Friday, February 13, 2009

Gas Smash!

I had just finished work when I received a call about a accident into a gas station. I raced to the scene to find the roads being closed down several feet away from the accident. An Oldsmobile 88 had collided into the Valero gas station pumping islands tearing it clear off from its foundation. The pumping station was through into pieces and the car was smashed up on a telephone pole. When I arrived the fire was already put out by firefighters.

An attempted traffic stop Thursday evening ended with this Oldsmobile crashing into a Valero Gas Station on Longfellow Avenue after it failed to negotiate a turn from East First Avenue. (Jason Halley/Staff Photo)

Even though the scene was a mess, it could have been a lot worse. All the safety mechanisms worked how they were suppose to. There are two concrete blocks on either side of the pumping station that are attached to sensors. They are strong enough to hold back "soft" bumps from cars pulling in to pump gas. They are also designed to break away and shut off the gas pumps when a car crashes into them.

The right side of the vehicle struck one of the pumping stations.(Jason Halley/Chico Enterprise-Record)

The remains of the pumping station that was torn off from its foundation.(Jason Halley/Chico Enterprise-Record)
I was told that safety crews don't get to test these shut off procedures often, well... because accidents like this don't happen often. The real unfortunate thing from this event is that the driver was originally going to stopped for a traffic violation and ended up causing a lot more damage and problems for him. It makes you think...what was he thinking?!

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