Saturday, September 12, 2009

This is why you don't make a left turn when it says "right turn only"

Especially when there's a CHP squad car coming your way!

We were in Downey for Heidi's birthday party. For her birthday, she wanted us to go to JC Penny's for a group photo. Then we went back to the house for lunch and we watched a movie. On the way home, I needed to stop for gas. So, I stopped at a gas station in Montebello. I have stopped at this gas station before. I usually go to this one when I'm coming home from Heidi's and I need gas. As I was cleaning my windows, I noticed this car pull in, turn around, and start to head out. What caught my eye was how packed their backseat was. I thought it was odd. I also noticed they were making a left turn when it's a right turn only. So, I go back to cleaning my windows.

Next thing I know, I hear a screech of tires. I turn around and see a CHP squad car swerve around the white car. He swerved to the right, so he wouldn't go into the oncoming traffic. It came straight at us! Fortunately, there was some sidewalk between us. I heard the car hit the sidewalk (as well as watched everything from that point on unfold) and the tire blow out. I seriously thought he might jump the curb and that terrified me since we were in his path if he did. Looking at the skid marks, if he had jumped the curb, he might have just clipped the back of my car if he did. The other car was stopped in the middle of the street with its emergency lights on. The CHP officer got out of his car, looked around, and then motioned to that car to pull into the gas station. He eventually came over to us and asked us if any of us saw what happened. Then he asked if we minded waiting so they could take our statements. By then, we expected that. We had plenty of time to leave, but we stayed figuring they would need our statements. I had gone inside to get my receipt and the guy asked me what happened. He said he's seen so many people ignore that "right turn only" sign and make a left.

We were talking about what happened while we were waiting, and on the way home too. I was a little more apprehensive driving home. I jumped in my skin when we were close to Nina's and the car next to me honked at someone. We were talking about how fortunate it happened the way it did. There were a million different ways it could have turned out worse. No other vehicle was hit. No one was injured (hopefully! The only injury I can imagine is the whiplash the officer may have since the other car wasn't hit and I don't know how hard he hit the sidewalk). Nina said she saw the car swerve around the other car and come right at her. She said she must have the "deer in the headlights" look. She saw him jerk the wheel. We thought he did a good job maneuvering on the road. Angelina said if she was in his situation, she probably would've just hit the brakes and shut her eyes. I'm sure I would've done the same thing. I definitely wouldn't know how to maneuver like he did!

You can see the skid marks from the CHP squad car.

So, how often do you obey the "right turn" only sign???

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