It was several
hours after the accident, and medical examiners had already taken away
the victim's body, but some gruesome evidence remained.
the spot where the pedestrian came to rest after a driver hit him, his hat, a pair of headphones and one of his shoes sat on the
It was Sept. 3, and a few hours earlier,
Eulogio Garcia Sanchez, 53, of Oxnard had been wearing them as he
crossed the C Street at Elm Street in the pre-dawn dark,
heading for a bus to go have coffee with friends.
When I zoomed in with my video camera, I could see the black
hat had the word "cobra" written on it, and the black tennis shoe still
had its laces tied. There was nothing
gruesome about the items on their own, but there on the
pavement, they were stark reminders of what cars can do to a human body.
Sanchez was by no means the first pedestrian knocked literally out of his shoes when a car hit him.
I can recall several recent accidents in Ventura County in which the same thing happened.
Karey Marsh, 46, of Thousand Oaks, was hit by an allegedly drunken
driver while she was jogging near the edge of Oak Park last month, the
impact threw her an estimated 30 feet into nearby shrubs but left her
shoes behind, authorities said. In fact, emergency responders only knew
a pedestrian had been hit because of those shoes.
when an intoxicated driver slammed into an SUV on the side of the road and Officer Tony
Pedeferri of the California Highway Patrol in December
2007, the impact launched Pedeferri 20 yards and threw him out of his
boots. (The crash killed the driver of the SUV, who Pedeferri had pulled over.)
I first heard of someone being knocked out of his shoes when I was reporting on the crash that injured Officer Pedeferri.
When I first heard the detail, I thought to myself: I didn't know that could happen.
seemed improbable, physically possible -- of course, objects at rest are
inclined to stay at rest and all -- but incredible. Imagine the force
necessary to throw a person so hard that a garment fastened to his or
her body is pulled off by the impact alone.
It's something I would need a much better understanding physics than I have to really comprehend.
asked a police contact and another from the medical examiner's office:
Is this common? Neither common nor uncommon, they told me. It depends
on a lot of things, but it does happen.
of us drive every day, some of us for hours, but how often do we
consider that our cars are metal boxes weighing thousands of pounds,
hurtling down the street at speeds that are mind boggling, especially
when you compare it to the pedestrians, cyclists and others with whom
we share the road.
Stay safe out there.
Here are links to some of of our articles and videos that relate to this topic: http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2008/sep/04/pedestrian-crossing-street-is-hit-and-killed/http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2008/aug/27/to-jogger-struck-by-vehicle-killed/http://gallery.venturacountystar.com/video.cfm?VideoID=556http://gallery.venturacountystar.com/video.cfm?VideoID=188http://gallery.venturacountystar.com/video.cfm?VideoID=563http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2007/dec/21/chp-officer-remains-in-critical-condition/http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2008/jul/03/injured-chp-officer-home-after-6-months-of/