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John Hudson November 7th, 2004 10:50 PM

definatley a catalyst.

Im just saying we are sorrounded by it constantly and the fault is of the driver and the driver only. The catalyst could have been a rabbit but its still the driver who lost focus.

Aaron Rosen November 8th, 2004 01:03 AM

That's just bad driving.

There is not really anything on the side of the road - so it apprears. A field of some sort and the news guy. It's not like they were in a congested area.

In the reporters defense...

SCENE SAFETY is most important.

Im not running into a street or freeway if the scene is not secured and traffic is still moving.

Points to the camera guy - stayed on target the entire time....

Imran Zaidi November 8th, 2004 11:21 AM

Actually Aaron there is indeed the usual news van with the spiraling antenna up top - watch for it near the end of the video. You have to see these things in real life to see how strange they really are, and how they seem to defy the laws of physics.

Marco Leavitt November 8th, 2004 12:05 PM

My first reaction to watching this clip was -- man, that's a hell of a camera man! He didn't get rattled at all and pulls off a pretty decent pan. The car never leaves the frame. If it had been me, I would've run like hell. I guess that's what separates the pros.

Aaron Rosen November 8th, 2004 01:02 PM

I have been to my fair shair of traffic accidents - deaths and all.

Still - Good work for the cam. guy.

George Ellis November 8th, 2004 01:57 PM

I spent a few years playing in traffic as a SCCA Flagging and Communications worker, aka corner worker, or marshall for you European types.

The only thing the reporter did wrong was standing with his back to traffic without an active spotter (the cameraman does not count as he is doing his job.) Nice save by the reporter. He got the "shhhii" out but did not finish the word. ;)

Having worked some big incidents, it is hard for someone who is not a first responder (and I mean someone who has to respond that watched the crash, not EMS) to respond correctly in a timely fashion. Unless you are trained for it, it is hard to jump from the trauma of the incident to doing the next thing. That would definitely ring true for someone who is trained to report 'incidents' as an ENG type. That is jumping from one job to another, so there is a difficulty jumping roles in a situation like this.

The reporter establishing the communications with the station and getting it reported was the BEST response he could have made. By getting that done, he established a call to EMS, which would be the first priority in this situation. If he did respond, the next responsibility would be to make sure that he and the videographer were safe (which they did not do very well reporting from that location). If safe, he can then triage the situation. Who needs what aid first? From that point it breaks down into the Good Samaritan stuff.

Note that the driver's vision was obscured by clutter on the left of a fence and sign. Cannot tell where the balk line is, but if it is where that driver stopped, it is too far back from the intersection. The DOT and the stuff on the corner did contribute to this crash. Also, the crossing van obscured the pickup's view of the crossing car. The pickup driver did react quickly and correctly when it became obvious. The pickup drivers attention was on the slow crossing van in all likelihood. He started braking about 40 feet from impact and did not steer right to avoid (into the pedestrians). The pickup carried left because of the direction of the car. If the car had been coming from the other direction, the reporter's story would have cutoff at impact plus .2 seconds.

This crash was probably written as a failure to yield.

Christopher C. Murphy November 8th, 2004 04:27 PM

Can anyone confirm what happened to the driver of the car? Dead? Alive?


Yi Fong Yu November 8th, 2004 07:57 PM

it is fairly obvious the red sedan is @fault there. the pickup truck had the right of way. the red sedan has a stop sign. so unlucky... ah well.

Will Downing November 9th, 2004 08:33 AM

Christopher, I contacted our Troop F headquarters this morning, and both drivers survived. The pickup driver was held for observation then released, the car driver was in serious condition. Further information wasn't available to us regarding his release. Sedgewick County Sheriff's officers worked the accident.

This was the latest in a string of accidents in the Wichita area caused by inattentive driving. This particular location has no major distractions, nor does it have any large building/businesses. The sight distances are not obstructed, and the items mentioned by George, fence and clutter, are well back from the roadway. It is a wide open intersection, nothing around for miles.

Simply put, the driver of the car wasn't paying attention and drove out in front of the truck. If you watch, his head never turned left...he was watching the news crew the entire time. Sadly it punctuated a fact in our driving habits, we do not pay adequate attention to what we are doing while driving a 2000 lb projectile.

As far as the news crew, they were doing their jobs. They were not in the lane of travel, nor were they obstructions. Distractions, yes, obstructions no. I agree that the phojo did a hell of a job following the vehicles, and the reporter needed a spotter. I've worked both sides here, both as a truck operator, and now as a member of a law enforcement agency, and I always worry about oncoming traffic. As I do ride-alongs and work with troopers on the roadside, I worry more about oncoming traffic, since the looky-loos key in on us and drift onto the shoulder where we are. I've numerous shots of traffic doing this.

Anyway. George, still with the SCCA? My wife runs the Solo department now.

Thanks for letting me get on the KHP soapbox, and if you drive, watch out for the other guy and stay off the cell phone ;)


Will Downing
Media Director (camera guy)
Kansas Highway Patrol

Christopher C. Murphy November 9th, 2004 11:23 AM

Thanks for the info. Will, I can't believe the guy survived. It looked like a direct hit!


Will Downing November 9th, 2004 01:40 PM

Oh yeah...he definitely had someone looking out for him. It's a testament to how much better cars are built and what a seatbelt can do for you in a crash as well.

It's just so dad-gum frustrating for our troops, when they roll up on a wreck, and the occupants are killed because of carelessness or not wearing a seatbelt. Senseless.

No matter how many programs our department produces, PSA's we make, or graphics/billboards/newpaper ads we run, we just can't get people to pay attention and take responsibility.

Oh yeah, before I forget. The station's producers were on the phone to 911 immediately, and apparently the dispatch switchboard lit up with people calling in the crash.


Matt Perry November 9th, 2004 03:39 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Imran Zaidi :
Someone refresh my memory - what's the law in physics that you can't just observe something - the minute you observe you become a variable and therefore change the outcome... -->>>

You're thinking of quantum superposition which isn't applicable for non-quantum physics.

See <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_superposition">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_superposition</a>

Imran Zaidi November 9th, 2004 03:41 PM

It was just a metaphor.

George Ellis November 9th, 2004 08:34 PM


Not much involvement in the last six years. I did Club Racing and all of the trade-off events at Road Atlanta. Too busy with my step-kids and video these days ;)

James Emory November 12th, 2004 09:50 AM

Articles on the accident


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