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Author Topic: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?  (Read 5419 times)

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guihong

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2016, 10:54:01 AM »
A few years ago, my city (and state) was struck by a tornado outbreak.  I was watching the weather guys on TV while the sirens were going off; the sirens go off for almost anywhere in our county, so I thought we were OK.  Then I heard shouting, and ran outside to see a funnel cloud coming down over the grocery store less than a mile away.  A friend of my DD's was filming with his phone while several of us stood mesmerized  :o.  There's something about how majestic a tornado is that seems to suspend common sense, I guess.  Finally, I became aware of my daughter's screaming at us to get in the bathroom, now!  and we all ran back in.  Our damage wasn't bad and no injuries, but a town a few miles away was wiped out  :'(.

We still have the film saved; the tornado, the weird skies, and my DD's shouting for a backdrop.



Hillia

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2016, 11:12:04 AM »
This is relatively minor since no human lives were at risk, but DH and I were driving once through a small town, our little chihuahua on his lap in the passenger seat.  She was standing up taking in the sights, when I ran over some pretty rough railroad tracks at about 20 mph.  She bounced right off his lap and completely out of the window.  Fortunately she was wearing her leash and collar and he was able to grab her, but it scared the life of out all three of us.

Thipu1

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2016, 01:43:53 PM »
A friend of ours I'll call Al worked way up in the World Trade Center.  He was partially retired but went in on Tuesdays to give his replacement helpful tips.  9/11 was a Tuesday..  It was also primary day in NYS. 

Being a good citizen, Al stopped off to vote before going to work.  Al also served on the board of his co-op apartment building.  While at the polling place, Al was accosted by a resident of the same building who was a noted complainer.  On that morning she had a laundry list of grievances. 

Because he is a good soul, Al carefully listened to her and made notes to present to the board. 

As a result, he missed his usual train and was well away from the Towers when the planes hit.

sammycat

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2016, 04:04:52 PM »
A friend of ours I'll call Al worked way up in the World Trade Center.  He was partially retired but went in on Tuesdays to give his replacement helpful tips.  9/11 was a Tuesday..  It was also primary day in NYS. 

Being a good citizen, Al stopped off to vote before going to work.  Al also served on the board of his co-op apartment building.  While at the polling place, Al was accosted by a resident of the same building who was a noted complainer.  On that morning she had a laundry list of grievances. 

Because he is a good soul, Al carefully listened to her and made notes to present to the board. 

As a result, he missed his usual train and was well away from the Towers when the planes hit.

Stories like this send a shiver up my spine. Obviously he wasn't fated to be at the Towers on that day and/or at that time.

andi

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2016, 04:32:42 PM »
 While on vacation in Ireland a few years ago we were staying in an old castle that had been renovated into a hotel. This was booked by our travel agent in Ireland and they used this castle/hotel quite often. The second night we were there I sent my son into get his shower before going to bed. After being in there for about 30 minutes I stuck my head in and told him to hurry up and get done because it was past bedtime and we had to make an early start in the morning.  About five minutes after that he finished up and came and stood behind my chair to give me a kiss  good night and crawled into bed.

 Not two minutes after that my husband and I heard a huge BOOM and saw dust and smoke coming out of the bathroom. My husband did not realize that our son was out of the bathroom, he jumped up and ran in there. It looked like a bomb had gone off. Turns out that a support beam right above our bathtub had broke and 4 50 pound counterweights had fallen through the ceiling.

 I have  pictures. The toilet was completely demolished. There was about 2 feet of wood, stone, and debris piled up in the bathtub. It's smashed through the floor into the room below us. Thinking about it still makes my stomach roll over.  Just a matter of 2 to 3 minutes could've meant our son seriously injured or killed.

