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Old 07-22-2000, 11:25 PM   #1
Andre Vandenberg
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Thumbs down Some street racing bad news! (Kinda long)

Went to get my mail last night on my bike (91 ZX-7R). As I was entering the Highway I looked in my left mirror and saw a car barreling down on me. I accelerated (but not too hard) to blend in with the flow of the traffic, but still this guy was gaining on me BIG TIME. Instead of becoming a hood ornament on a Mustang, I decided to take to the Emergency lane (while doing about 80mph). A split second later this Mustang blew past me doing EVERY bit of 120 mph racing another Mustang in HEAVY traffic!
At first I was VERY pissed off, and wanted to take off after him but decided against it.
Two miles down the road I came across this same Mustang. It looked as if he lost control of the car (while going down a straight road), after cresting a slight rise in the road. The car veered off to the left and hit the guardrail REAL hard head on. At the time it looked like it hit another car in the oncoming lanes, and then got bounced back across the highway into the RH emergency lane. There was "stuff" scattered ALL over the Highway and a lot of people was stopping to help clear the road and warn oncoming traffic of the hazards, so being on the bike I did not stop.

Today while visiting Chris F at the dealership he told me that the Guy was NOT wearing his seat belt. When the car hit the guardrail, he was thrown from the car and HE hit an oncoming car and "exploded". The car was in their body shop, and it is GROSS, to say the least...

I feel sad for this guy's family for loosing a loved one, but, and it may be harsh to say this, doing 120 mph plus in HEAVY traffic you deserve to die! It is Natures way of cleansing the gene pool. Accidents like this gives everybody that drives fast a bad rap. If I was NOT on my toes two miles back, this fool could have killed me, and probably himself as well.

I will be the first to admit that I do street race given the opportunity to do so. BUT, I always pick my "races" with regard for the people around me. If you MUST race someone on the street, do it sensibly and with regard for other peoples lives, as well as your own..

Andre
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Old 07-22-2000, 11:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
At first I was VERY pissed off, and wanted to take off after him but decided against it.
Good call...

Richard
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Old 07-22-2000, 11:46 PM   #3
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yeh i was thinking the same thing, we all need to realize that if u wanna real race, and u wanna live to see another day, then do it on the track, not in heavy traffic on the highway.

God has weird ways of working aye?
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Old 07-22-2000, 11:49 PM   #4
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Doesn't seem weird to me at all - pretty direct, I think. I wouldn't mind at all if these people could just eliminate themselves without bothering the rest of us.
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Old 07-23-2000, 12:49 AM   #5
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Thumbs up

Good judgement on not chasing after that Mustang. Its kinda wierd its almost like you kinda know when it is safe to go after it and when not to go after it. Well, its always sad to hear of these tragedies. Its unfortunate that some people don't even have the common sense to wear a seat belt but thats their own choice. Remember always safety first.
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Old 07-23-2000, 01:45 AM   #6
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"Went to get my mail last night on my bike (91 ZX-7R).

You must have ONE HELL of a long driveway!
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Old 07-23-2000, 01:57 AM   #7
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Ahhh one less turd floating in the gene pool.
Did they say where the other guy he was racing went to? He may be in some serious trouble now. Find the other guy and strap him in a car for a few crash tests. That should help him change his ways.
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Old 07-23-2000, 07:42 AM   #8
Tim K.
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Is it something to do with Mustangs? My wife and I were driving back from Charleston, SC along I-26. After a day of fun, I let her handle the steering wheel while I basked in the glory of a win in G Stock.

I was contemplating sleep when my wife exclaimed, "Holy ****!" A pronouncement of impending doom I thought.

We were in the slow lane, cruise control set on 78 mph (in a 70 mph zone). I still thank God we were in the slow lane. Before I could respond to Mary's expletive a Mustang went flying past us. I was shocked, and then stunned when another went zooming past us. These two Mustangs were racing down I-26 at speeds well in excess of 120 mph.

Seeing the speed differential between them and the other cars on the road terrified me. We were traveling at 78 mph, and they had a speed differential of more than 40 mph. To me, I thought they were easily into the 130 mph; hell, I thought they were into the 140s!

I just knew traffic would eventually slow and I would come upon the accident scene. A Mustang tangled with an innocent car.

You could check your rearview mirror and nobody would be there, move over and suddenly there was a car. These guys were cruising close to 200 feet per second, if not more!

I did something I had never considered before. I picked up the cell phone and dialed *HP (for the Highway Patrol). I never did see those cars again. I suppose I should be thankful for that. My incident could have ended like Andre's all too easily.

After all I've seen, I am still continually amazed at people's capacity for stupidity.
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Old 07-23-2000, 09:39 AM   #9
Andre Vandenberg
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8, U R toooo funny.
Tim K, congrats with G-Stock win...

