Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Regular Week with Unregular Work(out)

Back to a regular work week with what was going to be just a regular Tuesday at the office. Students were back in school and I was beginning to look forward to shooting sports in the evening. Early in the shift I was in for a different treat.

The scanner called for a two vehicle accident on eastbound Skyway just above Tuscan Ridge with a vehicle fire. I quickly raced up the hill. The accident was actually just above Lookout Point when traffic began to back up. Normally in accidents, traffic can be a problem; but for most, a steady slow-moving pace is usually on the agenda. For this accident, the traffic was taken to a stand still in both lanes.

A two vehicle accident on the eastbound Skyway just east of Lookout Point caused major traffic jams and delays as CHP and Cal Fire - Butte County attended to the scene Tuesday, January 6, 2009 in Chico, CA. (Jason Halley/Chico Enterprise-Record)

After being stopped for about two "ever-seemingly enduring" minutes I decided to pull my car off the side of the road and start running. I luckily consider myself young enough to foot race to many assignments, though, every year that distance seems to get longer and longer. This accident to which I thought was just around the bend ended up being around the bend and then about a half a mile. I was really surprised at the number of cars that had piled up on the collision. At that point I had run too far from my car, so I decided to continue to the wreck and would have to run back after capturing the incident.

Cal Fire - Butte County firefighter Melissa Steele sweeps up debris from a two vehicle accident on the eastbound lanes of Skyway Tuesday, January 6, 2009 in Chico, CA. (Jason Halley/Chico Enterprise-Record)

Once I got to the wreck, a CHP officer shouted if I had parked in the right lane. Advice to those reading, in any accident on a two lane road, the CHP advices you park off the road on the right hand side. Always good to follow their advice. You never want an accident to happen at an accident.

I took the images the traffic began to move and I figured I should run back to my car to make sure it would be OK. A timeline of the event: Come to work, 17 minutes in I hear the call for the accident, 2 minutes to race to my car, 4 minutes to wait for a light to turn green, 8 minutes driving to Paradise until traffic stopped near Lookout Point, 2 minutes waiting to decide to run, 4 minutes running to the scene, 5 minutes to take pictures before another 5 minutes running back to get my car.

I was overheated and out of breath, but a good way to keep in shape. Luckily the accident wasn't too serious that would require me to stay longer. Just enough time to work on the assignment. Although I did have to wait in the traffic to continue up the road to turn back around. That lasted another 15 minutes, but allowed me to catch my breath. Whew. What a job.

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