Just last week I was talking about UFO sightings and how human beings by design are terrible witnesses. With that in mind, here is my best recollection of what happened Friday afternoon.
At approximately 4:45pm. Susan and I had just left work and were sitting at the intersection of SW 44th and Council Road. In the diagram below (which I just made using generic clip art and Google Maps), we are the blue car, facing west (left). The east/west traffic is stopped at a red light, but it’s about to turn green.
Heading towards us all from the north is a red pickup truck. In my diagram it’s a red car, because I couldn’t find a good overhead picture of a red pickup truck.
The light turned green, and we all began to move forward. The red pickup, however, did not stop. I don’t know how fast he was going, but it seemed pretty fast — I would estimate at least 50mph, maybe more. When I saw him coming out of the corner of my eye, I hit the gas.
In the below diagram you can see just that. I (the blue car) am now through the intersection. The red pickup is still moving south (down). Everyone else is about to enter the intersection.
In the above diagram you can see the aftermath. The green car behind us got hit in the front, as did the yellow car that was coming toward us. The red pickup barreled through the intersection at full speed, rolling, doing a 180, and eventually coming to a rest while facing the opposite direction (north).
(By the way, there wasn’t any fire in real life. I just used it to show who got hit. And I liked the look of it.)
I immediately did a u-turn (Susan was already on the phone to 911). I pulled up and checked on the man in the green car. He said he was okay. Then I turned right (south) and pulled up next to the red pickup. The man inside the pickup got out and Susan and I said the same words at the same time:
“He’s … RUNNING!”
The man inside the red pickup began running toward the offices directly to his west and frantically trying to open doors. I am being very cautious when choosing my words here, but it “appeared” to us that he was trying to flee the scene. The man was running away from us and tried several doors and then turned and began running back toward us. I already had my cell phone out and I took this picture. My thought at the time was, if this man runs away, the police are going to want to know what he looked like.
The man found a door that was open and ran inside. About that time another man in a black pickup pulled up next to me and shouted, “cover the back, in case he runs out the back!” At that put I pulled the car around the back of the building and watched for the man to exit. He never did. I don’t know what I would have done if he had. Taken more pictures, I guess.
It wasn’t long before the police, firetrucks, and ambulance arrived. We flagged down one of the firemen and told them we needed to talk to the police. The fireman pointed toward the man we had seen running and told us that he (the man driving the red pickup) had been hit and knocked into the intersection. He told him this was not true and that he had run through the intersection and hit all the other cars. The fireman told us to stay put until an officer could come over and talk to us.
Again, I am going to choose my words very carefully here — it appeared to us (Susan and I) that the man was beginning to resist. He was fidgeting greatly and it appeared to us that two officers that had taken him into custody were having a hard time controlling him. About that time a second police car pulled up and a third, burly police officer walked up. At that time the man was placed in the back of the squad car. This picture was taken shortly the man was placed in the squad car.
We still have a lot of unanswered questions. Was the man drunk, or high? Was the truck stolen? Why did he run? Those are questions we may never know the answer to. What I do know is, had I not caught a flash of red coming toward me and hit the gas, this guy would have t-boned our car’s passenger side. Based on how far his pickup traveled after the accident, there’s no doubt in my mind that he would have killed Susan and possibly me too.