Directly involved in a scary SUV rollover

I almost put this in the Pit, calling it “I’m going to die on the f*cking Southern California freeways” but opted against it. The adrenalin crash is draining that away.

I was driving on the 10, merging with the 210, freeways in SoCal. It’s one of those more dangerous mergings, where the lane I’m in gets absorbed with a lane in the other freeway. Even though traffic is light, some jerk in a Civic decides I’m not going to merge in front of him. He speeds up, and ends up parallel to my car in the same lane before cutting me off (with maybe a foot or two between my bumper and his, and his bumper and the car in front of him!). I brake and then swerve left to get around him–and a Nissan Pathfinder I didn’t see in that lane swerves around me. (I jerk back to the other lane.)

I see the Pathfinder in my side mirror fishtailing before disappearing from sight…in my rearview I see that it’d f*cking rolled and my heart about stopped. I didn’t know what to do at first, then realized I had to pull over. I pulled over to the shoulder and ran down to him and freaked when I saw the damage and couldn’t see him inside. Other witnesses had already helped him out, and amazingly, he was fine–just a cut and scrape on an elbow.

He talked about the Civic, and then swerving around the truck…I mentioned I was the truck, and this guy who’d just rolled his car is comforting ME saying it wasn’t my fault, “it was that damn Civic!” (I have asthma, and I ran a long way to the crash site…I was wheezing and panting, so I probably sounded hysterical.)

The police arrived and got all the statements. I talked to two different officers, and the second one actually scared me a little. I tried explaining swerving around the Civic from the merging lane (lane 4), and he said, “Wait a sec, I’ve got witnesses telling me they saw you merge from the 3 to 2 lane.” Eep! But I told him that was after…after I saw what happened, I merged from 4 all the way to the 1, and then shoulder, so I could stop and check on him. Then other cops joined in and either he saw something in the paperwork another cop had or just believed me, because his tone totally changed. He thanked me for stopping and making sure the other guy was okay, and asked for as much a description of the Civic as I could give (not much…just a late 90s model, and a dark color). Then later I heard him telling other cops “We’re just going to put her down as a witness.” That was a relief to hear, but even though the cops say I’m not at fault, and even though the guy who rolled said I’m not at fault, I’m still pretty damn freaked out and find myself second guessing what happened.

I’m still shaking now, some near 3 hours later. It was just a horrible, horrible thing to see.


Sorry that happend to ya, Ruff. It makes my head hurt to go thru somethin’ like that. Take a hot soak in the tub tonite. :wink:

P.S. I used to live up Val Verde way. That Grapevine ~ whew! I don’t even complain about the traffic here.

Oh my God- I’m glad you’re OK, but how scary. We have a Nissan Pathfinder. Yikes.

Glad to see you are okay. I was in an accident once, in the back of a truck that tipped over on it’s side. Not hurt, we were just shaken up we thought, but it was wierd. We all felt so calm at first. That night I finally had a reaction, the first and only fit of hysterics I’ve ever had. People react differently to these things.
I agree with NinetyWt , take a hot tub, relax, maybe one drink. Watch a funny movie, something you like and have seen before. It’s good to hear that a Doper is unhurt.

That was very nice of you to stop, Ruffian.

I’m glad everyone’s OK, Ruffian, and I also appreciate you taking the trouble to stop. I don’t suppose there’s a chance someone got the license plate of the Civic? Also, I’ve got to wonder if the person driving the Civic thought gaining a second or two was worth risking the lives of a few people, or if s/he was even aware of it. :frowning:


cj, I don’t think anyone got even a partial license on the Civic. :frowning: I probably would’ve been the best bet, having been directly behind him at some point, but it was only for a second and during that second my thoughts were “I need to get around this jerk.” I couldn’t even remember the color when the police asked. I just remembered it was dark…blue? that it was a '97 or '98 model (I used to have a '98, so at least I was sure about that).

