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Cranes and Carbeques

That huge black plume of smoke looming over the Dulles toll road this morning was a CAR ON FIRE westbound between Hunter Mill and Wiehle -- or a "carbeque" in the local parlance because horrifying, devastating accidents happen about six times a day on the roads around here and people are pretty jaded.

It's ... quite a thing to see something like that in real life. This isn't a TV stunt car that explodes after skidding, this isn't a videogame car that flies through the air, lands with a bang, and keeps on rolling. This is a real car that had real people in it, rapidly reducing itself to a black pile of twisted slag. That gray haze we drove through? That was rarified pieces of somebody's car! Cripes. I sure hope they got out of it okay -- but I have no way of knowing.

But the morning commute wasn't all horror. On our back route (for when the toll road is a mess, like today), at the intersection of Beulah and Old Courthouse, is a small pond of the "fishin' hole" variety that is usually populated by various types of migratory waterfowl. Year round you can find ducks and Canadian geese ("Honk, eh?") congregating there; in the summer months it's not unusual to find the occasional blue heron. Today we encountered a large, gangly-but-still-graceful variety of crane, with a light gray body and a long white head with black stripes over the eyes. So that added a nice, peaceful moment to what was otherwise a scary ride.

-The Gneech


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 1st, 2007 03:11 pm (UTC)
I don't think anyone was injured. I haven't seen any mention of it in the incident reports.
Mar. 1st, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear that!

Mar. 1st, 2007 03:37 pm (UTC)
I've seen a carbecue before (technically, a vanbecue, but that doesn't sound as good). Driving past the burned-out shell was shocking since I didn't realize how bad the damage would be.
Mar. 1st, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC)
If you're *extremely* curious, it may be too late at this point, but around here there's a traffic website called sigalert.com (I believe there's traffic.com too) that is solely for up to date local traffic reports. It is based on police radio calls, so they specify the severity of a traffic incident based on # of lane closures, emergency equipment required, time of cleanup required, etc. Thus if there were injuries or a fatality, it'll be noted.

LA is of course very car-based, but there may be similar services in your area...
Mar. 1st, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid to find out. 0.o But usually if it's more than "wounded but stable" it'll be mentioned on the news, which this wasn't. So I'm going to take it on faith that everybody got out okay. ^.^'

Mar. 1st, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
If you smelled something like roasted pig as you go by something like that I'd strongly suggest looking the other way. Having dealt a few too many times with what fire fighters call "Crispy Critters" I will tell you it is something you don't want to see. One reason I will loose my appetite quickly at a place that's roasting pig is because it is very, very close to the smell of burnt flesh or at least it is to my senses.

I do hope and pray that all in the accident got out and had no major injuries.
Mar. 1st, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)

Well, MooiVos calls them "Auto-Flam-be'" as she had one years ago in an Audi out in California.

Perhaps all you need is some good, down home cooking, just like ol' joe at the body shop and garage used to make... Manifold Destiny.
Mar. 2nd, 2007 09:27 am (UTC)
That reminds me of the time I was driving back from Atlanta with my mom when we stopped in Anderson, SC to get milk shakes. When we got back out to my truck we saw another truck pulling a trailer loaded with hay bales off to the side of the road and the guys out and working over the trailer. Then a South Carolina state trooper pulls up and starts working with the guys, at that point we where noticing a bit of smoke rolling out of the rear-most bale. Wasn't five minutes before the bale was well on its way of becoming a smoke cloud, though we didn't stick around to see the finale of what happened, though I thought I heard the fire truck coming.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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