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In which i wasn’t sure


So much for trying to post more consistently huh?



Oh well.


Yesterday I was driving to the gym and I witnessed a wreck. The thing was that probably 40 cars or so witnessed the wreck but I had a front row view. I wasn’t sure whether I needed to be a witness or not and that was my dilemma. I’ll explain.



It was the kind of intersection that has two lanes of traffic plus both a right and left turn lane in each direction so basically, 4 lanes in each direction. It is also a major intersection so it’s always crowded.


I was pulling up to turn right in one direction and the person who was two lanes over from me ran the red light. I saw the person speed by and the people who were perpendicular to me were already in the middle of the intersection.


I saw this guy (or gal) whiz by and fortunately he slammed into two cars and not just broadsided one. This way he damaged the back of one and the front of the other and they guy was going fast. The car who ran the light then spun around and their car went backwards and was down the road facing my direction.


I was all like “holy shit” but it didn’t look like there were any serious injuries.


The two cars that were hit went through the intersection and pulled into a bank. The next thing that happened was the guy across from me in the left turn lane did a U-turn and went to check on the car that was hit.


This is where my dilemma came in. I was planning on attempting to go straight (I was in the right turn lane) and check on that person but this other guy who actually had a head on view of the wreck got there first. Also the guy next to me had a good view too and he was headed straight.


My light turned green and I made a right and then I couldn’t decide whether I needed to make a U-turn and go back and wait for the police or not.


There were already 3 cars in the wreck and one or two who had stopped and I figured by the time I got there the police would be called, an ambulance called if needed and there were tons of witnesses.
So what to do? Obviously when you’re right there and first on the scene you need to help but there were at least 40 witnesses and no way was I going to be early on the scene.


So I didn’t go back. So did I do wrong? What’s the protocol on a wreck with a ton of witnesses? I didn’t know but I’ve been wondering what my obligation is.



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  1. Phillipa
    January 12, 2015

    I think in this case because there were so many people who witnessed it, you were fine to leave. I know it’s always good to have many accounts, even just to confirm what actually did happen, but two people were already stopping, so I don’t think you should have felt obligated to turn around. When I witnessed one, I did turn around, and lucky I did as there was one witness from one side, and me from the other….no one else stopped. Doesn’t sound like that’s the case here though.

    • Lynn
      January 14, 2015

      Yeah. Normally when I’ve stopped it was just me

  2. Sheri
    January 12, 2015

    I think you did fine to leave under the circumstances. If you are still concerned, guess you could call the police station and see if more witnesses were needed but probably better to just consider it done. Often if they DO need another witness, someone will put a notice in the paper asking for one.

    • Lynn
      January 14, 2015

      Well…there were soooo many witnesses. I would’ve stopped if I was amongst the first

  3. Paula
    January 12, 2015

    I would have left also if there were that many witnesses and people already helping. I stopped one time at a wreck and by the time the police officer got to me to hear my story he told me he had enough statements and just sent me home.

  4. Theresa
    January 12, 2015

    In L.A. no one stops, and the police won’t even respond, unless someone is actually hurt. Really sad. Alexandra has been hit twice, but had to take blame both times, because she was young, and the other middle aged adult drivers swore it was her fault. On one, I will side with the others as it was a blind turn, and she did not stop in time. But on another, it was the other driver trying to beat a red. I think you did the right thing once you saw others were stopping. Too many witnesses can be just as bad as none. Carry on. Happy to see you posting!

    • Lynn
      January 14, 2015

      Yeah. The break was nice though

  5. chacha1
    January 13, 2015

    I stopped once for an accident on my way home. A young guy in a Prius started across the intersection (properly) and the older woman waiting at his right – she had already stopped – just started up again and banged right into him. I thought “she is going to claim he failed to yield, and because he is a young guy he is going to get screwed.” So I stopped, wrote down my contact information, took it over to him and said “If you need a witness, call me. You were not at fault.”

    Nobody else stopped – I knew they wouldn’t. Beverly Hills people are generally, alas, jerks about being inconvenienced.

    However, I have also witnessed accidents like the one you describe, and I have not stopped for the same reasons you didn’t.

    This weekend I saw something very weird and would have stopped except I honestly couldn’t think what to do. I didn’t even have my cell phone with me to call 911. By the time I had a thought, it was far too late to go back. An Airedale terrier got loose from its M handler and ran across the road in front of me and full-on attacked a smaller dog being walked by a M/F couple. The terrier’s handler ran after it and tackled it but it wouldn’t give up. It was a complete brawl, at one point the little dog was airborne as someone sailed it away from the terrier. By the time I passed, both men were still trying to control the Airedale, the woman had the little dog in her arms and was hustling away. Later I thought, I could have pulled over and invited her to get into the car with her dog. I wonder what the outcome was.
    chacha1 recently posted..okay, break is overMy Profile

    • Lynn
      January 14, 2015

      Well that dogfight sounds exciting. Normally sort of boring around here

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