I don’t even know if the driver of that car realized what had happened. I rather hope s/he didn’t, because to see that chain reaction and then bolt is all the more dispicable.

My whole body aches this morning from running so hard. (BTW, I did follow your advice NinetyWt and sit in a hot tub last night. :slight_smile: )You know, you don’t think you’ve gone very far, but the few seconds it takes to go across 3 lanes and then to the shoulder takes you a long frickin’ way. Calves, thighs, shinbone muscle, arms, stomach, shoulders…oof. Plus, if I ever questioned whether or not I had asthma, I know for sure now. (I’ve been recently diagnosed, just didn’t want to believe it.) I’m still a little wheezy.

The paramedics told Eric (driver of the Pathfinder) that he’d be quite sore this morning. I’m sure he is. I just can’t believe how calm and level headed he was…several of us who stopped were helping fish his things out of the car, and he’s telling us to be careful not to get cut from the glass, and to be careful of the oil spilled on the road! I’m in awe of his level-headedness.

Geez!! Glad you are okay, Ruffian
Talk about close calls.
That would have scared the daylights outta me. I’d probably still be sitting on the side of the road, shaking uncontrollably.

Isn’t it amazing how fast accidents happen? I’ve been in a couple minor accidents and close calls, and it seems that everything is playing in fast foward. You don’t have any time to think, let alone react in some instances.

Did the airbags deploy? I’ve always been frightened of mine. I have this fear that I’ll get into a ‘medium’ accident that would otherwise be fine, but the damn airbag will deploy and smash me in the face, block my vision, and break my glasses into my eye causing permanent blindness.

Am I crazy?

Anybody here have airbags deploy in their accidents?

Not that I could see, NoGoodNamesLeft. My car wasn’t hit, so obviously mine didn’t, and from what I could tell the Pathfinder’s didn’t, either. My understanding–and I know there are plenty of Dopers who’d correct me if I’m wrong :wink: --is that airbags are designed to inflate in more of a direct impact, say rear-ending someone or hitting a pole. His car hit the concrete divider, but only enough to send him rolling.

My memory’s a little hazy, though; but I did spend some time retrieving CDs and such from the driver’s side and I think I would’ve noticed.

Yes, accidents do happen so quickly…although in my memory some of it seems slower than others, like when the Civic cut me off. It’s the slo-mo type replay of that scene that had me agonizing yesterday that maybe I hadn’t just swerved, maybe I should’ve this, that, and the other. But (emotionally) I’m much better today. :slight_smile:

Holy crap.

Glad no one was seriously hurt, because that could have been a really nasty situation. I can’t stand it when people absolutely WON’T let you in, or absolutely MUST be in front of you.

I figure, I’m a small car. You’ll beat me every time. Come on in!

wow, i’m glad everyone is okay.

suvs scare me with how quickly they go over. i saw one go over once. it didn’t take much, less that an inch of concrete. the vehicle skidded on it’s side for a while. 3 cars were in that accident. luckily a police car was just entering the parkway. he stopped by one of the cars and i pointed out the suv that went over. the 3 cars were rather scattered over the parkway.

there must have been at least 10 cars that witnessed the accident or had to swerve to miss it, but only 2 cars pulled over to give aid. most of the people who went to the cars were pedestrians.

Apparently a CHP officer called while I was out riding the horse. He just wanted my insurance information, and DeathLlama was able to give it to him. DL also got the incident report number, and the phone number of the office.

I’m a bit irrationally weirded out. The thing is, I know rationally and logically that I’m the middle link in a chain reaction started by the Civic. But because the person whose car was totalled rolled their car in a reaction to me (and rational hubby DL just said “Keep in mind, you didn’t roll his SUV. It rolled because he oversteered in swerving”), a mean little negative part of me keeps hissing “itssssss your fault!” in my ear. Yuck. :frowning:

Eventually my rational side will win this battle, but I’m scared of the proverbial other shoe dropping.