PORT RICHMOND – September 3, 2011 (WPVI) — A two-vehicle crash in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia has sent five people to the hospital. The crash happened just after midnight along the 2100 block of East Butler Avenue. Police say the driver of a Honda collided with another vehicle near the intersection of Sepviva Street. When firefighters arrived they found two men trapped inside the Honda. The men were freed and transported  to a local hospital, where one of them is in critical condition. Four people in the other vehicle were also injured.  They were transported to area hospitals, listed in stable condition.   Police are still trying to piece together exactly what caused the crash. At this time no one has been charged. LINK Click the link for more photos.

As usual the news gets the story ALMOST right. This crash happened over the weekend. I was working and responded to the scene that can only be described as carnage. In fairness when I was a punk teenager I did some street racing with my friends. As long as kids have access to anything with wheels and an engine they will find a place to race. But we mostly raced AWAY from busy streets where people could get hurt. Street racing in Philly like most big cities is just part of the urban culture. As a professional firefighter I cringe when I see wrecks like this. The blue Honda with two young rocket scientists in it broadsided an Audi with five brain surgeons in it. The five in the Audi are lucky to be alive and I kid you not when I say that. It was a classic high impact T-Bone wreck.

The two “young men” in the Honda were badly injured. I initially thought the driver was DOA. The passenger was out of the car and on the phone when we arrived, (go figure). He went through the windshield. The driver was pinned and had to be extricated with HURST equipment. Lucky for him it was a quick operation. We had both seriously injured victims in an ambulance and on the way to a trauma center in about fifteen minutes. Not bad.

But here is what bothered me the most about the wreck. There were three teenage girls, maybe early twenties in the Audi. I wish their parents could have seen the wreck. I wish they had to climb inside the car and work on untangling the kids legs from under the dashboard and look at his blood covered face as he’s being put on a stretcher and wheeled away. I say this because I really wonder if they will ever know just how close they came to losing their child last Sunday morning. I wonder if they will make better decisions in the future. Something tells me no.

I was in a wreck like this when I was a teenager and I am lucky to be alive. The circumstances were different. No drag racing, just on the way to a friend’s house when we got hit by a semi. Lucky for us no one was hurt but it made me realize to this day how fragile life is. I guess I am glad that those parents didn’t have to look at the wreck in the end. We do that for them. But sometimes I wonder if a shock to the system isn’t needed to help people to wise up.

Please remember to use your seat belts and make sure your kids are in a car seats. Stay safe all.


One Response to SHOP TALK

  1. Bob G. says:

    Two things…

    1) Ever spend a few Friday nights down past Pattison Ave (near Oscar Myer) and watch the races THERE?
    (and then get chased by the cops later on)

    2) They sure don’t make cars the way they USED to, that;s for sure.

    Roll safe out there.

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