Mark Frauenfelder at 11:20 am Tue, Mar 24, 2009
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A real life Beavis and Butthead duo chuckle as they video tape a truck with its trailer raised smash into an overpass. (Via Arbroath)
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His latest book is Made by Hand: My Adventures in the World of DIY
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for some reason i can’t see what’s so funny.
I wonder how long they kept pace with him without trying to honk and wave or otherwise get his attention.
I do! High-larious!
I agree, I can’t see what’s so funny about it. It’s about as funny as using the Special Olympics as a punchline to a joke.
That overpass is going to need a little work.
Not to mention a complete disregard that someone might have been on the overpass at the time, or that they themselves could have been killed very easily.
There is something criminal in the mind of a person who would shoot video of this rather than stop it from happening.
I’m just glad that *I* don’t have to explain this to an insurance company.
can you ninnies above explain how they would “stop it from happening”?????
lol. selective outrage.
Well, based on the big strip of grass between their lane and the truck’s lane, despite them both going the same direction, I assume that either the truck’s road is merging into the highway or it is on a service road running parallel.
So, it is entirely possible that they have not been following this truck for very long. It’s also possible that they tried to get the truck’s attention and failed due to the distance. It’s not like they could pull in front or up next to the truck and honk.
If i was in this situation, I would definitely try and warn the driver of the truck. However, if that failed and I had a camera I’d absolutely film the crash.
I’m with Proghead777 — dead on.
Phazeaction: How about pulling alongside, honking, waving — anything but what they did, which is nothing. Nothing except being a waste of gravity.
Demon bridge from hell.
@PHAZEACTION: Use your imagination. Assuming they had enough time, speed up, honk and point at the trailer, maybe?
At the very least it seems shitty that they’re laughing given how quickly the truck came to a stop due to the collision. Most likely the driver was hurt badly.
This is the finale of Seinfeld all over again.
I’m hoping this isn’t real.
If I was following something like that there is no way I’d go under the underpass at the same time it did… a truck did something similar close-ish to where I live and the entire overpass crumbled and killed the driver – it was luck there was no one else under it at the same time.
Not exactly funny.
yep, i agree, something is fishy with this vid.
At least they’re not American.
It’s unrealistic to expect the driver and videographer to stop this from happening. I, for one, really appreciate someone who thinks fast enough to recognize a once in a lifetime situation and busts out the camera in time to capture it. A trucker who is so flippant in his driving that he gets on the highway with his dumper sticking straight up in the air is not likely to be very receptive to or aware of any attempts at inter- automotive communication. At some point you’ll need to accept that the chance to stop this was missed when the driver skipped his bowl of Wheaties that morning. Everyone (i know) gets a bit excited when they get the chance to witness something like this; a demonstration of what happens when the shit hits the fan. I personally don’t hear evil or callousness in the laughter, sounds more like shock and awe to me.
The fact that he left the dump up tells me the driver was probably already tired or stressed. That is a colossal error to make, as all it would take to see the trailer’s position is a quick glance in the mirrors.
The sudden stop could have hurt the driver when he whacked the steering wheel, but maybe not too badly. What offends me most are the buffoons giggling at the situation when they could have been leaning on the horn and waving their arms, pointing at the trailer. They could have at least tried.
Well, they are a little immature. However, I fail to see how they could have prevented anything.
They are clearly on another lane, which is secured against cars leaving the lane, and the other car is at least 30 metres away, if not more. I doubt the truck driver would even hear them if they’d honk.
You think the guy that doesn’t notice his bed is up would notice two guys waving in a truck from across a huge strip of grass?
Granted, they should have tried, but some people aren’t exactly filled with a sense of civic duty.
But if I was on an access road and someone was honking from the interstate, I wouldn’t expect they were honking at me. By the time I did, I would have probably already hit the overpass.
It seems the world is divided into two camps: those that would be compelled to honk and wave and call 911 up to the very last second, and those that wouldn’t. I would argue that the entire second camp are sociopaths.
What conceivable circumstance would prevent a person from at least trying to intervene?
There’s a railway overpass near where I work, the type of setup where the road has to dig pretty deep into the ground to make it under. Not sure how old the bridge is, it “looks” old, and the train company that build it started in the 1890′s.
Each side of the bridge is heavily cracked and patched up from trucks ramming in to it.. I drive under it daily and have never seen a wreck myself but every once in a while a new layer of quickcrete shows up and you know exactly what happened.
What this says to me is if I ever become a trucker, I will be intimately aware what my clearance requirements are.
I am glad someone brought up the point that maybe instead of getting mad at these people the truck driver is the one at fault here.
