Yesterday, at about 1:50pm, an older model Acura slammed into an abandoned RV on Railroad Ave. The vehicle contained four high school students, all from Milpitas, on a joy ride. Two 17/18 year old males were in the front seat while a male and female of similar age occupied the back seat. The driver sustained minor facial cuts while the passenger in front sustained heavier facial and cranial injuries and a possible concussion. Both passenger airbags deployed and the bulk of the vehicle damage was to the front right passenger side.
High school students crash into abandoned RV on Railroad Avenue
My team and I were working on a project when we heard the tell-tale squeal of tires spinning donuts across the tracks over on RR Ave. Our film studio is on Winsor street, and just about every day, we get to hear the howling scream of tires fighting for traction as locals practice drifting and burnouts in the unfortunate proving grounds that is the cul de sac at Railroad avenue.
As we increased the volume of our conversation to compensate for the noise, the squealing ended abruptly with a dull bang. We all took a second to register that the vehicle must have crashed, then poked our heads out the window to see our neighbors slowly heading toward the sound. When I looked over, I could see a cloud of dust and some steam rising in the distance about two blocks away.
We headed over to find a vehicle resting in the grass on the side of the road with a smashed passenger front-end. Four passengers had exited and were milling about in shock. I stayed with the three relatively uninjured parties at the vehicle and called 911 as some of our neighbors assisted a fourth passenger who was bleeding profusely from the face, walking him back to their facility to provide water and a first aid kit. The scene was calmer than expected, the steam from the radiator having dissipated by the time we got across the tracks.
Having only heard the crash, we were unaware of how much impact the vehicle had sustained, but could see from a block away that the vehicle was totaled. At the time, when looking at the RV, it appeared to have taken a relatively small amount of damage to the back-end – but reviewing the security footage shows the crash actually pushed the RV almost 25 feet forward and up onto the curb, the side and front of the Acura crushed completely under the backend before sliding out and across the road. If the RV had not acted as a guardrail, the car would likely have hit the curb and rolled up the embankment – and this might be a very different article.
While no one sustained any major injuries, as we waited for emergency services, the driver collapsed briefly from shock but recovered quickly and was coherent thereafter. As most do, he fell into a mild panic as the reality of his first major car wreck settled in. Having been through the exact same kind of wreck myself on three separate occasions, I very much empathized what he was experiencing at that time — panic that you’ve hurt someone, fear of the repercussions, anger at yourself, concern about the strangest things…
“Do you think this will affect graduation?” the driver asks me, before trying to make sure his friends get back to school in time — so they don’t get in too much trouble for his mistake. I smile at that one. School is already over for the day.
This was supposed to be a quick joy ride.
Impulsively, the driver’s uninjured friend opens his wallet and tries to shove cash at us for saving his life. It’s four single dollar bills. We smile sympathetically and wave them back. Even if he was holding hundreds we’d have done the same thing. This isn’t a transactional moment. We’re all just happy no one is dead. Everyone speaks thankfullyabout it again the next day at work.
We don’t even know them, but what a relief not to have to witness a tragic death.
Luckily, most of the injuries were minor facial cuts from broken glass and abrasions from the airbag deploying. While facial wounds bleed profusely and put on a good show, there were no broken bones, no punctured lungs, there was no one in the abandoned RV, no pedestrians, and everyone walked away. I’ll call that a win for Milpitas and a cautionary tale for our young and reckless drivers out there – wrecking your friend’s car may not affect graduation, but wrecking your friend will. No one wants to be the one that walked away when someone else didn’t.
Take a little more care when you’re out there pushing the limits.
We don’t get anywhere in life by not taking risks, but if the risks take our lives, are they worth it? Drive safe!
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