Asharah

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2016, 06:43:13 PM »
This is relatively minor since no human lives were at risk, but DH and I were driving once through a small town, our little chihuahua on his lap in the passenger seat.  She was standing up taking in the sights, when I ran over some pretty rough railroad tracks at about 20 mph.  She bounced right off his lap and completely out of the window.  Fortunately she was wearing her leash and collar and he was able to grab her, but it scared the life of out all three of us.
Back when the Reagans were in the White House, one of the staff was bringing Nancy's King Charles Cavalier in from a walk, when he stepped off the elevator, the dog didn't. The door closed on the leash and the elevator went down. Luckily it stopped one floor down,  the dog was hanging from the leash but wasn't hurt. Can you imagine what would have happened if he had to tell Nancy Reagan he killed her dog?  ???
« Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 06:47:14 PM by Asharah »
Asharah

AnnaT

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2016, 06:49:03 PM »
Last year, three weeks into a two month trip around the US and Canada I was out in the Canadian Rockies at a Dude Ranch (ranch where people who don't see horses in their day to day life can life in a bunkhouse, eat steak from the property and ride their 'own' horse for a week) when I went out with a small group to do a quad bike tour around the national park which was next door.

Was not having a good time - it was my first time on a quad bike but hey, was having a trip of a lifetime, get out of your comfort zone type holiday. 

I managed to not turn a corner on a road and ran the bike into a tree which catapulted me down an embankment and managed to break my leg in three places...

The close call?  The quad bike came tumbling after and over me - it pushed my top half over my bottom half before continuing to roll down to the bottom of the embankment.  If the slope hadn't been so steep and if there hadn't been a young-ish tree at the top of the slope to help guide it over me, I wouldn't be here today.

A year later and I've finally been given the go-ahead to start booking my trip again in 2017. Alaska here I come! :)

sammycat

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2016, 07:39:16 PM »
This story is foklore in our family now. One particular day when I was about two, the next door neighbour was about to light the furnace thingy he had in his yard; something he only did about once a year. He decided to have a look inside before firing it up, which wasn't something he did every time apparently. Just as well he did, as I was inside. His discovery coincided with my mother discovering me missing from inside the house and she was coming outside to look for me. She met the ashen faced neighbor who had me in hand.  Had he not looked, and I'd died, I presumably would've ended up as one of those missing children statistics whose case remain unsolved.

Not me directly, but a situation that still gives me chills.  A few years ago I was driving at 11pm at night. I turned into a street that didn't have any overhead lights in that particular section. Just in time, I noticed the car in front of me had stopped and the driver's door was open.  I was annoyed as who the hell does that? But, turns out the driver had stopped because a toddler on a little plastic ride on toy was in the middle of the road. S/he had come from a house across the road. I very much doubt I'd have noticed the child until it was too late as s/he was so low to the ground and it was virtually pitch black, except for the car lights. I waited behind the stopped car until the driver had taken the child home.  When the driver returned the child the parents didn't appear to be at all concerned from what I could see.  I think about that close call every time I go down that street (which is often).


Sebastienne

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2016, 08:17:09 PM »
A few years ago, I was on day two of a cross-country road trip with my mom. We were heading out first thing in the morning on the Pennsylvania Turnpike--a curvy, mountainous toll road which, at least at that point in time, had no shoulders on either side. Before heading onto the road, we stopped for coffee, and as we were leaving the store, I realized I'd forgotten my wallet at the register. I ran back in, grabbed it, and we were on our way.

Not more than five minutes on the road, a large semi truck passed us; it had to have been going at least 20 miles over the speed limit. Immediately after it went by, we rounded a corner and saw traffic completely stopped about 200 yards ahead. So we braked and stopped, as one does. The truck did not.

It was like a terrible movie scene--watching this giant truck plow into car after car after car until it finally came to a stop. Cars had been flung into the rock on one side of the road and the jersey barrier on the other. One was completely crushed underneath the semi. It was horrific. In the end, I believe, over 20 cars had been hit by the truck, and then even more had been rear-ended by cars behind them. Shockingly, no one died; one car's passenger side ceiling had completely collapsed--but there was no passenger.