Not to mention if anyone would have gotten hurt from being behind this truck driver they are obviously stupid for driving so close to a truck in that situation.
Is that a wig on the dash? What is that thing?
It’s also at least possible that they didn’t realize it was going to hit a bridge. Seeing a truck doing 70mph down the highway with his bed raised up would be funny enough to bust out the camera, even without the impending bridge collision.
@11 and everyone who assumes they didn’t try and stop the truck:
You guys are assuming a lot based on 15 seconds of video. For all you know they could have spent the last 5 minutes honking and waving, but gave up and pulled the camera out for a laugh.
I’m not saying that’s true, but you guys are condemning the creators of this video on very little evidence.
It is in fact a German Autobahn, probably in northern Germany (judging by the kid’s accent). One guy says “Alter, jetzt scheppert das” which roughly translates to “Dude, it’s going to clang”. This is clearly in a road-works situation, where one lane is seperated to the other side. I’m quite sure there was some traffic, because you rarely see low traffic on an autobahn in bright daylight with road works.
Anyway, I’m also sure that the lorry driver has been warned excessivly by other drivers, since he had to be on the autobahn for some time, being stuck in the road works part. Germans are car-obsessed, don’t forget that. If anyone doesn’t fit in at the autobahn, the offender will be told.
The lorry driver is to blame. Period.
Thanks for taping.
They could have honked their horn to get the trucker to look in the rear view. At least there would have been a chance. What goes around, comes around I guess.
This is why I keep a large supply of paper airplanes in my car to throw to other vehicles, with helpful messages like:
YOUR TRAILER BED IS UP
THERE APPEARS TO BE A MAN IN THE BACK OF YOUR CAR WIELDING A KNIFE, BUT HE DUCKS EVERY TIME I FLASH MY BRIGHTS
You can never be too prepared.
Really, guys? This is where we draw our battle lines?
As with most 15 second video clips in circulation around the interblorgs, there is a shortage of context. Sure, assuming a lot of givens we just don’t have, the decent thing to do would be to warn the driver. How exactly would you condense “Your trailer is raised” into a hand sign at that distance, at that speed, with that dearth of time?
I think we can all agree that saving babies and preventing destructive accidents = The Right Thing To Do. But as a friend of mine was fond of saying, “When you make an assumption, you make an ass out of you and mption.”
I worked in a warehouse a while back where something similar happened; a truck pulled all the way in to the building (after being told that the truck was too high to clear the entrance and that he should just pull UP to the building). The walls and ceiling crumpled in as he drive in, and before anyone could try to stop him, the driver then tried to drive back OUT, pulling off the top of the truck and collapsing the back wall of the building in the process.
It was pure dumb luck that nobody was standing where they could have (easily) been killed by falling chunks of building, but after accounting for everyone, most of us found it pretty flippin’ hilarious. Having said that, the driver of the truck was very, very lucky he didn’t kill anyone. Those who suggest that these kids should have pulled up to the truck should recognize that that could have easily gotten THEM killed. It would have been nice for them to put a call in to emergency services…
i think this is freakin hilarious.
Pulling alongside a huge truck that’s about to go under a bridge with it’s trailer raised – to try to stop it, would place you a few notches dumber than the truck driver.
SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE BRIDGE!
I don’t understand how the trucker was unaware that the box was still up. That’s a very large fraction of the vehicle’s weight, and when it’s sitting on end the balance, aerodynamics and everything is completely different. The vehicle simply could not drive remotely like it should with the box up, especially at highway speeds.
Plus: safety equipment. This truck certainly has a telltale light on the dash to warn the driver that the box was not secured.
The driver: inattentive and incompetent. The guys in the car: immature idiots.
One would like to think that after the collision the guys that filmed the video found a way to cross over to the other lane & check on the truck driver.
What #30 said. I can’t imagine the driver wouldn’t feel a tremendous change in how the vehicle was handling. It basically raised a sail.
I travel by car a lot making several trips a year in excess of 3000 miles per trip (not to mention spending months on tour buses) and I have seen a lot of insane and horrible things along these lines on the highways. I have always tried to get the other drivers attention and not once has any effort been successfull. Drivers like the trucker in this video are generally so tweaked and/or oblivious that nothing would prevent the accident short of time travelling back to keep them from getting behind the wheel. I only wish that driving my own vehicle didn’t prevent me from getting video like this so it could at least provide some entertainment online and show up at the next driver safety course.
If you want to condemn these videographers for a lack of morality, I suggest you go do some reading on ethics and logic because you are way off base. The trucker is the one who is at fault here.
