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Outdoors

Safety is My Primary Concern0

Want to know what happens when you cross a van moving at 35 miles-per-hour with a construction guy using a bulldozer to remove a metal guardrail?

This:

 

That’s my van.

And this, used without proper safety measures, is the instrument of my van’s destruction:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/canvasmag/ / CC BY 2.0

Okay, so the bulldozer involved in my accident was a little bigger than this one.  A lot bigger, actually—though it was still small by real ‘dozer standards.  But you get the point

Due to the current legal situation (and the fact that I would like to get my van either repaired or replaced), I’m not going into details concerning the company at fault or the location of the accident.  But I will shed a little more light on the scenario.

It seems that the guy running the bulldozer was somehow tugging on the length of guardrail.  I can’t quite picture how, but that’s mainly because all I registered when driving past were a couple of guys—one on the ‘dozer—doing something about 30 feet off the road.

Then my van slammed to the left (point of impact on the right shoved me over slightly), all power shut down, and there was the horrible metallic ripping sound augmented with smaller impacts as the rail bounced in and out of my vehicle.

I slid the van out of traffic and assessed the situation.  And the first thing I noticed was this:

Whatever had hit me had punched THROUGH my van.  I got out (now the most pissed-off human on the planet) and looked at the rest. 

To make a long story short, it appears that the guardrail was still somehow bolted to its cement foundation.  When the workers tried to move it, the bolt snapped and the whole rail shot away from the ‘dozer—and into traffic.

I’m glad nobody was sitting in my passenger seat, orwe’d probably be looking at a catalog of artificial legs.

My favorite part of the entire incident?  That’s easy.

The guy who wrecked my van by whip-lashing 30+ feet of guardrail into traffic with a bulldozer had a sticker on his helmet that read: “Safety is my primary concern.”

by John Barker

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