911 Streetlights

blinky lights
Saturday night I had planned to head out to Luminara to check out and photograph the lanterns people had created. I had attended last year, before I was into photography, and really enjoyed myself. Once your eyes adjust to hte darkness, the lanterns really stand out, and become quite magical.

This year was not to be. I left late, a few minutes before ten, and drove down to Beacon Hill park. I missed the entrance to the parking, so I cirlced around, discovered that too many people were leaving to allow newcomers to park, so I circled back and parked along Dallas Road.

I jumped out of my truck, grabbed my gear, and started walking towards the park. There were lots of cars out, and people were snapping up the parking spots as quickly as they could.

The next sequence of events happened rather quickly, but I will try to explain them as best I can. I was looking up the road for a good place to cross. I noticed a vehicle coming towards me, then noticed the right hand light looked funny. I realized there was a motorbike in front of a car, and that is when I heard the engine from the bike. Next, a car coming in the opposite direction (same direction as I am walking) turns left in front of the bike. I saw the headlights on the bike dive a few inches as the driver of the motorbike hit the brakes.

I thought to myself “This is going to be close”, and then bam, the motorbike hit the car. The riders were catapulted over the car and slid along the ground a bit.

I was slightly stunned, but I took off running towards the acident, jumping over some bike parts as they slid down the road. I got to the passenger from the bike, and I stopped there. I tried talking to her, but she didn’t say anything. I told her not to move, and that she was going to be alright. I grabbed my cellphone, dialed 911, hit send, then someone else said they were already calling. Myself and another gentleman waited with the girl until some help arrived.

Some people from nearby vehicles brought some blankets to cover the girl. It was pretty freaky, and my legs were quivering from the adrenaline. After some police officers arrived, I backed up and let them do their business. I had to hang around and give a statement.

As I stood there waiting, I was looking around the scene a bit. There were about 6 police cars in the vicinity (later I noticed two more down the road directing cars), two ambulances, and a firetruck. There were no streetlights at all, so the only illumination was the red and blue blinky lights from the police, ambulance, and fire vehicles. This cast an eery aura onto the scence. I stood there freezing my butt off from the breeze coming off the ocean. I surveyed the bike, and sort of vowed I would never get one.

I discovered that the driver of the car had jumped the curb, and his car was in the middle of a field. He was sitting there looking very stunned. I felt for him. I was in a similar situation many years (car vs pedestrian instead of car vs motorbike).

After giving my statement, I reallly didn’t feel like going to the festival. I had been really looking forward to it for about two months now, and I was a little disappointed that I would miss it, but I really was a walking zombie after that. I grabbed my gear, walked back to my truck, took the above picture, then left.

There is always next year. I just hope the motorbike riders come away ok. I also hope the driver of the car can get on with his life. It is quite devastating to go through something like that.