Crash Boom Bang

Drive Carefully This Festive Season....or Everytime you Drive

I will certainly be expecting fireworks tonight on the eve of Chinese New Year. Last year I got some spectacular images for my Fireworks post in Kuching and I hope Sibu can match it this year. But I experienced a few crash boom bangs on my drive up to Sibu from Kuching. One did remind me of my last post Accidental Luck where a young guy scraped through a freaky accident. There's this stretch of 'blind spot' along the Pan Borneo Highway which is a cause for concern for many road users - we liken it to The Bermuda Triangle.

Ooops......! There goes the ang pow money, to repair the car.

The journey home - scenes like this are a norm during the 'Balik Kampung' phenomena. This accident happened at the Rachan Recreational Park junction. Same place where I recorded the flood in Serian a week before. But one need not worry - just pick up a phone and some help will be on the way very soon, at least the tow truck will arrive first before anyone else.

But what happens if anything happens to you at the 'blind spot' aka Bermuda Triangle?

A trailer stalled at 'The Bermuda Triangle' - somewhere at the administrative boundary of Samarahan Division and Sri Aman Division. One can imagine if you want to overtake the stalled trailer it would be almost impossible to see the other incoming traffic. The driver was smart enough to place some diversions on the road on both sides to alert incoming traffic from both directions. That said, let's imagine if this happened at night when aspiring Sarawakian Formula One drivers cruise the highway.

The Bermuda Triangle in red
This 'blind spot' is a cause for worry as it covers a significant distance (15 to 20 kilometers). Let's just say I have been cruising this stretch for the past 8 to 10 years and this is the only stretch without mobile network coverage. And maybe by sheer coincidence if anything needs to go wrong with somebody's vehicle, most of it happens at this stretch. The most memeorable one was when a tour bus with a full load of passengers developed engine problems in the area. The stranded passengers had to walk a significant distance to get some assistance and the driver was smart enough to hitch a ride to an area where the phone signal was strong enough for him to call for assistance ~ which can take hours to arrive. The proximity with the Kalimantan Indonesia border also brings to light stories of roaming foreigners in this area. They may be just visiting our side minus the immigration papers but one has to throw caution to the wind. So if your vehicle stalls in this area in the dark of night - and if you travel alone or with your family, try to get help from the nearest village along the stretch (believe me there is not many), or try to seek help from a passing vehicle (but only if you are confident that the occupants of the vehicles are a group of boy scouts who are ready to assist and not some runaway criminals who just stole a luxury vehicle in the City). Remember there is no phone signal to enable you to call in the calvary and if your car is a BMW or Mercedes, your life is more important (next time fly if necessary because you have the money). However it is always hard to get someone to assist you as the driver of the vehicle who passes through this dark stretch of road (its totally dark with no lights) will also be quite jittery and any wierd dark figure waving by the side (or in the middle) of the road while he is driving 110 km per hour, can cause panic. But during this trying moments usually a tow truck will be considered a heaven sent saviour if it happens to pass by. If he charges a bomb, don't think twice about it. Just some road safety tips from Nadai Nama Nama.

So currently the 'Bermuda Triangle's Link in this area is not so Hot, and no Yellow Man roams this Territory.



As we cruised along, we encountered a crowd of people and cars at the Betong junction area. It has to be an accident I told myself. Curiousity kills a cat they say, and so I stopped by the side to have a look.

The location of the accident on Google Map

Sure enough when I looked down over the area of attention I was surprised to see an overturned 4WD vehicle (could be a Prado or Hilux) and some clothes by the side - its so damaged that I could not make out the make of the vehicle

Omigosh - It has gone down quite a distance and I was thinking if there was any survivors. The same question rang in the minds of the curious onlookers, did anyone survive this accident? Was it a self accident as there was no other vehicle nearby?

Finally someone pointed out that there was no casualties in this accident. The driver (in shorts) was talking to Father Aries (in blue) and he seemed alright to me. He was travelling with his two children and they escaped with light bruises, by the look of the 4WD condition, that is a miracle, but the children have been rushed to Betong Hospital for further treatment

The tyre marks tell a story of how this accident happened and the broken concrete shows the impact as it hits the drain and plunges into the side of the road

While taking the photo of the tyre marks I realised that the vehicle came from the other side of the road and I was parking on part of the evidence. Horatio Caine will burn me alive for this but then again this is not a Crime Scene.

As I continued my journey along with the other road users who had seen the accident, I could not help noticing that we were going in a steady convoy and everyone was observing the speed limit. It takes scenes like this to heighten road users' awareness. I also got to think how different the situation would if this had happened at the Bermuda Triangle. So drive safely people.

Comments

Hamidah Mohamad said…
First I would like to compliment you on the creative pics and illustrations which furnish and remind us on potential risks involving road accidents.I guess even Horatio Caine might agree on the 'Bermuda Triangle' theory if that is a crime scene area as paranormal event of such nature does occur and goes beyond our analytical thinking. On the other hand, we all have often observed that human errors which are mostly related to careless driving and speeding also constitute as another factor besides the already existing poor road conditions and maintenance.That should serve to remind us all to be more vigilant and caring on the road.Thanks :)
Desmond said…
Definitely - i forgot to question that driver if he was 40 years old. It may be related to my hypothesis :)
One Other ... said…
yeah, all those warnings and the cutback corners does make you drive rather slowly, aware of every vehicles behind and in front of u. :-) Someone should start being blunt, it works better. "Better late than dead."

GONG XI FA CHAI Desmond! Happy Holiday! Sik lamak gik Gawai!
headsteadi said…
Bro. Take care and enjoy your holidays. Berhati-hati ba jalai raya. Come back to work in one piece. God bless you and your family.
Desmond said…
One other - Kongsi Kongsi Raya when Gawai comes.

Headsteadi - Yo Bro' thanks for the wish. You watch yourself too on the KL roads n Highways :)... and Railways
CoKeLaT-RaWkZ said…
Nama gaga uncle Aries ku ba dia hahahahha... interview urang ke accident... mesti ya ka nurun nginti hahahahhaa....
cdason said…
I don't get the 'bermuda triangle'. Do you mean Celcom is available there? or, is the whole stretch not covered by any telco?
Dee Loner said…
wow.. I didn't know there's a "Bermuda Triangle" as such here in Sarawak. And both my grandparents live in that "Triangle" !! Talk abt coincidence huh?

Now I know why there's no coverage at my kampung.

Too many blindspots on the road. All we have to do is to be careful on the road. Watch not only our own driving but sometimes others, because sometimes their recklessness can cost our lives too..

Nice blog! Enjoyed it.