I've been hearing a lot of news about a major traffic collision in Gainseville Florida this past weekend. It sounded terrible. People died, others were hurt and many cars and other property were damaged. This trajedy was caused by a fire, possibly intentionally lit which sent thick smoke over a heavily travelled roadway in North Florida.
I feel very badly for anyone injured or the family and friends of those who were lost in this terrible accident. But we have problems of our own here in California. Nearly every day there is a terrible accident on our own alley of death, Highway 138. Nicknamed the Pearblossom highway, it is known to the locals as the "alley of death" or "blood alley". It obtained this name after years of horible traffic collisions and fatalities due to a series of dips in the mostly two lane highway where cars sink so deep into the roadway that oncoming vehicles don't or can't see the cars as they approach from the opposite directions. As the road is only one lane in each direction, cars are often trying to pass slower traffic on what seems to be a fairly straight roadway with apparently good visibility. As the passing attempt begins, the driver on the wrong side of the roadway suddenly realizes he approaching a dip in the road as he see the oncoming headlights rises out of the whole ahead and coming straight at him.
What happens at this point is either a terrible head on collision or a last minute corrections by one of the vehicles in an effort to avoid the impending impact. As one or both of the cars steer to avoid a wreck they often end up either driving off the roadway or causing a rollover which may end with slightly fewer injuries than the head on collision. While I do feel bad for the folks in Gainseville, it seems we have problems of our own here in California.
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