boulderdash n: a road game played by California drivers during the wet season <Penelope called her friend to tell her about the ~ that was already underway along Pacific Coast Highway.> -more-




L.A. Freeway Pileup at 5,000 Vehicles — and Counting

In the worst vehicle accident in state history, thousands are injured and stranded at the Cajon Pass along Interstate 15. "Fooly Fog" and stupidity are blamed.

By George Wolfe

HESPERIA, Ca. — Hours after the pile-upaccident began at 7 a.m., even as the fog lifted from the mountain pass, cars still crashed into one another like a never-ending game of dominos. In fact, as of this writing, the traffic accident continues to build momentum and is expected to top the 10,000 vehicle mark by late this afternoon. Rescue crews hope to get the accident under control by nightfall, but say it's currently "70% contained."

"I've been working these roads for 20 years now, but I've never seen anything quite so idiotic. They were like lemmings..."

Ridley Mottern, officer
California Highway Patrol

"We were all going downhill at about 90 m.p.h.," says pile-up victim Sandruh Billings, "and when I turned the corner it was like I could see a huge wall of fog up ahead. It was all so dense: the weather, the drivers. And the more people got involved in the accident, the more the next people rammed into those first people. It was pretty ugly."

"Fooly Fog," named after April Fool's Day trickery, crept into the pass early in the morning and surprised commuters.

The California Highway Patrol sent out helicopters around 9:30 a.m. to try to alert drivers as to the dangers up ahead, but to no avail. Eye witnesses say that drivers were too involved with watching the road to look up in the air. CHP even tried dropping nail strips from the helicopters to halt traffic, but drivers' avoidance of the nail strips only made drivers panic and swerve into one another.

The scope and volume of the freeway accident hindered emergency vehicles and made it difficult to reach victims. As of noon, the total estimated vehicular damage reached the $15 million mark.

CHP officer Ridley Mottern looked weary as he rolled his eyes and tried to think of a positive spin on the accident, "I've been working these roads for 20 years now, but I've never seen anything quite so idiotic. They were like lemmings jumpin' off cliffs — one after another they just crashed and crashed and crashed. What's the matter with these people? They can't all possibly be from Vegas."


WAITING: Sandruh Billings waited all day for rescue workers to get to her part of the crash.

IN A JAM: Rescue workers free one of thousands of accident victims. The pileup is now "70% contained."

BACKED UP: Cars along I-15 are backed up for more than 100 miles.


EPIC CRASH: Poor visibility resulted in "reiterative vehicular conglomerations" such as this one.




ISSUE # 19

L.A. Freeway Pileup at 5,000 Vehicles — and Counting…

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