Monday, July 14, 2008

Car Overboard

Sunday morning, just before 10:30 am. Ken and I are on our way to church. Two blocks away, we hear sirens approaching our area from several directions. A fire truck zooms past. I have that passing thought: I hope the church isn't on fire... But of course it won't be. It's always someone else's emergency.

Except this time. We round a corner to find several emergency vehicles converged on the church parking lot. There are two fire trucks, an ambulance, and a police cruiser. A handful of people are clustered together, looking at a hole in the wooden boards bordering the parking lot. All the emergency personnel are gathered around this hole.

On the other side of the wooden boards is a giant hole in the ground. A condo development has been hard at work excavating. We can't see how deep the hole is, but we assume it's enough to accomodate at least two layers of underground parking.

The firemen work together to rip the top sections of the damaged boards away from the rest of the wall. As the gap widens, the tail end of a car becomes visible, barely sticking up out of the hole. Rumour has it that an elderly couple and their grandchild, a baby, are in the car, moments away from sliding nose-down into the depths of the pit. The driver hit the gas instead of the brake while parking, and they blasted straight through the wooden hoarding.

Now, in a scene straight out of a Hollywood action movie, they are poised on the brink.

As more and more people arrived for church, the crowd grew. Yellow police tape was put up to around the scene. More rumours flew through the crowd. We all watched anxiously as the crews formulated solutions. I put my head down and prayed.

Finally we were called into the church to pray together.

Fortunately, all the occupants of the car were safely evacuated. They had bruises from hanging face-down in their seat belts, and the driver was understandably distraught, but it was as good an outcome as anyone could have hoped for.

By the time the service was complete, the Big Tow was there, winching the car up out of the hole.

The angle of the car in this shot is the same angle at which it was "parked" at the edge of the hole.

They gently lowered the car down until all four wheels were once again on horizontal ground.

The guy with the camera is from one of the local news shows.

I was pretty shaken up by the incident, even though I didn't know the people in the car. I found out later, from the evening news, that the hole was only as deep as the car was long. They weren't in any danger of sliding into an abyss, as we all assumed. That impression certainly added to the drama!

All's well that ends well. Thank God.


whatigotsofar said...

I've seen stuff like that way too often.

Bobby said...

Isn't it crazy how many rumors start flying and how extraordinary they get when things like this happen! That is awesome that everyone is ok... good job catching it on film!

Warped Mind of Ron said...

It's great that nobody was seriously injured, but what an exciting day! I guess where better to be on the edge of a bottomless pit than at a church where you can get some immediate prayer action going for you :)

Claire said...

Oh my gosh! That's really scary!


mex (aka Syb) said...

I really enjoyed catching up on you today. I especially enjoyed the church, prayer, Bible reading entries

Better Half starts EVERY AM w. Psalms

No wonder he is so calm, grounded, peaceful


Sparkling Red said...

Whatigotsofar: Like what? Old people driving erratically? Church parking lot action scenes? People falling down into holes?

Bobby: Yeah, everyone there had a different version of what was happening, and as it turned out, none of them were fully correct!

Ron: My thoughts exactly. It's like if your house caught fire, but you lived next door to the fire station and there was a hydrant right on your lawn. You'd be laughing! ;-)

Claire: It sure was!

Syb: No wonder. :-)

Anonymous said...

I stubbed my BIG TOW!

jameil1922 said...

Geez! Pics never fail to grab me no matter how long I work in news!

Nilsa S. said...

Everyone has heard stories like this. But to actually see it? Witness it? Oh my. Good to hear everyone walked away from the accident. The question remains, how did the car wind up where it didn't belong in the first place?!?

Karen said...

oh wow. that is scary! it always the old people who confuse the gas and the brake.

whatigotsofar said...

Cars upside down, cars impaled, cars on fire. You name it, I've seen it on Dufferin.

Anonymous said...

Agh! This kind of thing scares the bajeezus out of me. But oh how dramatic - grandparents and babies! Just glad they're safe.

H. said...

Ok, why did it show me as anonymous. Spoooky. This is much better.

Sparkling Red said...

Jameil: I could have taken photos before we knew if they were going to get out OK, but that didn't feel right. I didn't want to be an insensitive paparazzo.

Nilsa: It makes me wonder if the city's going to change the bylaws regarding fencing off construction sites adjacent to parking lots. Mixing up the gas and brake is too easy.

Karen: Indeed. Actually, once I tried to get my license and I rammed a parked car when I mixed up my pedals. For the good of all humanity, I never got my license.

WIGSF: Really! Wow, I never realized Dufferin was so action- packed. I did see a car engulfed in flames on the 401 once. That was intense.

H.: Yeah, that's the main thing. It could have been so much worse!

Keera Ann Fox said...

Nothing but odd things happen to you when you try to go to church. Think God's trying to tell you something? ;-)

(OK, two oddnesses do not a series make. I can't wait to hear what happens next Sunday!)

nicole said...

Yuck - thank goodness all went well!

Sparkling Red said...

Keera: There has been a lot of church-related drama. I didn't even tell a story from the Sunday before... I may get around to it eventually. But despite all that, it has overall been a very positive experience, so I'm going with that as the bottom line. :-)

Nicole: Indeed!

Aurora said...

I thank God and thank the firemen too.