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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mr. Toads Wild Ride

Our shift change is at 0800. We usually try to get to work early so that if a call goes out close to shift change the oncoming crew can take it allowing the other crew to go home. So at 0730 this morning there was a mixed crew here. The tones went off for a TC in Riverside county on the grade. Five of us got dressed and jumped in the engine and rolled for the call. If it sounds like a fun call the crew that is ending their shift will usually decide to run it.

We pull up on scene to find a bystander parked by the guard railing and an old woman walking in the brush. On further inspection we see a pickup truck way off in the distance in the brush. We look at the guard rail but it is completely intact. Turns out that she had misjudged the turn and went off the side of the road about a quarter mile back up the highway. She then plummeted several feet and landed in the riverbed, never hitting the brakes. She and her husband (who is legally blind...what a ride that must have been) then drove for about a quarter of a mile down the dry river bed bouncing over brush and piles of dirt 4 feet high. She finally came to a rest on the far side of the river bed.

When all is said and done, he was upset at her for wrecking their truck and was letting her know that he would never ride with her again. Both of then denied any treatment and signed out AMA. We helped both of them hike back up to the roadside where we let them sit in the back of a CHP car awaiting a family member to come pick them up.

In this first photo you can sort of see where she drove off the highway. It's back behind the engine where the sunlight is under the V in the mountain. All three shots are taken from the same spot, just in front of the engine.

She drove full speed down this dry riverbed.

That's her pickup truck off in the distance. We popped her hood open to disconnect the battery. The truck was in surprisingly good shape for all the off roading that it just did.

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