I got lucky tonight in Ypsilanti

This evening, after getting home from work, I took my dog for a walk. We were making pretty good time along the route we usually take, until we reached the intersection of Michigan Avenue and South Washington Street, when we were approached by a local business owner who wanted to talk about the upcoming vote on the future of Ypsilanti’s convention and visitors bureau. So, for about five minutes, my dog and I just stood there with this man, on the southeast corner of the intersection, talking about local politics, oblivious to what was going on around us. It was the kind of conversation that could have taken place anywhere. It just so happens, however, that it took place in the exact spot where, a few minutes later, two cars would forcefully collide in what could have easily been a fatal accident. I don’t know how long after I moved off the spot the two cars would come to a stop on the sidewalk where we’d been standing, but it couldn’t have been more than 15 minutes, and it has me thinking a lot about mortality tonight. I suspect it’s true that any of us, had we taken a different turn at some point in our lives, could be dead right now, but it’s not something that I think about often. If I did, I probably wouldn’t leave the house. But, had I been just a few minutes later getting home this evening, or if that business owner had kept me just a few minutes longer, I wonder if I’d be writing to you tonight.

Here are the two cars involved in this evening’s accident, which news crews are still filming right now.

IMG_3055

According to a woman who had been sitting in front of the Tap Room at the time of the crash, the police car had been “flying” down Michigan Avenue, with “no lights, no sirens, no nothing,” when the car seen here on the left began turning onto South Washington Street from the westbound lane of Michigan Avenue. She said the police car slammed right into the side of the turning car, causing both vehicles to jump the curb and come to a stop in front of the former bank building. As I didn’t see the accident, I have no idea what actually happened, but I suspect that we’ll know soon enough whether or not this woman’s account was accurate, as the whole thing was captured by a Wireless Ypsi camera pointed at the intersection. In the meantime, though, I’m just glad to have made it to the end of yet another day in Ypsi unscathed.

[Fortunately, the drivers of both vehicles seemed to be in fairly stable condition by the time I arrived back on the scene a few minutes after the crash. If there had been a passenger in the car which had been hit, I think it’s almost certain that he or she would be dead right now. Thankfully, though, the driver was alone.]

update: The police have put out a press release about the incident. Here is their explanation as to what happened.

policecrash

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7 Comments

  1. Julie Peasley
    Posted September 10, 2015 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Wow! I had a similar thing happen once when I stopped my bike to pet a cat and a minute later saw a crazy driver swerve into where I would have been biking had I not stopped to pet the cat.

  2. Posted September 10, 2015 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    I think we all have many of these experiences in our lives. We all could have died 100 times over if we’d just swerved at the wrong time or left the house a few minutes later.

  3. Julie Peasley
    Posted September 10, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    And for 99% of them we’ll never know at which instant we avoided death. It’s not always obvious. It does give you a weird feeling though. Just a little bit of time separating you from a horrible fate.

  4. Joe Montgomery
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    A few years ago a driver on Michigan Ave had a seizure and plowed into the sidewalk in front of where I worked, where my wife and older son had been walking minutes earlier. I was shaken up for days thinking about how random it was and how much worse it could have been.

  5. Megan
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    So the turning car thought they had the time to make it? Or did they just blantantly fail to yield to the oncoming car, assuming it would slow down? Guess it depends on how far back the cop car was. Ive had to slam on my brakes bc some people dont care theres oncoming traffic, they just want to turn.

  6. Posted September 12, 2015 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    mLive actually has some video of the crash in their story:

    http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/09/ypsilanti_police_officer_smash.html

  7. Anonymous
    Posted September 27, 2015 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    This kid got luckier.

    http://i.imgur.com/vQKX1pM.gifv

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