The crazy stuff that flies out of cars

 

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This cross was an errie sight in the middle of the street after one rollover hit and run crash. 

You never know what you’re going to find in the street after a car has rolled over a couple of times.

The other night I was walking around a parking lot after a car had rolled over after hitting the side of a building. There was broken glass, car parts and fluid everywhere.

The damage told a story of a wild ride that would’ve looked spectacular had there been a video camera handy. Even the tow truck driver told me this was probably the worst car crash he had ever seen.

As he cleaned up, I walked around the path of destruction and saw a box of condoms lying among the debris. It was the wrong protection in this situation. The driver really needed a helmet instead.

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While I was still at the scene, I thought about past collisions and all of the stuff that has come out of cars and been in the street when I got there. I wished I had taken more pictures.

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I have no idea how the ice cream and the peppers got together. Notice the plastic bag stuck in the door. You never know what you’re going to see at a crash. 

 

So far the craziest thing that has ever come out of a car was a guy’s finger. Yes, a finger. The driver was missing his finger after rolling over a couple of times. We later found it stuck to the pavement among the debris. It brings new meaning to the phrase, “He gave me the finger.”

You just can’t make this stuff up.

 

I’ll give you a break if…..

Night patrol

I’m always looking for ways to have fun on calls. Sometimes that includes quizzing people about their insurance company’s jingle or motto. It usually gets them to smile.

The other night I driving behind a car as we approached a red light when it made a right turn without stopping. After I stopped the car, I contacted the driver, who was in his 50s, and asked him for his license and insurance. The man handed me his license and his State Farm insurance paper. I asked him about the red light and he admitted to running it.

I was on my way to a call at the time and decided to give him a chance, but I also wanted to have a little fun at the same time.

“I’ll give you a break if you can tell me State Farm’s motto,” I said. The man shook his head and gave me a confused look. “You don’t know it?” I asked with a disappointed look.

“No,” he replied.

“It’s from the commercial,” I said, but he only gave me a blank look. Apparently State Farm needs to step up their marketing.

“How about Allstate? Do you know that one?” I asked.

He shook his head as he said, “No.”

“How about Geico?”

With a nervous laugh he said, “No.”

“Do you have a phone?”

“Yes,” the man said as he took it out to show me.

“Google it,” I said as I pointed to his phone. He opened up the Internet browser and I had him type in “State Farm like a good neighbor.”

A State Farm You Tube video came up at the top of the search. He clicked on it and a commercial started playing. The words “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” filled the car as the jingle played. The driver got a huge smile on his face as he recognized the commercial as he said, “Yeah!” He suddenly knew what I was talking about.

I handed his license back and let him go. The look on his face was hilarious after he figured it out. I bet he’ll think of me the next time a State Farm commercial comes on TV.

I bet he’ll think about me the next time he sees a red light too.

I’m working on my license

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The other day, I pulled up to a two-car crash where one vehicle rear ended another. I walked up to one of the drivers and asked him what happened. During the interview, he told me he rear ended the car in front of him.

I next asked, “Do you have a license?”

“No.”

“Do you mean you forgot it or you’ve never been issued one?”

“I’m illegal and I’m working on it.”

“They started handing them out over a year ago. What are you working on?”

“I needed paperwork and they also said I need glasses before I can get my license. I have an appointment tomorrow.”

It’s amazing how many people say they have an appointment at the DMV “tomorrow.” If I had a dollar for every time I’d heard that one.

“How are you going to take the test tomorrow if you don’t even have your glasses yet?”

The underage DUI driver seemed confused by my question. After a moment he finally said, “I’m going to Costco tomorrow before my test.”

Nice try, but I don’t think he’s too familiar with the prescription glasses process. He’ll have to work on planning things out better next time. He should start out with not drinking and driving while unlicensed. That would be a good start.

The missing piece of the puzzle

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Witnesses never get the credit they deserve. As officers, we know the value of a person stopping to be a witness at a traffic collision or a crime scene. The information they provide can be invaluable and can truly be the missing piece of the puzzle.

The other night I handled a felony hit and run involving a DUI driver and a pedestrian, who later died at the hospital.

After being struck, the pedestrian was left in the middle of the street as the driver took off. There were a couple of witnesses who chased the suspect about a mile down the road to his home. They called the police and stood by for officers to arrive.

The suspect was later located and arrested. After I finished the call, I was grateful the witnesses had followed the suspect. If it hadn’t been for them, we might never have found the bad guy.

People don’t realize how important their information can be. Without them, it’s a puzzle that can never be solved.

My hat is off to those witnesses from that night. I’m glad you got involved to help. I’m sure the victim’s family would agree.

Just say no to crack

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The other day I was sent to a suspicious vehicle call in a residential neighborhood. The call said there was a man inside a red VW, who had been there for a few hours.

When I arrived, I saw a red VW Beatle parked along the curb. I ran the plate and learned it was registered out of the area. I got out of my car to look inside and was surprised to see a man sleeping.

He was stretched out in the backseat and hatchback area. He had a blanket covering him and he looked quite comfortable. I had no idea a VW Beatle had so much room. This couldn’t been a Volkswagen commercial.

Sleeping Beauty was in his mid-50s and at least 275lbs. I woke him up and told him the neighbors had called the police about the car and asked him where he lived. Tom said he lived at a half-way house not too far away from there.

“Why do you live at a half-way house?” I asked.

“It’s because I’m addicted to drugs,” he replied.

“When was the last time you did any drugs?”

“At noon. I went 50 days without doing meth, but I had a relapse today.”

I asked Tom if he could crawl to the front seat, thinking this was going to be an interesting feat on his part if he could do it. He started to go, but I wasn’t prepared for what I was going to see next.

He rolled over and tried to wiggle backwards toward the front seat. His shorts were hanging low in the back, partially exposing his rear end. I tried to shield my eyes from the half moon, but I was too slow and knew for sure I was going to have a nightmare that night.

At one point he got stuck between the seats with his ass in the air. It was like a horror movie, a flood and an alien invasion all rolled into one. As he paused to reevaluate his situation, I said, “Just say no to crack.”

Once he was finally in the driver seat we engaged in small talk about his drug use as I tried to forget the crack invasion I just experienced. That’s when he said something hilarious.

He told me, “I started smoking crack when I was 35 years old.”

Wow, I guess the phrase “Just say no to crack” didn’t mean much here.

Through small talk he told me he didn’t smoke crack anymore. He said he was strictly a meth user now. Thank goodness for that because he had enough to crack in his life.

“Do you have a meth pipe?”

“Yes, I do,” he relied.

“Where?”

The man then reached into the leg opening in his shorts toward his crotch. He dug around for a moment and pulled out a glass pipe. He held it up as he tried to hand it to me.

I looked at his crotch smelling meth pipe and said, “Um, let me get some gloves.”

When the day started I had no idea a butt crack Sleeping Beauty was going to pull a meth pipe from his crotch and hand it to me.

I guess I can cross that one off my bucket list.

 

A Jerry Springer moment

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Photo courtesy of nytix.com

On Monday, I was dispatched to follow up an officer who had a person stopped on the freeway offramp. When I got there, the officer told me to stand by with the suspect while he called her parole agent.

He went to use the phone while I engaged  her in small talk. Some of the best stories at work have come from small talk with people. Plus, it’s better to talk than just staring at each other.

She was homeless and in her late twenties. She had tattoos on her face and neck. She also had bad teeth and was wearing dirty clothes. She was super nice and probably had some mental issues.  She told me she and her mother were drug addicts and she hadn’t seen her in about a year.

“Why are you on parole?” I asked.

“DUI,” she replied.

“Did you crash and hurt someone?”

“Yes. It was DUI with GBI, but I wasn’t driving.” She meant great bodily injury.

“How much time did you get?”

“Six years.”

“What happened?”

“I was sitting in the front passenger seat and my boyfriend was driving when my mom started choking me from the backseat. After she stopped choking me I hit my boyfriend. That’s when he crashed.”

“Wait a minute. Why was your mom choking you?”

“She was mad at me.”

“Why did you hit your boyfriend?”

“I don’t know. I just hit him.”

“Why didn’t you hit your mom for choking you?”

She gave me a serious look as she said, “It was my mom.”

I guess in the drug addict world, mom still holds a certain level of respect even when she’s trying to choke you out from the backseat.

After hearing that story a friend said, “Wow. Are they looking for the Jerry Springer set?”

You just can’t make this stuff up….

“It wasn’t me”

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Our cat’s name is Jasper and she has a thing for straws. We have no idea when her infatuation for straws started, but if one is out, she’ll get it. Once she has a straw, she’ll carry it around the house in her mouth. We think she’s part dog.

Yesterday, I went to the drive-thru to get some food at my daughter’s request. Right before we left, the cashier handed me three straws. We went home and I put them on the kitchen table.

My daughter and I ate and used two of the straws for our drinks. My son was at school at the time so I I left one straw on the table. After I was done eating I left to pick him up.

When we got home I told him about the food and where his drink and straw were. A minute later my son told me there wasn’t a straw on the table.

“We brought you a straw. It’s on the table,” I told him.

“I looked. It’s not there.”

I walked over to the table and looked for it because I assumed he was being lazy. I looked everywhere, but there was no straw. Where could it be? That’s when I heard the cat doing something around the corner.

I walked to the family room and guess what I found? The cat looking at me with an innocent look and my son’s straw on the floor.

Sent from my iPad

It was all in the dew

imageThe other night, I was at a crash with my partner as he tried to interview the victim of a hit and run. There was a language barrier and my partner was doing the best he could to get the story with the help of family members.

After a while he had the basic story down, but he needed some more details before we were done. That’s when one of the “translators” used his finger to start drawing on the trunk of the victim’s vehicle.

The temperature was in the upper 50s and there was dew all over the car. Within seconds he drew a couple of lines on the trunk to show us how the collision occurred.

Usually people write on their insurance papers or ask to draw on my notepad to show me what happened. This was definitely a first for me after all these years.

Tonight it was all about the dew.

“It’s Deja Vu all over again”

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A few years ago I handled a fatal traffic collision where a pedestrian was struck by a car. A few days after the collision, flowers appeared on the curb near where the body was in the street. Since then, flowers  have always been there.

A few months ago I responded to the same location for a major injury collision. Ironically, the crash involved a pedestrian who was struck by a car.

When I arrived, I saw a vehicle with front end damage stopped along the north curb. The pedestrian had already been transported to the hospital.

The details of the crash were eerily similar to the fatal collision. Everything from direction of travel to location were the same. Even the bodies ended up in the same general location.

Then it got weird when I saw where the car was. It was almost parked in front of the flower memorial from the fatal collision. If the driver only knew where he parked.

Yogi Berra once said, “It’s deja vu all over again.” That was the best way to describe this location.

 

 

 

“You’re confusing all of us”

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The other day I was sitting at a conference table for a deposition related to a traffic collision I handled a year ago. The defense attorney was nice and professional. He was well prepared and only took about 15 minutes to question me about the collision.

At this pace I was going to be out of there in record time.

Next came the plaintiff’s attorney. Her client was clearly at fault and I wondered what she could ask. What a waste of time for everyone involved.

Any hope of a quick getaway flew out the window in the first 5 minutes. It was like night and day between the two lawyers. At times her questions were awkward and silly. She just wasn’t as prepared as the defense attorney was.

Then her phone rang at volume 10 and startled everyone. The ring was so loud dead people could’ve been resurrected from their graves. After a few more minutes of questions she asked to take a break so she could make a call. Really? In the middle of the depo?

At one point, the plaintiff’s attorney asked a question that left me wondering what the heck she was talking about.

Before I could answer, the defense attorney said, “You’re confusing all of us.” I nodded my head and almost started laughing.

After we went off the record I couldn’t resist and asked the plaintiff’s attorney, “Why are you suing him? Your client did everything wrong.” This made the defense attorney laugh, which was funny in itself.

She replied that her client told her a different version of how the collision happened and she believed him.

I said, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but your client isn’t telling you the whole story.”