Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fire on the Turnpike!

Anyone heading southbound on the turnpike from the Portland area during rush hour yesterday found themselves in the snarl of traffic that resulted from a fire which consumed a pickup truck and half the trailer it was towing.

The huge cloud of black smoke climbing into the air had been the first sign that there was a problem up ahead. The second sign of a serious problem was when the Turnpike became a three lane parking lot for as far as the eye could see. People got out of their cars, walked around, and peered through binoculars in an attempt to see what was going on. I even saw one car with Massachusetts plates turn around and start driving north on the grass between the center guardrail and the fast lane. What an idiot!!

The Portland Press Herald has the whole story, but I do take exception to one item. The article says the southbound lanes were reopened by 4:10pm. However, my car was only a couple miles from the accident and it was 4:43pm before my car was able to move. Once I started moving, it took perhaps five minutes to get past the accident site, where the blackened pickup truck was being prepped to get hauled onto a flatbed tow truck.

It's times like this that I really wish I kept a book in my car.


Michelle said...

Holy gamoley! I didn't realize they were going to take me seriously with that whole "start it with a bang" thing...

Chris Jart said...

Yes, I think they specifically said that you were the cause of the fire, but don't quote me on that.