No Asians Harmed at Skagit River Bridge Disaster or in Burning Taxi

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[Hu's On First] Well I’ve seen the Great Blizzard of  1978, toured the 1989 San Francisco and Santa Cruz earthquake, the great Oakland Hills fire, and now I took my sons to see the great I5 Skagit  River Bridge collapse in Washington, a bridge we normally drive a dozen times a year when we go north.

 

box-approach

I pulled stills from the first security video looking north, and you can see the big empty oversized drill box approaching the bridge, and by the time it is on the thrid span, the 1st span is in the process of nearly hitting the water. The 3rd shot shows the camping trailer which was towed by the Dodge truck which ended up in the water.

falling-down

This is the second video, which cuts out because the power line was cut when the bridge went down. The top started to fold as soon as the truck passed by, and in the second shot, you can see the travel trailer as the bridge starts to noticably head for the river, and the truck drives onto the 3rd span. By where the bridge  broke, it is pretty obvious that it failed and folded on something like the 2nd vertical beam where it the top.

Now if you see how one of the vertical supports was damaged on the “good” section, you can see where it was bent, and all it would take is a much harder hit to bring down the span. This means that the driver not only hit the first span, but kept on steering so that  he would hit other upper members as well, instead of stopping to see where the damage was.

 

IMG_0027

Now if you want to go disaster touristing, make sure you don’t do what we did which is leave the battery for the SLR at home, have another zoom camera with a dead battery and forget to take the b inoculars. Fortunately, we met a lady Jill Mix who had come down from Anacortes who had a terrific mid-size super zoom camera to get the shot above and a “wish you were here” postcard shot against the bridge. The whole area was blocked off with crime scene tape, so we thought you couldn’t see the whole bridge span, but turns out Jill walked up the parallel new bridge and got this following shot. As of the end of the week, they had removed both cars and started assembling the bailey bridge which is essentially a bunch of pieces you  bolt together to make a temporary bridge. Traffic, at least on Sunday wasn’t bad at all.

Dodge truck and Subaru CrossTrek in bridge disaster

Dodge truck and Subaru CrossTrek in bridge disaster

Lest anybody think that nobody got hurt, you can see the amount of damage done to a pretty big Dodge pickup and Subaru crosstrek which got bent-up roofs. The truck was going left, the Subaru right, and if they were any farther up the bridge, they would have drowned, and they could have died of hypothermia if not rescued quickly, which they were by people in boats and hovercraft. The fellow in the subaru could not open his driver door and had to kick the passenger door which was bent ajar to get out. The fellow in the truck woke up with a dislocated shoulder which he had to work back in and he had to wake his wife who was also hurt

Last time Americans were mad at a Canadian on  his way to break things was Ahmed Ressam’s millenium bomb plot that was caught as he got off a Port Angeles ferry. Canadians have also been innovators in terrorism, blowing up the first 747 in flight with Air India 182, and getting caught with a new train attack scheme, and leaving propane bombs on the overhead train tracks in Vancover BC.

This time it looks pretty legit as the trucking company based in Alberta drove what is essentially a giant empty box on its way down to Vancouver, or  at least that’s what they are telling police. It doesn’t seem suitable for anything other than bringing a bridge down. Funny thing is that they also told police it was a box with parts, but it was empty, and I don’t know about any companies in the OTHER Vancouver (at the southern end of I5) into oil drilling, and somebody needs to check their cover story. It’s also fishy the cops and press still haven’t tracked down the pilot car driver who evidently didn’t stick around to talk to the cops like the truck driver did. He did not radio back to the truck to move to the center lane, which was in theory high enough to clear the load even though witnesses say the height pole of the car did smack into the bridge. The driver also claimed the left lane was blocked by another truck,  which nobody seems to be able to confirm.

Later this week, a FedEx double semi-trailer  rig jack-knifed and burst into flames in the center  of Seattle downtown I5, blocking all southbound lanes for most of the morning commute, causing several accident on the local detours. A quick websearched turned up a lot of jack-knifed trucks this week in different cities, as well as a runaway trailer that flattened and killed a minvan carrying a family. Here are some other “unfortunate” events so far involving vehicles that almost certainly can’t be terrorist attacks made to look like accidents:

  • May 1, 2013 3 British soldiers killed in IED attack on heavily fortified Mastiff armored vehicle in Afghanistan (Ok, that one is probably  terrorism)

  • May 7, 2013  19 killed in gas truck blast as fireball rips through cars and homes in Mexico City nbcnews

  • May 17, 2013 An eastbound passenger train derailed and was struck by westbound train near Bridgeport during evening rush hour. 70 were injured and tracks were torn up which will require lengthy repairs in an important rail corridor. Officials announced they will not initially determine a probable cause or  speculate on what may have caused the accident. NBCnews.com commenters are convinced it is just  another train wreck or “drug ingested operators”.  Despite a long history of worldwide rail sabotage and a recent plot in Canada against trains, Gov. Dannel Malloy and other officials immediately announced it was an accident rather than an act of sabotage or “foul play”. A fractured section of rail is being studied to determine if it is connected to the accident.

  • May 18, 2013 a car driven by an elderly man mows down 50-60 people at a hiker parade in  Virginia. The car came from a side street with a thud, and went over a hundred feet before coming to a stop when people had to lift  the car off of victims underneath. Police think the driver might have had a medical issue, but that might be a cover story.

  • May 24,  2013  An accidental “vehicle rampage” as city bus collides with minivan, then  damages two houses, and injuring  several people Saginaw Michigan. One house was condemned and demolished after the crash.