We still talk about how lucky we were I'd forgotten my wallet. That extra 30 seconds may have saved our lives.


TracyXJ

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2016, 08:57:00 AM »
This is relatively minor since no human lives were at risk, but DH and I were driving once through a small town, our little chihuahua on his lap in the passenger seat.  She was standing up taking in the sights, when I ran over some pretty rough railroad tracks at about 20 mph.  She bounced right off his lap and completely out of the window.  Fortunately she was wearing her leash and collar and he was able to grab her, but it scared the life of out all three of us.
Back when the Reagans were in the White House, one of the staff was bringing Nancy's King Charles Cavalier in from a walk, when he stepped off the elevator, the dog didn't. The door closed on the leash and the elevator went down. Luckily it stopped one floor down,  the dog was hanging from the leash but wasn't hurt. Can you imagine what would have happened if he had to tell Nancy Reagan he killed her dog?  ???

There was an incident similar to that in my town recently and thanks to a security camera, they have footage of it.  A guest at a hotel stepped on the elevator and didn't notice their dog didn't get on too.  As the elevator started to go up, the little dog started to be pulled up by the leash.  The guy working the front desk ran over and was frantically trying to get the dog free before it was too late.  At the last second, he was able to snap the leash and free the dog. 

Worst close call for our family that I can think of:
When my older son (Sunshine) was almost 2, we decided to get a big boy bed for him since he was ready and we needed the crib for little Sweet Potato.  DH found instructions online on how to build this awesome lofted bed with rails and stairs.  Bed gets built and we went searching for a mattress.  Found a foam one at Ikea that was thinner than a standard mattress.  We thought that was great since it would mean the top rail would be higher in comparison to him when he was standing up.  We put the bed in his room, he loved it and was just fine for a few weeks.  Then we hear Sunshine shrieking in terror.  I was feeding Sweet Potato, so DH ran across the house to Sunshine.  And walks into the room to see him hanging from his bed by his head.  With the thinner mattress, Sunshine was able to slide between the mattress and the bottom of the lower rail when he moved in his sleep.  DH got Sunshine out of the bed and Sunshine just gave a sigh and slipped back into a deep sleep.  The next morning he woke up just fine.  Not a mark on him.  And the bed got a board added below the lower rail. 
I still can't imagine what went through DH's mind when he saw Sunshine hanging there.  Also, thankfully Sunshine is a LOUD kid.  Because we didn't have a baby monitor in his room anymore.

MrTango

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2016, 11:30:02 AM »
I had the steering fail in my parents' car when I was in college.  My mom had just had a part replaced in the steering column, and when the steering wheel was reattached, a bolt was missed.

After this, the car had been driven about 400 miles without incident (Mom and Sister drove to my grandparents' house and back), but when I went to take the car to work the following Monday (I even had an interview for a promotion that day), the steering stopped responding to movement of the wheel.  I could literally make the wheel spin like a top, but it had no connection to the wheels.  Fortunately, at the time, I was only moving at about 10 miles per hour on a street that had a gentle left-hand curve to it.  The car continued in a straight line, so I just slowed down until the front wheel contacted the curb, then gave it some power to pop up onto the curb and pulled forward until the car was out of the traffic lane.

Scared the hell out of me, but my dad was available to drive me to work in time for my interview, and I did get that promotion.

snowfire

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2016, 12:40:47 PM »
A decade or so ago I was house sitting for a friend who lived near the top of a local hill, with the requisite windy road. Usually I would park in the driveway, but someone had closed both gates (U shaped driveway). I decided not to wrangle with them, as they were heavy, so I just parked in the street. 

I made it safely down the hill, but about a mile further on I started feeling a wobble in the steering wheel.  I was looking for a safe place to pull off when I felt the front end of my Bronco go *thunk* and saw my left front wheel go bouncing ahead of me across the opposing lane.  Luckily, there were no oncoming cars and the tire hit a curb where the road curved and it stopped, not crossing the busy intersection.  Those tires are BIG! 

