with a woman loudly screaming over top of him. Motorcycle accident, biker was dead, must have been his wife. Bike looked intact, was dropped not far from the body. Probably a low speed encounter that would have been a fender bender in a car. No carnage, no dismemberment, but the woman's screams still give me chills. I have seen worse in terms of twisted metal but that was the saddest, most horrible sight.
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2006
Messages
3
Location
az
Worst accident I've ever witnessed? That's easy: It was winter 1983 and I was headed down to Florida for some relief from the Boston winter. Figured I'd do some camping with a friend that was visiting from Japan. We had left D.C. in the evening, after poking around all day at some of the tourist sites in the capital. It was about 9:00 p.m. and we were driving south on I-95 in northern Virginia. I-95 was under construction and they had those 'V'-shaped concrete barriers closing off the left lane, of the southbound lanes. I'm not paying much attention to anything when all of a sudden, I see a car (traveling in our direction) making a hard right toward the trees: apparently it had glanced off of one of the concrete barriers and 'woke the driver up' and he instinctively jerked the wheel to the right, to get off of the barrier. I distinctly remember saying to myself, "Oh man, here they go into the woods!" Then, another over-correction as the car jerks violently left and I say to myself, "Oh man, here they go into the barrier!" Then, one more jerk to the right and I say, "Oh my god...back to the woods!" They never made it; The car couldn't hold onto the pavement after that last steering 'correction', and it started to roll. Not sure how many times, but I'm guessing 3 to 3-1/2 rolls. As it rolled, [censored] came flying out the windows like a broken pinata in a tornado! Nothing as big as a body (thank god), but different shapes and sizes of 'stuff' flying out and settling back down onto the interstate. Since the car had swerved left and right a few times before rolling: everybody that was behind it had plenty of time to slow down and stop and watch the whole thing unfold. For about a 100 yards on the interstate you could see a million pieces on glass glinting in the headlights of the trailing cars, punctuated with a pile of something here and a twisted piece of wreckage there: with a 'balled-up' car at the end of the trail. I'll never forget that vision of all the glinting glass and piles of 'dark objects' littering the interstate. But I didn't get that view until AFTER I had crawled out that large void in front of me, where the windshield 'used to be'...I got to watch the whole thing from the front passenger seat!
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
2,526
Location
USA
Hands down when I worked the late shift at a hotel. I was driving home on Diagonal Highway. I passed a slow driving guy in a suburban packed with people. I stopped at the red light. To my left was two left turn lanes. I looked up in my rear view mirror and he was right behind me NOT slowing down. Last second he swerved into the turn lane the jerked back flipping his suburban on its side causing sparks as it slid through the intersection and into tge ditch. I looked to my right and the guy was pointing at me then the accident. I just shook my head. It was straight out of a movie. The guy was 3 time the legal limit.
 

Bud

$50 Site Donor 2023
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Messages
3,228
Location
Texas
Back in the 60's two ladies from town were driving to another town about 10 miles away in the rain on a newly blacktopped road after dark. They ran off the side of the road, and when trying to get back onto the road lost control and ran right into the front of a on coming semi. Flatten the car like a pancake. Took them a long time to get the two women out of the wreckage. Had to load it with them in it on a flatbed and haul it into town where they could get them out of the wreckage. I was a couple cars back and saw it happen. Terrible thing since I knew both ladies. Road had just been resurfaced with no lines yet and high side curb. If they had just stayed off the road and slowed they would have been fine.
 
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