Rubberneckers

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/07/ouch-thumb.jpgBusy night on Franklin, part 2 of 3

There’s something distinctive about the sound of a car crash – usually its the squealing tires interrupted by a crunch. But almost always its that “pop” of the radiator that really sets it apart. Anyway, what worried me about that familiar sounds was the utter lack of the squealing tires… meaning someone had hit a lightpole, or two seperate cars had collided without warning. In this case, it was the latter.

Home for less than ten minutes since the previous excitement, I ditched outside to see what was the matter.

Indeed, just east of Outpost on Franklin (here’s the map), was a major car wreck. A white Ford Explorer with a big portion of its front end missing was sitting on the double yellow lines. A two-door Honda of some sort, its front right fender smashe to bits, was a few feet away from the larger vehicles rear bumper, facing in the opposite direction (see pic). A number of people were standing on the curbs of both sides of the street, but surprisingly no sign of injuries.

Managing the flow of traffic already was a civilian in a t-shirt and jeans, trying his best to hold up vehicles from the east so a few cars from the west could make it through the one open lane, and then switch the flow every minute or every few cars. He made no effort to cover up the frustration of his volunteer effort, yelling at the scores of vehicles that made no effort to slow down past the accident scene, or would try to drive around him and bottleneck the scene. His colored insults seemed to match the shades of red in his face, entertaining a number of people who watched outside their windows at the Magic Castle Hotel.

Alas, I jumped in to help a bit. It took close to ten minutes (or at least it seemed so) for the first firetruck to arrive. This cued the civilian traffic cop’s exit, who asked me how he did as he walked back to the hotel… likely for a beer and some heart medication. I stuck around for another few minutes, trying to steer eastbound traffic down Sycamore, while the LAFD set up flares on the other side of the accident. Not surprisingly, a number of people ignored me flagging arms, and ended up in a mini traffic jam of other like vehicles who the LAFD didn’t let pass. Clearly my stature doesn’t command the respect of a uniformed fire or peace officer.

Surprisingly, while there for twenty minutes, not a single LAPD vehicle arrived before I left, in stark contrast to the dozens of vehicles who were on scene for the aforementioned “suspicious package”. But if all this activity had already happened within just a few blocks along Franklin in less than a couple hours, I can only imagine what else was happening in Hollywood.

Alas, the most exciting part of the night was over. The next incident was just an annoyance…

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One Reply to “Rubberneckers”

  1. Dave…the first lesson I learned in LA is if you want LAPD to show up to a traffic collision you have to tell them there is blood on the pavement. They have too much else to do without dealing with non-injury accidents. Wait…isn’t that an oxymoron here in LA?

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