Speed differential, for the average person, is probably one of the HARDEST things to judge or recognise in the rearview mirror. What makes it even worse is that your senses get used to a max differential of say 10 to 15 mph. So most people, when they look in the mirror to see if anything is coming, automatically assume that the vehicle closing in on them is doing so at MAX 15 mph faster than they are. This assumption usually "overrides" the true data given to them by their senses, until it is too late for them to make an adjustment or correction in their action.
I experienced this at a VERY early stage in my driving career..... When I was 16 (a long long time ago) I was driving my dad's Alfa at an open practice day at Kayalmi. We didn't get drivers lic. until the age of 18, and since I was actively racing and rallying at the time, these "open" days were the only "legal" practice I could get. The problem was that they would let out ALL the cars at the same time, for an hour of practice / setup, and then let ALL the bikes out together, again for an hour.
In the mornings briefing they told us that there was a couple of F1 cars that will be using the track at the same time as we would, and to be EXTRA mindful of our rear view mirrors..... (This would NEVER happen today, how the world has changed !!) I don't know how many of you are familiar with the "old" Kyalami course, but at that time it had one of the longest main straits in the F1 "circus". When you came on to the main straight, out of the last turn, you can look to your right and see about half of the circuit. Well I did this, and did not see ONE car on the track. as I went down the straight I looked in my mirror about 10 times, KNOWING that these cars are gonna be there at ANY moment. When I went over the hump in front of the pits I did one last check in my mirrors down the straight and as far as I could see back there, there was NO CARS. I went down the hill to turn one (Crowthorne) and was approaching my brake markers, as usual I glanced in my mirrors to see if I could move over to take my entry into the turn, and there they were!!!!! Three of the meanest looking F1 missiles bearing down at me. one to my left, one right behind me and one to my right. Well I missed my brake point by a mile, I missed my turn in point by what seemed two miles and proceeded to spin my dad's BRAND new 1972 Alfa down the track. Fortunately I didn't damage anything except my ego, and I learned a VALUEBLE lesson about closing speed and how it looks in the mirror..
I continued on with the practice session despite this experience. On a track where my best time at the time was 1:55's, these guys were doing 1:14's you do the math, and see how many of these experiences I participated in, in an hours session!!!!
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Old 07-23-2000, 09:46 AM   #10
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Glad you decided to hold off on the chase-

His poor family.

Wow-Andre, What a great story.

[This message has been edited by NeedaScooby (edited July 23, 2000).]
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Old 07-23-2000, 11:06 AM   #11
Tim K.
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Andre,

That has to be one of the most exciting stories I've ever read! I can't imagine ever being on the track at the same time as an F1 car. To do so for a hour is memory that will never fade. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Oh, I did some math, but not about the lap times. Lets see... 1972, your 16 years old, now its 28 years later; 28 plus 16 puts you about 10 years older than me.

I also wanted to mention how astute you must be with your mirrors. Those mirrors on sport bikes are small. Some are prone to vibration. Good heads up spotting those guys behind you.

Its what some people call situational awareness. Its what kept Andre from being an oversized splatter on a Mustang's hood.

Keep the rubber side down!

Regards,

Tim
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Old 07-23-2000, 03:05 PM   #12
montgog
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Another reason to have more cops on the roads. When **** like that happens it is because they deserve what is coming to them.
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Old 07-23-2000, 03:24 PM   #13
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That's such a sad story! I kinda disagree with the statement that he deserved to die though. If he hadn't hit a guardrail, his death could have been associated with that of an innocent person's. This also goes to show how speed wasn't the deciding factor in this case, rather the driver's inept attitude towards safety. We've all driven fast and we are all still alive because we know how to be safe. Safety doesn't necessarily equal slow driving. You could still cause alot of mayhem driving the speed limit too!

Rant Complete

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Old 07-23-2000, 05:43 PM   #14
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Let's see now. Take one driver add to him a moderately fast car. Then you add to that his refusal to wear a seatbelt. Then we can consider the fact that the only performance driving he has probably ever done was on Grand Turismo that is unless you count NASCAR and the Dukes of Hazard. Then you consider that he was racing another car in traffic. His car came over a slight hill and got kind of light and the driver panics. The driver in all likelyhood over corrected. His RWD car then got sideways. It suddenly gets traction back and goes head on into a gaurd rail. Sure the driver might have survived if he had used common sense and used the seatbelt. Was he still to blame? Yes. To say he didn't would be like saying Jeffrey Dahmer wasn't guilty cause it was our faults for being so tasty. Sorry no he was stupid. Its sad it ended that way sure. He could have killed other people. Now if he had taken advantage of safety features that are standard in his car then maybe that might effect how people feel. There is a point when the cars speed is no longer safe or fun. There's also a place to do it and it isn't on public roads.
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Old 07-23-2000, 05:49 PM   #15
Black98RS
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Unhappy

If this guy supposedly "hit another car head-on and exploded..."