Some years ago a popular newswoman was electrocuted (but didn’t die) when a technician raised a camera mast into power lines. Laws were passed requiring sensors on masts in most states that detect objects or electricity, and retract the mast automatically.
I doubt they have them for semi dumps like that, but GEEZ! How can you not notice that giant dump bed is up?!
The most dangerous time when working with hazardous machinery is when you get used to it, and get a little complacent.
Without getting to make snap judgments of people based on bad video with an utter lack of context, the internet wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.
Whatever they did or didn’t do to prevent it, they did witness the accident. I wonder if they bothered to go to the scene of the crash to help the driver, or if they at least phoned an emergency number.
The clip posted by #12 Antinous; I like how each accident is shown twice, so one can appreciate the spectacle. And did the clip maker do the ‘camera zooming in’ while compiling a bunch of stationary shots? Love and care, that.
There is a similar low overpass by me, and it’s posted well before, and the span has the clearance clearly marked; yet several times a year a truck gets wedged in there. It’s an arc, so while some trucks could clear the center, if the driver is not observant they clip the sides. Truckers are often tired and overworked.
It’s amazing how much battering these structures can take, even if it’s only an empty box smacking into them, it’s often at speed.
I drive a small dump truck during the summer. Once I drove nearly two blocks with the back gate open. My load could have easily fallen out and caused an accident.I thought it was closed, but it wasn’t. So after laughing at the video I immediately felt terrible wondering about the fate of the driver.Maybe he just forgot too. The truck I drive has no warning devices that the bed is up, and drives the same with it up for down.
then the people who saw this truck driver get on the freeway are most responsible for not trying to alert him or her before it got to the freeway, i mean just imagine the looks and stares from passersby on the street who did and said nothing, why are we blaming the persons who videotaped this? i would laff to too if i was taking the video its only a natural human reaction to something absurd happening.
OK, here’s a related question: Darwin Awards=funny, sad or outrageous? And how are they different from this video?
The Darwin awards are about stupidity, not forgetfulness. If the driver had the bed up to impress a chick or something, he’d probably get nominated.
Let’s agree for the sake of argument that the drivers are somehow complicit in the driver’s injury or possible death: yet weigh in the balance all of the drivers whose lives will be spared through this noble story of one dumbass and the krazy kids who dared to tape him. And think of my life, dammit, which has been incredibly brightened by this peerless example of Cool Shit Exploding on teh Interwebz. And all our lives, leavened for a moment with sparkling lulz from on high. Win for all.
This was a major fuckup on the part of the trucker, but in my experience and I am a 10 fingered, 20+ year carpenter, so I do have some experience, most of these workaday accidents are the result of pretty unbelievable momentary lapses on the part of people who generally are as competent as anyone of us.
The most frightening thing like this that I ever witnessed was one time when I saw a trucker dropping a roll off dumpster at a job in Boston. When you drop one of those things you have to drive forward with the rails up in the air just to get out from under the roll-off. This guy dropped his box and pulled forward, not very far but far enough to snag the overhead cable for the trolley line. Everybody freaked and then moments later, when the the truck was not instantly welded to the rails, realized the juice had been turned off a year earlier when they quit running trolleys on that line. But I’m sure that driver still remembers that moment. I sure do!
@29 THANK YOU
We had this happen to our bridge, exit 74 off the Garden State Parkway. Traffic gridlocked and I never made it home that night. It took half a year to rebuild the bridge and it was totally annoying.
I wouldn’t have minded though if I had been fortunate enough to see the bridge get whacked at reasonably close range. People who did said the sound of it was phenomenal.
>The Darwin awards are about stupidity, not forgetfulness.
I see no meaningful distinction between the two in this context. The end result is the same: someone gets hurt or killed doing something they shouldn’t. Whether it happened because they didn’t know better or momentarily forgot makes no difference.
A friend of mine was killed in 2006 in almost the exact same circumstances.
He worked for a company that manufactured massive concrete “boxes” that are buried for use as septic tanks. He drove a flatbed truck with a hydraulic arm that could be used to pick up and set down the concrete boxes.
He got on the expressway and the “arm” somehow broke free from its locked position and extended up in the air. He was up to 70 mph when he hit a bridge in the same fashion. His truck was flipped end over end under/through the bridge and landed upside-down, squishing him in the cabin and killing him instantly.
Here’s an article about it:
Had a truckdriver buddy who had to deadhead a dump truck down in Texas with a defective lift valve. Nobody told him the bed would raise the empty box about a foot and a half before the pressure would equalize. He was about 20 miles into the journey when he had to go through one of those Texas Pond Catcher underpasses. Needless to say, the hinges at the back and the cylinder completely tore off leaving the box down there under the bridge. His immediate worry when he came to a stop was that from the level, you couln’t even see the box down there and it being a two way road, he was waiting in a panic for the next boom when someone dove in and hit it.
