Car Overboard

I live in an apartment complex that is the highest point in Latham/Watervliet. The configuration of parking and buildings is complicated by a high variability in terrain throughout the complex. For example, the visitor parking lot resides at a high spot within the complex. Don’t believe me? See for yourself:

One way to look at the visitor parking lot

At the bottom of the hill is basically a set of apartment buildings, separated from the hill by a wooden walkway, wooden railing, and a couple of trees. Here’s a view from the same vantage point to the left and panned down:

Further down the hill

Since I’ve lived here in 2004, I have always wondered what would happen if a car lost control and went over the hill.

Ohh yes, I am going to tell you a story about a car that went over the hill, but that’s not all…that’s not even the beginning…

On Friday, 8/27/2010, I decided to turn in relatively early for a Friday. I was awoken by my guest, Cassie, at around 11:15 pm. Apparently it was difficult to wake me up. I remember being hit by pillows multiple times. Right outside of my window (about 5 feet behind the point where the first picture above was taken), there was a flat bed tow truck positioned at an odd angle with its chains fully deployed. In fact, Cassie said that for a good while, all you could hear were chains. Upon further looks, she said that a second flat bed that had arrived. Mind you, I only woke up because Cassie reminded me of the possibility that a car had gone over the hill.

I went out into my living room to get a better vantage point of what was going on. From my living room, to the right, I had a perfect view of what was going on; to the left, I have a really obnoxious tree that doesn’t let me see about 90%. It’s alright, I had a good enough view of what was going on. Mind you, though, through this obnoxious tree, I could see that a family was moving their belongings into the complex (at 11:15 pm). Lo and behold, to my right, I was witnessing the efforts of a tow truck pull an SUV that had gone overboard.

The rescue itself was rather uneventful. They pulled that SUV right out of the ditch, no problem. It’s just everything else that made this so surreal. The 6 year anticipation. The people lugging groceries inside that late. The moving truck being unloaded so late at night. And a couple of other things I haven’t mentioned yet.

So after the cops left, I decided to do some detective work. I went outside. Now as you walk to the visitor lot from my building, there is a dumpster to the right. I have pictured this in the past. As I passed this dumpster, directly behind it, there were two children, no older than 15, smoking marijuana. Not wanting to be a part of this, I quickly walked passed them, walked toward Cassie’s car, and then headed inside. I couldn’t really see anything in the dark anyway.

When I went out the next day, I couldn’t really even find where the car would have gone down. I was looking for displaced grass. All I found was this:

The shadow is Cassie's car
Closer view of car tracks

It honestly looked like the SUV drove right over Cassie’s car like a monster truck and fell down the hill. In all likelyhood, though, it parked in the space directly to the right of Cassie’s car, and just didn’t hit the breaks in time.

Here’s a final shot of my fatĀ silhouette, standing where the car went down, looking down at the ditch, giving the Illuminati Wolfpack hand gesture:


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