Imagine what the driver of that car must be going through right now.

Thats horrible...

I used to do some street racing but haven't for probably 3 years or more...and never in any kind of traffic at all and nowhere near 120 MPH for gods sake! (Just stoplight to stoplight stuff.) Makes you wonder if these guys have any common sense at all...or any respect for other people on the road. Probably not on both accounts.

I don't think he deserved to die though...but I really wonder what he was thinking at the time. Of course, I am sure there were times when other people thought WTF are you doing? when they saw me doing something dumb.

Very depressing story...bad way to learn a lesson.
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Old 07-23-2000, 09:18 PM   #16
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Please wear your seatbelt. I'm a volunteer firefighter, and I've seen a few crashes where people weren't wearing their seatbelts. They paid a very heavy price for it.
There are certain spots that I can't drive by anymore without thinking, 'There's the spot that guy died.' or 'It was right around here that they landed.'
I've also seen a few crashes where people /were/ wearing their seatbelt, and they all lived with relatively minor injuries (save ONE, in which the driver was killed. He hit another car head-on, flipped over, and landed on the roof. The poor guy never had a chance...This is one particular crash that I will forever remember).
For the sake of yourself, your family, and your friends (and for the emergency personnel), wear your seatbelt. It WILL save your life.
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Old 07-23-2000, 09:29 PM   #17
Overtime
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I'm with you Black98RS...a horrible way to die, and even worse for the poor person who witnessed it first hand.

I don't believe anyone should die for doing something stupid...but I wish that there was a better way for stupid people to get their kicks than to endanger others....
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Old 07-23-2000, 10:41 PM   #18
Andre Vandenberg
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Tim K
Thanks for making me feel VERY old Yes, I have a lot of REALY good memories of Kayalami, but unfortunately, I also have a lot of bad memories associated with it. I lost a few friends there, and was unfortunate to also witness a lot of deaths of some top drivers and riders. Thankfully though, with time you tend to only remember the good memories.

Fusion,
I bet the police report reads that excessive speed was the primary cause of the accident, and not stupidity...

Black RS
Today I went past the accident site again, this time in the other direction. All I can say, with out going into to much gory details, is; this guy DEFINATELY exploded or disintegrated upon impact.... no doubt about it in my mind.

Fido
I'm with you on the seatbelt thing, as well as wearing a helmet and leathers on a bike. I have been involved with SOME sort of racing since age 10. Not only competing but also as a worker. (At 11 I worked my first F1 race as a corner worker. OK, since we didn't have "walky talky's" back then, I worked the telephone crank handle at clubhouse bend)
I don't think that it should be a law though. This may sound stupid but I think we should be the ones that decide to wear, or make use of these safety equipment, with out the threat of enriching the city / states' coffers if we don't. Let's face it, to government, while we are alive, we are a way to obtain money for their projects or agendas. they are not concerned about our safety, If they were, they would take these giant exploding bags out of all the cars, and make us wear 4 or 5 point belts

Andre
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Old 07-23-2000, 10:45 PM   #19
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Andre- I agree that the Gov't sees us as one big walking C-bill, but hey, gotta start somewhere
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Old 07-24-2000, 01:36 AM   #20
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Angry

Hey, that sucks, and I can understand almost coming to death because some ******* can't control his speed tendencies, but I feel like flaming when I hear "deserves to die." I'm just ranting, but that **** will come back to bite you in the ass.
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Old 07-24-2000, 06:12 AM   #21
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Andre, glad to hear you are alright after that "near miss". I've had a few close calls with idiots racing on the freeways too. Sorry to hear about the guy that crashed. Any word on the other people involved?

Great stories too!! Hard to imagine what that must have been like. Flying down the track with F1 cars blasting by, it's too much! See you at the Divisional!

Adam
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Old 07-24-2000, 07:17 AM   #22
Tim K.
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Andre,

For some reason the government has consistently attempted to legislate away stupidity. What is fails to realize is that you can't. By continually passing laws in regards to our personal safety the powers that be have slowly eked away our freedoms. It is a slow and insidious process. Overtime, people become more and more dependent on the government to define the risks inherent in everyday life. It becomes easier for people to disregard choice, disavow responsibility, and choose to settle their offended sensibilities in a courtroom.

Myself, I would prefer the ability to choose not to wear a helmet or a safety belt, but if I made such a choice I would be responsible for my own death or injuries in the event of an accident. I used my own free will to make the decision and I accept the consequences of my own actions. Maybe we should recite that pledge every once in awhile.

Tim (its not my fault) K.
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Old 07-24-2000, 10:37 AM   #23
Andre Vandenberg
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Tim,
You are so right, maybe it should be required to recite that pledge to ourself, everytime we make the "other" pledge of alegance

Andre
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