Monday was my son’s 15th birthday. While Nevada does not allow learner’s permits until 15 and a half, I decided it was time to start talking to him about driving. He got more of a lesson than I expected.
I was driving westbound on West Charleston just after 5pm with him and my eight year old daughter in the car. We stopped at a red light at Merialdo Ln in front of Boca Park. A few seconds later the unthinkable happened. A white Toyota 4Runner entered the intersection heading north on Merialdo Ln and flips nearly completely over. The momentum of the roll took it almost all the way or maybe completely to its roof before resting on its passenger side.
It was hard for my brain to process. From my angle, I could not see any other car. My view was obstructed by the SUV. After a couple of seconds my brain computed that someone must have run the red light and the impact did this.
I was right. A woman in a mid 2000’s Honda Civic heading eastbound on Charleston ran the red light. The front of the Civic was lodged into the undercarriage of the SUV.
Can you imagine how fast she was going to roll a Toyota 4Runner with a Honda Civic? The speed limit is 45. I doubt that speed could have done that.
Bonefish Grill employees to the rescue
A Bonefish Grill is opening at this intersection next week. About a dozen employees came running from the restaurant just seconds after the car rested. Several ran into the road to give aid to the two women in the rolled 4Runner. It was as if they were trained in this, working together to help free the women from the smoking vehicle that gave the appearance that is was on fire or about to be.
Las Vegas drivers on the other hand…
This light runs on a split cycle where northbound Merialdo Ln, the direction the 4Runner was going, turns green first, then the southbound side goes. The cars going southbound were so rude that when their light turned green they were trying to go around this rescue with this SUV smoking and rolled over with a Civic embedded in its undercarriage. The same thing occurred when the light turned green for Charleston. Eastbound cars tried to force their way through.
The accident was not obstructing westbound lanes, but I could not leave my car where I was in the clear travel lanes. I also had a panicked eight year old in the backseat distressed about what she just witnessed.
I left my cellphone at home but my son had his. We called 911 and I made a u-turn at the next median break and returned to the scene, parking at Bonefish Grill.
By that time, the Bonefish employees had pulled the women to safety. The Civic driver got out of her car under her own power. I left my kids on a sidewalk away from the chaos and walked across the street to see if I could help and let the victims know that I saw everything and would be waiting for the police and fire.
The women that ran the red light was having a panic attack. A few people were trying to comfort her. This left to the two from the rollover alone.
I talked to the women in the SUV to comfort them as we waited on paramedics. They were sitting on a wall at the intersection. They seemed to be in great shape considering what had happened.
They were clearly in shock. They told me they were fine, but I encouraged them to allow the paramedics to check them out.
As the shock wore off it became apparent to them that they were more hurt than they thought. One woman mentioned she may have bit through her tongue. They both complained about feeling beat up from the seat belts. Both were in a daze.
Fire and rescue appeared a couple of minutes later. I gave them space and went back with my kids to wait for the police to arrive. All occupants were put on stretchers and taken away from the scene by ambulance.
Metro took much longer to arrive, but when they did, I gave them a statement and we went on our way.
Lessons Learned by Son
My son got to learn a few life and driving lessons out of all this. He learned about how to report an accident to 911. He then learned that distracted driving and speeding can lead to serious accidents like this one. He also learned how seat belts saved lives in this accident.
Bonefish Grill Obviously Has a Great Team of Employees
I believe Bonefish Grill is currently training employees. The advertised open date is September 29. This probably made it so that they could drop everything to rush to the accident scene. They deserve a lot of credit for working as a team in what could have been a dangerous situation on a six-lane state highway.
If these employees work together in this type of crisis, just imagine how well they will keep their cool when faced with the opening week’s dinner rush. I predict good things for the future of this restaurant based on what I saw Monday.