Today, around noon, a driver heading east on Central decided to play games with other people's lives, and their own, as they sped through a fresh red light at the Cervera/Central intersection. Another driver was waiting for the green arrow to turn left into the Windsong Valley development.
According to witnesses, the white Toyota Corolla, driven by someone in their twenties, was traveling at a high rate of speed and instead of stopping at the just turned red light, they punched it, dove into the right turn only lane, as they attempted to save 20 seconds (my estimate) getting through the intersection instead of waiting their turn like a courteous driver.
The woman that was traveling west on Central, about to turn into Windsong Valley, had hesitated at the light before starting her left turn. That slight hesitation saved her life, and probably the lives of those that hit her. Being clipped is far better than being hit head on at high speed.
There were no skid marks until AFTER the impact. The driver lost control and ended up in the ditch that is in front of Round Up Feed.
Thankfully there weren't other cars heading west at that time, otherwise this would have easily involved more than just the two vehicles.
The Toyota Corolla suffered a lot of damage, including a smashed windshield and superficial damage to much of the exterior too.
The silver lining is that no one was injured, though all parties were checked out by the fire department to be sure.
I had a chance to speak to the driver that was hit, and other than being shaken up, she was ok. Many of us know the family (they are from Windsong Valley and are part of several FaceBook groups), and you may know who it is, but I'm not going to use their names here.
|Good to see that minimal damage was incurred by the victim's car. They ended up driving it home.|
I was speaking to the daughter of the driver, and she was telling me that the police wouldn't write the red light runner a ticket because "he said 'there was no intent', and we had five witnesses fill out the report. I said, 'reckless driving, speeding, using a right turn lane to go straight, running a red light' but he still refused to write them a ticket."
They weren't too happy that a ticket wasn't written, but I reminded that the officers were only following whatever the department's policies are for such non-injury traffic incidents.
One of the witnesses had been at a full complete stop at the red light when the driver of the Corolla blew through the light.
I've been driving for 50 years, I've never had an accident that was my fault.
I was making a left with a green arrow. [One of the witnesses] stopped at the red light in the regular lane, this car (the Coroloa) was coming on fast, and came in the right hand lane, and went around him to plow through [the intersection] just as I was about to turn. There was no way to stop.
I had told her (her daughter) that I had looked down for just a second because I had the red light, I looked up and saw the green arrow and started to go, and if I didn't hesitate that extra split second he would have t-boned me. It would have been bad because he was going fast.
— The account from the driver that was hit.
Some of you may be thinking, "But she should've exercised better caution before starting her left turn."
Ok, but no.
When you look down that road from that turn pocket, and you see a stopped car facing you in the east bound lane, you can't see a small car that is about to perform a circus maneuver such as the one described here.
I've only been in one accident, and it was from a very similar POV of that of the woman that got clipped trying to turn left. I was also trying to turn left, in Corona, without a dedicated turn arrow, and a car heading in the other direction was also waiting to turn left. As I started to make my turn, a car that had been traveling in the number one lane didn't want to be slowed by the car turning left so they made a similar move that the Corolla did here. The car that was waiting had kept the other car out of view.
I was in a 1997 Honda CRV and the car that hit me was in a Ford Excursion. To misquote an '80s song... "she spun me right round baby, like a record baby, right round, round round."
• • •
Haste makes waste.
Wildomar Rap suggest that if you're young and rambunctious, that instead of risking innocent lives driving like a fool, just risk your own life. For cheap thrills stack a couple of cinder blocks and use an old door as a ramp, hop on a clunky bike and then try and jump over your collection of pokemon cards or something.