Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring Break Road Hell

It is inevitable if you drive US Highway One with any regularity...

Traffic slows, and the brake lights appear and your heart sinks when you realize you are dead in the water on the only through road in the Fabulous Florida Keys.

In these first pictures I was driving north bound past Square Grouper on Cudjoe Key Thursday evening where I encountered a serious accident, what police call a traffic homicide investigation or T.H.I. That doesn't necessarily mean someone died, just that the wreck must be investigated with great thoroughness because people severely injured may die later and in a wreck when the evidence is gone, if it was not properly recorded it will never come back.

The Square Grouper is one of the finest restaurants south of the seven mile bridge and had I not had a pizza date at home with my wife on the deck I would have been tempted to yield to the temptation of the ugly red roofed building.

The restaurant is right next to a broad intersection which sometimes tempts idiots into passing and other idiots to cross the Highway without looking. Whatever happened here they forced a lengthy, aggravating road closure. I blame youthful testosterone filled drivers and I have no evidence to back my suspicions...

I have talked to traffic investigators at Key West PD where I dispatch and to me it would be the specialization I would prefer were I to become an officer (in another life because in this one I don't have the stomach for police work) because the body of knowledge and the ability to recreate the sequence of events before impact is quite fascinating.

And while they measure and calculate we the public sit on our hands and wait. Or, if we are lucky enough, we get to slide by on a small piece of frontage road. Of course the rubber-neckers keep the pace to a slow and intermittent crawl!

Thursday night not enough mayhem? There was more action, or rather inaction, early yesterday afternoon which gridlocked traffic south of Big Pine. I went happily off to do some chores, none of which involved buying fresh or frozen food luckily, and was promptly mired in the merde. Zut alors! Seen here stationary for an hour among the Torch Keys.

Unfortunately this kind of stuff is to be expected from time to time and the blessing of the road that makes a peninsula of all these islands, promptly becomes a curse.

Cheyenne was bored on the back seat and some bored human nipnunks took short cuts, hopefully to their homes on intermediate islands.

Luckily this time I had the car and my iPad and the a/c was cool on an 86 degree afternoon so all was not lost.

Please drive carefully when visiting, be patient, and don't drive like the locals who know the quirks of the road. Plus, if stuck dial *FHP to find out what's going. Please don't call 911, as we don't consider being stuck in traffic an emergency, just an inconvenience in Paradise.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


East Egg Bill said...

Much like what I see around here, too many people in a rush, especially our youth in too fast a car. This always leads into tragedy. When I drive to Montauk I see it all the time. People need to slow down, and pay attention to the road in front of them.

elzregina said...

Up here it's the "Fatal Accident Reconstruction Team" ...You do the abbreviation.

Conchscooter said...

the second accident produced 9 injuires, two serious.