  • May 25, 2013 (AP)  A minibus carrying children 6 to 12 to school in Gujrat in Punjab region of Pakistan suddenly caught fire due to a short igniting a leaking LP gas tank. 17 including a teacher burned to death. Officials ruled it an accident, but it came after a pair of suspected militant attacks which killed nine people in Pakistan, and terrorist had been arrested before for planning attacks on school buses.

  • May 25, 2013 ROCKVIEW, Missouri, a freight train crash caught fire, injured seven people and destroyed a highway overpass. A Union Pacific train hit the side of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train at a rail intersection, derailing several rail cars which brought down an overpass injuring seven people in two cars when two 40-foot sections of the overpass crumpled.:

  • May 26, 2013 Kentucky policeman shot and killed in apparent highway ambush when he stopped to pick up debris on a . highway xit

  • May 28, 2013 In White Marsh Maryland fifteen freight train cars derailed after hitting an allegedly  stalled garbage truck. It caused an explosion, the collapse of several buildings and one person in serious condition, according to authorities.

Bay Area Completely Fooled by Limo and Taxi Fire “Accidents”

I wrote about this before, but upon more intense surfing, I found out that the name of the taxi driver in the 2010 burning crashing taxi case was Faegh Behbahani, which if you search the surname comes up with all sorts of famous Persian poets and writers, (The name for  Persia is now Iran, now stereotyped as a place for Muslim radicals, but this fellow probably didn’t  have any radical views, at least we can be sure the cops didn’t ask him about that to avoid unfair stereotyping). Some articles mention that the medical examiners determined the passengers from Ohio had died from blunt force injuries, possibly from the force of the crash, and they called it a homicide, and  the high way patrol said it could be murder because the driver could have simply slowed down and pulled over, but instead decided to keep driving and crash into a fixed pillar. Looks like the driver and taxi company without getting charged or sued for anything. How come in a Bay area of millions of people nobody, not ONE person suspects these cases are related, and these might  NOT be accidents?? There seem to be a LOT of unexplained accidents, or crimes without any understandable motive that look like one or two victim incidents that could be staged to look like an accident.

And now there’s a bus in Pakistan that suddenly bursts into flame, supposedly because the LP gas was leaking  and ignited by a faulty electrical switch from gasoline to LP.  Every news report quotes  the government officials who immediately know it  was an accident. This was on  a day when news stories mentioned in the next paragraph mentions people are dying two other terrorist atttacks the same day in the same country where Al Qaeda regularly threatens school bus attacks, and school buses have been attacked across the world in the US, Israel, and Japan. There aren’t even any western troops in Pakistan, a nation nominally not even at war with anybody made up almost entirely of Muslims that seems to have as much ore more Islamist violence than Aghanistan or Iraq where it is “ok” to kill Muslim civilians as long a it makes the Americans and NATO want to leave.

June 14, 2010 Two tourists die in San Francisco when their cab driven by Faegh Behbahani catches fire on I280 by Candlestick park. Rather than pulling over, because he has brake trouble he drives on several miles to an offramp when he says both main and emergency brakes fail and hits a freeway pillar. An anonymous photographer in another cab posted a picture from besides the cab on fire just before the crash. The driver escaped, but two policemen who saw the fire and pulled out the victims from the back.  The officers were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. The couple died hours later in the hospital. The Medical Examiner’s Office said the couple died of multiple blunt-force injuries from the accident rather than the fire, and ruled the couple’s death as a homicide. But after an investigation, the California Highway patrol did not find enough evidence for murder, remarking it could be merely manslaughter, and left it for the district attorney to press charges.

June 14, 2010 Two tourists die in San Francisco when their cab driven by Faegh Behbahani catches fire on I280 by Candlestick park. Rather than pulling over, because he has brake trouble he drives on several miles to an offramp when he says both main and emergency brakes fail and hits a freeway pillar. An anonymous photographer in another cab posted a picture from besides the cab on fire just before the crash. The driver escaped, but two policemen who saw the fire and pulled out the victims from the back.  The officers were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. The couple died hours later in the hospital. The Medical Examiner’s Office said the couple died of multiple blunt-force injuries from the accident rather than the fire, and ruled the couple’s death as a homicide. But after an investigation, the California Highway patrol did not find enough evidence for murder, remarking it could be merely manslaughter, and left it for the district attorney to press charges.

 A taxi passenger was killed in a fiery crash on an I-280 off-ramp in San Francisco.

May 5, 2013 On the on San-Mateo-Hayward Bridge in California , 5 women die, 5 survive limousine fire which started in trunk among friends of a Filipina-American nurse. Survivors blamed driver Oroville Brown for not stopping quickly enough or doing enough to help the passengers escape the fire. Brown immediately blamed it on an electrical fire that could have been smoldering for days, and noted there was no boom from an explosion. Husband of one of the victims believed the rear doors were locked to prevent the women from escaping. One youtube comment speculates it could be a cover for another terrorist attack pretending to be an accident. It resembled a 2010 taxi fire in which a fire broke out underneath. But instead of  pulling over immediately he claimed his brakes failed and the taxi crashed into a pole, killing the two tourists from Ohio, but the driver who had a common Iranian name escaped murder charges for lack of evidence (Can anybody tell me why nobody suspects foul play in either case, or why nobody remembers the taxi case?)

About the Author

MIT electrical engineering computer science graduate has written conservative columns on politics, race / culture, science and education since the 70s in MIT The Tech and various publications in including New Republic and National Review.