Sunday, October 14, 2007

5 Freeway Truck Tunnel Fire And The Loss Of A Child


Ever since becoming a parent any mention of any child getting hurt, seriously ill, or (gasp) dying just terrifies me. I can’t help but to feel completely concerned and distressed. Personally, there is nothing worse.

Saturday morning we were on our way to a baby shower and got caught on the 5 freeway (I-5) because of the truck tunnel fire. Completely stopped in traffic listening to AM news radio for any mention, checking the iPhone traffic map (which by the way has some major delayed info) and reading news while watching the wife and daughter getting uneasy and just falling asleep.
I’ve been in some pretty bad traffic jams but this was the worse and menacing ever, not because we were stopped but largely because of the people in the cars around us. People yelling, swearing, walking around yelling at people in their cars, trying to practically run over others. One thing is sure - we don’t have the friendliest people out here, in fact, I think the term “Road Rage” originated out here.
Eventually, once cars cleared, I popped the car in reverse and drove up an entrance ramp and sat yet again in more traffic. At least it was moving.

About an hour later on an alternate route (“the 14”) we passed the tunnel just north of us, which was still smoking. That was truly a frightening sight. All we could think about was how many people had been caught in there. Fortunately not many as originally thought, but today we had heard there was a cantaloupe truck driver that had his infant in the cab and they both died.

I can’t even comprehend…

24 comments:

Kerrie said...

I couldn't agree more about the profound feeling you get when you hear about a child in need after you become a parent. Being a parent changes everything - at least for me it did.

Jackie said...

I've always gotten emotional hearing stories like this but since having kids... truly terrifying.

painted maypole said...

Shortly after The May Queen was born I saw on the news a story about a baby who was thrown from their car seat, and a leg was severed. They had rushed the baby to the hospital and were trying to reconnect the leg. I sat there weeping, unable to go wherever I was supposed to be going. I totally get this.

And regarding road rage: when we lived in LA my husband always said to me "assume the person in the car next to you has a gun" ;)

kellyo75 said...

I completely agree. There is nothing more heart wrenching than a story about a child being hurt or killed. How sad.

Tuesday Girl said...

I thought I couldn't stand hearing about stories like this before I had kids. Now? Well, it makes me stop and think and cry every time.

Whirlwind said...

Ok but I have to ask, why did he have his baby with him? DO most truck drivers bring their kids to work with them?

But that is awful. I heard about the accident and was amazed that there were not more fatalities.

Whit said...

I hadn't heard about the baby. That is just awful.

I know what you mean about the emotion of it all. I tear up over Hallmark commercials.

The 14 is my freeway. I'm not going anywhere for a while.

Redneck Mommy said...

I pray you never have to Tony. There just are no words when you are living through it...

Pageant Mom said...

You know ever since my husband's accident (which was 8 years ago) I can't help but cringe every time I hear an ambulance. I actually have a mini panic attack and start calling various and sundry family members to make sure everyone is okay.

I can't even bear to watch a tv show that might have the possibility of a child being hurt or killed.

So we stick with good 'ol Hannah Montana....

Road Rage is weird, it's not like getting upset is going to change the situation when traffic is backed up like that. Lack of self control - that's all it is.

kittenpie said...

That's pretty terrifying.
And then yes, as a parent, you can't help but think of the mother, losing father and child in one blow. Heart-breaking.

carrie said...

I am so sorry that you had to be anywhere near that. I saw it on the news, and that was close enough for me.

Mitch McDad said...

You're right. As a dad, I can't even think about how horrible that would be.

MamaLee said...

I'm with you. I am drawn to such stories, but profoundly saddened by them at the same time.

I can only hope and pray that we stay safe for a LONG time...

InterstellarLass said...

It's so, so sad. Every parent feels a panic when they think their child is in danger. It reminds us of how much love we have for them.

Dad Stuff said...

I had the same emotions during our big bridge collapse. It makes you count your blessings.

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

That breaks my heart.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Even without having any kids of my own, I feel terrible when I hear news like this. Ah, no news is good news indeed!

Bananas said...

Thought-provoking post. I think about this sometimes when I'm stuck in traffic caused by an accident. There I am, getting all annoyed by the inconvenience, when someone is fighting for their life. Or dying. Life is so fragile yet we take it so for granted.

creative-type dad said...

Bananas -- It's sad, most people don't even think about that fact.

A few years ago my wife and I witnessed a car flip over on the freeway - right in front of us - we stopped and to help along with 2 other cars. You wouldn't BELIEVE how many people were honking and annoyed and yelling - there was a man and woman in a car BLEEDING and all these people were concerned about was that they were being inconvenienced.
Something is seriously wrong with people.

wayabetty said...

I just left you a comment on your recent post and it does relate to this as well. I'm there with you, any mention of a child hurt or dead is just distressing to hear. And all I can think of is the poor parents.

JayMonster said...

Chalk me up to the utterly weak in such situations. Not only can I not deal with it in real life, now I even have trouble with it on Television.

There was an episode of CSI where a young girl was missing and possibly dead, that had the same name as my daughter. It is the only episode of CSI that I have not (and will not) watched on multiple occasions.

Diana said...

oh my God, Tony.
i hate hearing about this stuff, too. i cry when i hear news like this, every. single. time.
My heart goes out to the poor man's family...they must be devastated to have lost both of them like that.

creative-type dad said...

JayMonster -- I can't watch stuff like that either. It just makes me even more nervous.

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