While I was up the hill, apparently someone had messed with my lug nuts as they had all come off, with no signs of the threads being stripped.  I had been very lucky that I was on flat ground, moving about 10 MPH when it happened.  If it had happened up the hill, the tire would likely have gone through someones roof or windows. The thunk was when my truck landed on its' brake disc.  The disk was damaged, of course, and a part of the steering linkage that hit the ground had to be replaced, but I was extremely fortunate that I didn't get flipped.

EMuir

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2016, 01:04:21 PM »
I was in University, just moved to the city from a small town. I wanted to grab something quick from a store slightly off campus. There was a crowd of people on the sidewalk blocking my way, just standing there.  I huffed impatiently and squeezed around them on the tiny bit of sidewalk on the left, right by the road.  Behind me I hear my friend scream my name. Those people were waiting for the bus, which pulled up as I dodged past. Apparently the side mirror just missed my head, and scared my friend to bits.

atirial

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2016, 05:21:23 AM »
I think I've told this one before, a few years ago I was walking along the pavement, there was a wall alongside,  and in the oncoming lane there was a flatbed lorry with the square metal stadium barricades (these things, but taller) strapped flat on the back.

About a hundred yards ahead of me one of the straps broke, and the barricades promptly starting sliding off,  straight onto the pavement. I just froze. The wall mean there was nowhere to go and these huge metal things just falling onto the pavement and road. I can still remember the clattering and these things just slamming into the pavement in a row straight towards me.

Fortunately the driver saw it and stopped just short of me, but the road was absolutely covered with the things. It didn't even occur to me until a while later, if they'd hit me I'd have been injured, and probably killed.

Gladly

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Re: Almost tragic...what close calls have you had?
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2016, 05:24:18 AM »
I have 2.

The first was when I was about 5 years old.  We were visiting friends who owned a small farm on the Welsh coast.  We usually visited at hay-making time, so my parents could help out when they needed extra hands around.  This particular day one trailer load of hay was filled and my father drove it along the beach back to the barn, with our friends' teenage son, Robert, to help unload when he got there, and I was riding along too.  Not knowing the track as well as those who lived there, he accidentally went through some soft sand and although the tractor got through fine, the trailer got stuck.  We all started to look for stones to put under the wheel.  I came back with what I could carry, and helpfully started placing them in front of the stuck wheel.  My father and Robert were a few yards away gathering more stones.  I heard a yell and looked round just as Robert grabbed me and threw me across the beach.  I remember screeching angrily at him, and looking back to see the trailer on its side and bails of hay piled deep exactly where I had been sitting.

The second is much more recent.  DH and I were going on a skiing trip to the US (Colorado) with a couple of friends.  After a long flight to Denver, we picked up our hire car and started what should have been a drive of 2 or 3 hours to where we were staying.  It got dark.  It started to snow.  It started to snow harder.  We kept driving.  It snowed harder, we kept driving.  We stop to get something to eat and swap drivers.  The snow gets heavier as we get higher, but by now we can't see the edge of the road, so can't find a safe place to pull over.  All we know of the area is the printed directions to our hotel, so we keep going. We just follow the rear lights of a vehicle ahead of us, which turns out to be a snow plough, so we follow it.  We get to the hotel after 4+ hours, apologise to the receptionist about our late arrival.  She goes pale.
"You came from Denver? You drove over SomethingorOther Pass in this weather?!!" 
"Did we?"
"You must have!"
When we drove back to the airport at the end of the holiday we understood.  What we couldn't see in the dark and the snow was that about 2 miles of that road had a sheer drop of hundreds of feet on either side!   Remember we couldn't see where the side of the road was...?

Every year after than we have stopped at a hotel half way, so we can drive over the mountains in daylight!

« Last Edit: November 01, 2016, 06:52:47 AM by Gladly »