I’ve had the experience of helpful kids wave and yell and honk to tell me about the impending danger of something going on with my back tire. And man was I ever grateful when I pulled off the freeway to find out they were a bunch of jokers having a laugh at my expense and my optimistic sense of goodness in the world.
Every time I honk at someone to try to tell them about a flat tire, they look at me like I’m Charles Manson and speed up.
My initial reaction would have been similar. “Check out the dumbass who forgot to lower his truck box.” But when you see the overpass, don’t you instinctually lean on the horn? Even though there’s a good chance he won’t stop, don’t you at least try? And when you realize this guy has wrecked his truck and possibly injured himself and at the very least is having a very, very bad day, is your first reaction to giggle? Watching it on YouTube is one thing, but real-time, doesn’t some fundamental capacity for empathy kick in?
I say they didn’t see the overpass. Someone says something, though I don’t know what language they are speaking. I probably wouldn’t have seen the overpass coming up, if I was holding the camera.
Though, my reaction would probably not be to laugh.
These two clowns have certainly forgotten the “golden rule”, and it’s a shame too. I’d imagine that someone was pretty seriously hurt there. Well, goes around, comes around.
Hm. This is not an uncommon thing to happen, believe it or not. Next time you are on a highway that is being heavily worked on, take notice of the bridges, many of them will have signs that read, quite clearly:
IS YOUR BED/BOOM DOWN?!
Theirs was not. The same exact thing happened several times on route 71 in ohio…on a stretch from strongsville to cleveland…from the late nineties until…well…when I moved out of the area the repairs were still going…
No one perished in any of those crashes.
But does anyone really believe these HORRIBLE UNCONSCIONABLE BASTARDS could have grabbed the attention of huge truck with a very loud engine, over the sound of a highway when it was driving on a stretch of road that is at the least eighty feet away? Come on now…OH, I get it. The kids were on the CB radio talking dirty to the driver. I GET IT.
Funny – unless you’re the guy who left the back up.
And I’d try to communicate to him that something is wrong, but every time I honk / wave / flash lights to let people know their tyre is flat, fuel tank left open, back of car on fire etc., they think I’m a lunatic axe murderer (or something) and speed off – flames and all.
Well at least this video reminded us all what not to do next time we see a truck with a raised trailer is on the freeway. Really brought the light down on this situation.
Maybe every automobile should be required to have a CB radio in it and no one can listen to their stereos anymore.
I vote funny, but I might not have laughed right away if I was there.
“You’re going the wrong way!”
“How does he know where we’re going?”
there’s not enough information to pass any judgments at all, on anyone involved. for all we know, the owner of the truck may have paid the driver to have this “accident” and collect insurance.
How exactly do you people think those guys could have prevented the accident? Horn honking would have only directed attention to them (if that) and they were too far for hand gestures to be noticeable. In all likelihood they had less than 30 seconds to do anything about it anyway.
Still, unbelievable stupidity to drive under the overpass at the exact moment of impact and laugh.
#44: Not all people use the horn at the sight of trouble. I tend to think there are more constructive things to do than startle people who are busy trying to prevent an accident. :-)
Whether or not the giggling scum bags in the video could have prevented this from happening is completely irrelevant. The undeniable fact is, they are obviously taking pleasure in the extreme misfortune of another human being and, potentially, of anyone close enough to be killed or injured by flying debris. Which includes them, though, clearly they are not bright enough to realize that.
It doesn’t matter that it’s the truck driver’s fault. If the people in the car had been angry at what they were witnessing, I could understand completely. But no, they were fucking delighted from the sound of it.
The only thing that makes me feel better about it is that most of the people commenting here seem as disgusted by it as I am.
How am I driving?
I would have honked.
#56 Samsam, the problem is you’re trying to convey hundreds of different meanings with a simple horn. Unless you use morse code, it’s not going to work.
That’s why we should get rid of all horns and replace them with 100db speakers. A mic allows the driver to communicate with other drivers on the road.
I guess I and most of the people I know are not human, because when sudden bad things happen and no one turns out to be dead, we almost always laugh. That truck falls neatly into “funny bad things”. Anyone with an ounce of sense can see that no one was killed. If you are going to stop a fast moving truck, slowing down by tossing all of the energy of the impact into something behind you is the best way to stop. There were no cars behind it.
Once the tragedy was over, you laugh. Kicked in the balls? “OMG, are you all right?” Followed by laughter. