Sunday, February 10, 2008

Huge Car Accident in Rochester

I know this isn't craft related, but I feel the need to blog about it.

We were on our way to have our typical Sunday lunch with my parents. We left the house at 12:30 ish to get to the resturaunt by 12:45. It was blue sunny skies, but the wind was blowing snow across the highway (390 south) so bad that it caused a whiteout...and then everyone on the highway stopped. Then there were emergancy vehicles trying to get through to the accident ahead that had cause us to stop. We couldn't see what was going on through the mass of cars and the firetruck that had driven up the left side and parked just ahead of us. We sat there for an hour and a half...wondering what was going on...scanning the radio stations for any sign of what might have happened...entertaining ourselves by reading my old children's books I got from my parents' house and still have in a crate in the back seat of my car. Finally, a policeman said they'd be having us back up one car at a time and turn around to drive to the turnaround (the ones you see the Troopers parked at that always have the "no U turn" signs on them) and get to the northbound side of the highway to then detour to wherever we needed to go. Thankfully, the closest exit was the one we needed to get off on to get back home. When we got home, CJ said it was the "Longest, shortest trip ever"

Obviously, I had called my dad earlier when we first stopped, saying that we might be late, and then called him again after the emergancy vehicles started coming up alongside us, saying that I didn't think we weren't going to be making it to meet them for lunch. We saw 5 stretchers go past us (the ambulance was not too far behind us) as well as the firemen bringing out at least 4 sets of Jaws-of-life. We knew something big had happened ahead. I had no idea how big until after church tonight when we checked the Democrat & Chronicle website to see if they had any info on what happened and found the article about what had happened. I also had recorded the channel 13 news to see what happened (we had seen the news cameras). It's also on channel 10's website

It had been a 36 car pileup. 36!
February 10, 2008 5:53 pm — A 17-year-old Rochester girl was killed in a 36-car accident on Interstate 390 today, Gates police said. Police said Le Ngo died in the midday accident that also left 24 people injured.At least four people had to be extricated from their cars by the Jaws of Life, police said at a 5 p.m. news conference.Police temporarily closed a portion of Interstate 390 near the Greater Rochester International Airport because of the multi-car pile-up, which authorities believe was caused by white-out conditions.A many as 25 ambulances were called after the 12:39 accident on southbound 390 at Scottsville Road, according to officials at the 911 center. Authorities said the accident scene was 100 yards long.Northbound 390 was reopened within two hours but officials were forced to keep the southbound lanes closed for nearly five hours after the series of collisions.At least 15 tow trucks have been called. More than a dozen cars were towed to the sides of the exit ramp so that the highway could be cleared.

At the time, I had thought maybe 3 or maybe even 5 or 6. But I had no idea when we were sitting in the car how huge of an accident was really ahead of us. And not too far ahead of us either (if you look at the upper righthand corner of the second picture and see the firetruck, that was the one we were only a carlength behind).
If we had left just a few minutes earlier, we could have been right in the middle of it. It's things like this, that even though that thought of "if we had been a few minutes/seconds earlier..." freaks me out, it is such a huge sign to me that the Lord protected us. I sent a link of the article to my parents and my dad wrote back and said pretty much the same thing..."God loves you & protected you both. A few minutes ahead of that time, you both could have been right in the middle of it all. God is good, all the time."

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