John Brown SuperDork
July 14, 2010 9:40 a.m.

http://www.autospies.com/news/Worst-police-accident-man-ALIVE-video-55942/

A Santa Maria police officer hit a tree Sunday morning. But! The way it looks the car is just phenomenal. According to the local Police Chief, is the “worst accident he’s seen in 35 years.” Officer Damon Badnell was responding to an officer involved in a foot pursuit of a burglary suspect when he lost control of his vehicle on a slippery road. The momentum wrapped the vehicle around the tree, nearly bisecting the Ford Crown Victoria.
pilotbraden Reader
July 14, 2010 9:43 a.m.

That officer was not at fault, they were not breaking any laws or endangering anyone. It was the fault of the car or the pole that jumped into the road.

GI_Drewsifer Reader
July 14, 2010 9:46 a.m.

Holy E36 M3 he survived?! That's insane.

triumph5
triumph5 Reader
July 14, 2010 9:47 a.m.

Probably not as fast as one would think. Sideways into a pole at 40-50 would probably do it. Hell of a tree, though.

P71 SuperDork
July 14, 2010 9:50 a.m.

Having seen the aftermath of a P71 sideways into a tree at 50, that one was going a LOT faster. Probably closer to 80. Ouch

Kia_racer HalfDork
July 14, 2010 9:52 a.m.

A while back there was a Thunderbird SC that was going down the service road at DFW airport in the rain (drizzle really). The driver (18yo) lost control on a curve and hit a bridge support. The care broke in half and all died. The final police report said that he was doing in excess of 150mph at the point of impact.

petegossett SuperDork
July 14, 2010 10:42 a.m.

That happened to a CTS-V in Indy about a year ago, split the car in 1/2 & the driver died.

DaveEstey Reader
July 14, 2010 10:53 a.m.

Tree 1, P71 0

Nature wins again.

Raze HalfDork
July 14, 2010 11:19 a.m.

As I've always said: "SOMETIMES, it's better to be thrown clear in an accident, just remember to tuck and roll"

Duke SuperDork
July 14, 2010 11:23 a.m.

Also goes to show, if you have the choice between a telephone pole and a tree the same size, DEFINITELY hit the telephone pole.

July 14, 2010 11:26 a.m.

You don't need to be moving at all... the train, fork truck or bow of the ship should be doing 20+ mph though when it hits the side of the car.

TJ Dork
July 14, 2010 11:33 a.m.

Remember this guy? Not sure how fast he was going, but he lived after folding his RS6 in half.

triumph5
triumph5 Reader
July 14, 2010 11:45 a.m.

At the other end of the spectrum, a couple of years ago, a woman lost control of her car, left the road at about 35, hit the curb, car launched into the air and landed on some hedges.The car was perfectly intact, save some scratches. She snapped her neck from the deceleration. One way or another, nature wins.

Jerry From LA HalfDork
July 14, 2010 12:01 p.m.
Duke wrote: Also goes to show, if you have the choice between a telephone pole and a tree the same size, DEFINITELY hit the telephone pole.

Knowing that area, the officer probably hit a coastal live oak. The USS Constitution was made originally from southern live oak, hence the name, "Old Ironsides." So yes, it was one hell of a tree. No matter how fast you're going, you ain't moving the tree.

kreb Dork
July 14, 2010 12:21 p.m.

On the other side of the Spectrum were the two guys who wrecked their Porsche at California Speedway sliding sideways into a wall. The car didn't look that bad, but if I recall correctly, their necks got broken (no HANS).

ansonivan HalfDork
July 14, 2010 12:22 p.m.

I wonder if some clever kid could calculate the speed required for that amount of deformation using solid works. Lucky officer, hell of a tree, hell of a car.

kreb Dork
July 14, 2010 12:22 p.m.

My drivers ed teacher used to show us a film of a car hitting a large tree at 50 MPH or so. He'd say "I've been watching this film for 20 years, and I still haven't seen that tree move."

Vigo HalfDork
July 14, 2010 12:26 p.m.

"If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious E36 M3."

I agree that's got to be 80+ mph on the cop car.

Also, i think, using context clues.. a thunderbird SC was most likely NOT doing 150 mph on impact, because if you floored it that long in a thunderbird SC your intake air temperatures would be about 700 degrees from the roots blower and the atmosphere of the planet would spontaneuously ignite, killing everyone on the planet before 150mph is achieved.

poopshovel SuperDork
July 14, 2010 1:12 p.m.
pilotbraden wrote: That officer was not at fault, they were not breaking any laws or endangering anyone. It was the fault of the car or the pole that jumped into the road.

Um, dude, read the blurb again. It was OBVIOUSLY the MOMENTUM'S fault. Damn you Newton!!!

skruffy
skruffy SuperDork
July 14, 2010 1:17 p.m.

Does anyone else dislike the term "lost control"? It makes me picture someone having the steering wheel wrestled away from them. Cars are just machines, the driver was in complete control over what the vehicle did, and it performed the exact maneuver his control input requested.

Excessive corner entry speed combined with no understanding of weight transfer and the friction circle conspired against that guy to cause the accident, but he was in control the whole time.

triumph5
triumph5 Reader
July 14, 2010 1:43 p.m.

In reply to skruffy: Yes; used too often by "emergency response vehicles" who hit cars, people, houses, ... And the driver always has had special training. like the cop in CT caught drag racing another cop, at night, siren and emergency lights off, 90mph. Blows through a red light at the same time a car with two kids (20s) is making a legal left turn. Cop lived, they died. Officer got a slap on the wrist. Control is always a relative thing.

poopshovel SuperDork
July 14, 2010 4:00 p.m.
Does anyone else dislike the term "lost control"?

Pretty much everybody here, I'm guessing.

dyintorace SuperDork
July 14, 2010 4:06 p.m.
skruffy wrote: Does anyone else dislike the term "lost control"? It makes me picture someone having the steering wheel wrestled away from them. Cars are just machines, the driver was in complete control over what the vehicle did, and it performed the exact maneuver his control input requested. Excessive corner entry speed combined with no understanding of weight transfer and the friction circle conspired against that guy to cause the accident, but he was in control the whole time.

I don't disagree completely, but "lost control" means that the operator is no longer in control of the instrument (or situation, crowd, etc). While his hands might still have been on the steering wheel, the car was no longer responding to the inputs he was performing. One definition of "control" is "Authority or ability to manage or direct". So the opposite ("lost control") is the "inability to manage or direct". I'm guessing that fits this situation.

Vigo HalfDork
July 14, 2010 4:46 p.m.

The car never stops responding to inputs, unless something breaks. Breaking traction doesnt count.

I agree that 'lost control' is a bit too faultless and euphemistic.

dyintorace SuperDork
July 14, 2010 4:54 p.m.
Vigo wrote: The car never stops responding to inputs, unless something breaks. Breaking traction doesnt count. I agree that 'lost control' is a bit too faultless and euphemistic.

True point. The car will still respond to inputs, but the direction of travel will not. Hence the lack of control over the situation.

And I agree as well that "lost control" is a bit too faultless.

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