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The strangest, scariest, most dramatic thing that you've seen in your n'hood

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Mentioned this in the Small Hugs thread, but I had forgotten about this one.

Yesterday on the news, I saw something about the fire at the apartment at the intersection of X and Y streets. Which is right where my apartment is. I was at mom's house, and stood, rooted to the spot praying that it wasn't my building.

It wasn't, but it was the small independent apartment complex just behind me. One man's in the hospital, 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 30% of his body. Luckily he was the only person hurt in the entire ordeal. He was brought downstairs by a man who was there to meet his brother. The brother was going to start moving his fiancee into his apartment that afternoon, they're getting married this weekend. There's now nearly 20 people newly homeless, most of whom have no local families or money for hotel rooms. One family has three small children with another one on the way.

Lady Snowdon:
Not in a neighborhood, per se, but on the highway from the town where I went to college to where I live now.  DH and I are heading back to our apartment the day after we got married and the highway is completely closed down on both sides due to a car accident.  Cars stacking up, police lights everywhere, the whole nine yards.  We were trying to figure out why the highway was completely closed when we hear a helicopter coming our way.  It lands and we realize it's a LifeFlight helicopter coming for one of the people who was in the accident.  After it takes off, part of the highway reopens and we're able to continue.  Talk about dramatic though - we'd gotten married the day before and then we were witnessing this!

This happened 2 weeks ago.  On my way into work, I had to drive through a spot where a recent car accident happened.  One car was up on the front lawn of a school, the front end completely smashed in (and it was a Cadillac, which are pretty solidly built).  The other car was in the middle of a 4 lawn road, but only appeared to have one of their tail lights cracked.

I could not figure out what happened, so later I googled it, and found that about 15 minutes before I drove through there, a woman was involved in a minor fender bender about a mile away.  When the police showed up, she took off.  A police chase ensued, with the woman going over 80 miles an hour (speed limit is 35).  She was crashing into cars, weaving in and out of traffic.  The police finally stopped her when she nearly crashed through a construction zone (she didn't injure anyone, thank the lord).  She leaped out of her car and physically attacked the police officers.  They also found 2 small children in the car (1 year old and a 2 year old), and the 2 year old was unbelted and bruised from being thrown around inside.  The had video of her in the back of the police car, screaming, kicking at the windows, and beating her head against the inside.

A judge placed a huge bond on her, and they are moving for psych evaluations because her behavior was so bizarre.

I am so grateful that it happened before I went through that area because that road is so twisty, you can't see anything until you are on top of it.

I've been stuck behind a fully stopped freeway that was cleared for a life flight!   Amazing.  Everybody turned off their cars, because we obviously weren't going anywhere fast, and we could see the half dozen large fire engines and ambulances up ahead.  We were on a 6 lane freeway, packed side to side, bumper to bumper, all waiting and talking and wondering and - whap, whap, whap - in flies the helicopter.  It landed on the freeway, nearly a quarter mile in front of us, but the accident vehicles were actually well off the road, having busted through the chain link fence and ended up yards and yards into the ice plant. 

We also, at that same time, lived rurally, and shared a driveway with a Grange Hall that had a huge parking lot, and was another location for ambulances to bring people to be flown in a life flight chopper.  Those choppers have red and white strips on the tops of their big horizontal blades!  They flew in often enough that the goats got over being scared of the noise and wind.  They did training flights out of there too, to add to the number of times we saw them.  One time I had to fast talk my way past the fire engine blocking my driveway, explaining that I lived at the end of the driveway beyond the Grange, and I HAD to PEE, please.....

I think the strangest thing that happened during our time at that house was the  time a commercial truck failed in its attempt to cross the highway down the hill from us, and it fell over on its side in the center median with the most tremendous BANG.  Shook our whole house, and it took hours for them to reroute north and south bound traffic, unload the not small truck, and then winch the truck back to vertical and set it on its wheels.

This one happened while we were renting a house.

One morning, as she's making breakfast, my mother notices movement in a section of the backyard with a low fence separating it from the rest of the backyard. There's a person there. He looks around a bit and makes a beeline for another side of the backyard, bordering another house. She calls the landlord, whose first question is "have you called the police?"; upon being told that she has not, he does so. As it turns out, they're already in the area, because they're looking for the guy! When they discover that Mom can't confirm he didn't head into the house (the layout blocked her view of part of the area he moved into), they tell us to clear out of the house while they search it. We're waiting outside when we hear shouting and gunshots from down the street. Mom moves us behind a car until everything seems to have calmed down. She ends up getting brought over to help ID the guy, because she actually did get a decent look at him (none of us kids ever saw him, we weren't looking the right way the first time and didn't get brought over the second). I never did find out why he was on the run from the police, though.

After moving to where we currently live, we also had a house across the street catch on fire. The interesting bit was that the street was an expressway (which our house backs onto), so there was a sound wall. I couldn't tell whether the thing-clearly-on-fire-and-producing-much-smoke was a house or one of the two gas stations right there. It also attracted many fire engines. That was actually how I noticed it in the first place: heard sirens, looked up, saw massive amounts of black smoke, screamed. Indeed, we had probably ten fire engines out there trying to keep it from spreading (Mom and I went to go look, to confirm that whatever was on fire wasn't a gas station).


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