default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Steve Hansen: DUIs cause inconvenience — and sometimes danger — for those stuck at crash sites

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 12:00 am

In last week’s Lodi News-Sentinel, Kris Anderson reported a story about a major accident on Highway 99. Guess who was behind that disaster by just a few cars?

It was calm, sunny Sunday morning, and thought I’d make a quick trip to Costco. I had just pulled onto the southbound freeway from Turner Road and soon realized my mistake. All cars had come to stop. Up ahead, near the next exit, I could see the commotion.

Perhaps sneaking by on the shoulder and catching the next turnoff would be an option. It was only a few hundred feet away. But that escape route was blocked as well.

According to the California Highway Patrol, a suspected DUI driver lost control of his SUV while traveling at a probable high rate of speed. He rolled off the embankment. Two young men without seatbelts were thrown from the vehicle. Another remained in the silver GMC, which landed on its roof. The ejected passengers were thought to have major injuries. A second vehicle was involved trying to avoid the mishaps of the first.

I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for the apparent stupidity that had just taken place. But I did feel empathy for the many around me whose lives were now temporarily disrupted. A helpless feeling emerged. We were all trapped. All directions were blocked. The only option was to sit and wait. It could be for minutes or perhaps hours. The future was unknown.

Anxiety and anger began to take hold. “If only I had gone though town instead of the freeway, I wouldn’t be in this mess!” I thought. “This is so unfair for a 10-minute trip.”

I considered those with special needs in the hundreds of cars behind me. It was an exceptionally cold morning. Cars were idling in hope that their occupants would stay warm.

I also thought about folks with bladder or incontinence issues who had no access to facilities. What would happen if someone had a medical emergency? There would be delayed — or no — help for a heart attack victim. That innocent person might die because of the moronic behavior that had just taken place.

But stupidity didn’t just reign up front. A few behind me suffered from a few missing neurons as well. One person tried to back up on the shoulder and somehow get onto the last freeway entrance. Another “genius” turned his truck around on the divider and tried to head back on the shoulder in the wrong direction! They were both immediately met by emergency vehicles trying to arrive on the scene. Eventually, a CHP car was assigned to prevent further acts of foolishness.

Fortunately, the CHP, Lodi Police Department and other emergency crews moved fairly quickly. Within an hour, traffic began to flow in single file around the mishap.

Of course, I am very thankful for one thing: A few seconds earlier, I could have been right in the middle of this mess.

But still, I wish the “victims” of this rollover a full recovery — courtesy of thousands in taxpayer dollars.

It seems that no matter how many millions of hours are spent educating people about the dangers of intoxicated driving, there will always those self-centered and careless individuals who will never, under any circumstances, heed that warning.

As my daughter regularly says: “You can’t fix stupid.” I guess this accident is just another example that proves her frustrating and undeniable point.

Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Recent Comments

Posted 18 hours ago by Brian Dockter.

article: Steve Hansen: Driving through the gaunt…

Chuckle, I don't know how many times you have muttered (in so many words) you are on the side of those who are opposed to an armed society…


Posted 18 hours ago by Brian Dockter.

article: Steve Hansen: Driving through the gaunt…

And those of you planning a trip to Phoenix. It's one of the most bicycle unfriendly metro areas. I suggest a rear view mirror on your helm…


Posted 18 hours ago by Brian Dockter.

article: Steve Hansen: Driving through the gaunt…

Steve, I sympathize with you. However, the Phoenix, AZ metro area is the red light running capital of the country from what I hear. The pau…


Posted 19 hours ago by Jien Kaur.

article: Letter: Eat at Chili’s to help Raymond …

Why is it that people such as that below who claim to have a belief in God and throw around their religious beliefs are the ones most likel…


Posted 19 hours ago by Jien Kaur.

article: Letter: No one’s faith should be scorned

The hypocrisy here is just amazing. One only has to enter the name of this letter writer into the Lodi paper search and find all of the …



Popular Stories



Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists