This post would be better if I had a picture (or maybe it wouldn't). We took I-35 up from San Antonio yesterday abandoning our plan to drive 281. What a beating. Traffic was very slow to leave San Antonio and going into Austin was a nightmare. (I suppose that tollway around the city would have been a better idea, huh?)
Mrs. LL was soundly asleep (even through a gas stop) as we approached Waco. Finally, we were making good time despite thick traffic. As I got to the crown in the road I was greeted by a ton of red taillights and smoke. I had time to stop, but it wouldn't be gentle. I even went onto the shoulder in anticipation of the person behind me not hitting the brakes in time. Safely executed.
That smoke I had seen had only been the remnants of an 18 wheeler locking up its wheels to avoid the suddenly stopped traffic. That wasn't the reason for the standstill, and no damage had occurred because of it. As we slowly began to move (and after Mrs. LL and I got into a minor skirmish because of my refusal to ever cross over a grassy median to avoid traffic), we finally made it up to the accident scene.
I'll do my best here to describe it. It was in the inside lane and, if I had to be recreated, picture what would happen if there were seven cars and SUVs in a narrow tunnel traveling 70 mph bumper to bumper when the first in line slammed on its brakes. That's exactly what it looked like. They were perfectly lined up and vehicle after vehicle was crushed. There was one smaller car in the middle that had to have been reduced to 75% of its original length.
It was hard to tell, but I don't think anyone died. But the number of people out of their cars in addition to the police and medical personnel made up quite the crowd. Up about 200 yards from the accident site there were two to three other damaged vehicles in the right shoulder which I suspect got damaged by cars dodging the pileup but still getting damaged. It was quite the scene.
I don't have any big moral to the story other than to think that if I had been up the road by a couple of minutes, I would have been right there in the middle of it. Good thing I had to go to the bathroom when I stopped to get gas.
(For the life of me, I can't find a new story on the crash. It was around Belton and occurred in the middle of the afternoon on Friday. Shoot me a link if you find one.)
at 7:52 AM