One Friday late in the shift Juan Jalisco and I get dispatched to a two vehicle traffic collision on the west side of South City. Typically collisions that happen on that road are usually either out of the South City limits or out of our county.... not this time.
The collision occurred on a major arterial roadway which goes from 3 lanes in each direction down to 1 lane in each direction. This collision happened because Einstein driver needed to turn around. She politely pulled over to the shoulder of the road where its 1 lane in each direction.
When she decides to make her u-turn she didn't realize another car was coming up behind her. So as she pulls into the lane, POW! the other car plows into hers. Thankfully nobody was injured so no follow up required at our local hospital and it was close to the end of our shift. Einstein driver was able to move her car to the shoulder to clear the roadway and keep the Friday afternoon salmon run (commute) going.
I requested a tow truck for both vehicles to get them completely off the roadway and out of here so I could begin my weekend. The tow company arrived on scene and took one of the cars away. The second tow truck was a flatbed and stopped ahead of the car with the major front end damage.
This roadway was narrow enough without the added flatbed tow truck obstructing more of the traffic lane. I request a report number as I'll be the lucky one writing this collision report as Juan Jalisco took a collision report earlier in the shift. Juan and I are standing near the rear of the damaged vehicle as the tow driver is hooking up the car.
Right after the tow driver gets the car on the flatbed and secured, he walked back to where we were standing with the driver to give him a business card for the location and telephone number to the tow yard.
As we're ready to wrap things up and actually get off duty on time I hear this WHAM! I see the flatbed tow truck shaking slightly. I see a flatbed pickup truck park in front of the tow truck. I noticed the foot step and driver door exterior mirror of the tow truck are totally demolished.
So much for getting off duty on time now...
Juan Jalisco contacts the driver, who didn't have a California driver license or any driver license for that matter. He did have a Mexican Consular I.D. card to go with the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.
Juan runs the driver through a standard set of field sobriety tests (FST's) and ends up arresting Flaco for DUI. The tow truck is still drivable and leaves the scene. The driver tells me he'll be at the tow yard as I needed to get some information from him and give him a report number for his boss.
I had to request a third tow truck, this one to take Flaco's truck to the tow yard for a 30 day impound on his dime. By the time the third tow truck is on scene, off duty time as come and gone (always on a Friday). Flaco's truck is up on the hook and on its way to car jail. I head over to the tow company only to find out the driver's on another call, thankfully within South City.
I have his dispatcher contact him and tell him I'll meet him at his tow location to wrap up the crash. Now I'm like everybody else, its Friday and I'm ready to begin my weekend.
I fire up the Harley and I'm off like a prom dress to finish up business and get the hell outta Dodge. I'm cruising down a frontage road which parallels I-680 at what I determine to be the speed limit for being late on getting off work again.
SHIT! I see black smoke billowing up into the air coming from I-680. As I ride by I see a car almost fully engulfed in flames. I notified dispatch to get fire and CHP rolling to the location (not that I hated to bother and interrupt the fire guys playing their XBOX game while seated in their lazy-boy recliners) I do a u-turn, park, jump the chain link fence with no horizontal support bar at the top (helmet, motor boots and all, not an easy feat).
I get up to the car and thankfully see that no one is still inside it. I don't see anyone walking along the shoulder. I'm told the fire department and CHP are on their way. Fire got there pretty quick and doused the fire quickly. CHP showed up while the fire guys were doing their magic of putting foam and water on the car.
I inform the CHP officer how I came upon this obstacle for getting off duty, then I'm off again to meet the tow driver. Needless to say, I catch up to the tow driver and conclude business. I get back to the office parking lot and go to retrieve my keys from my duty belt.
Wouldn't you know it, my damn keys were gone. My guess is I lost them as I climbed that damn fence to check on that burning car.
Yep you guessed it, back to the scene of the fire and where I hopped the fence. The whole area was covered with dead leaves which went up to my ankles....
And no, I didn't find my damned keys.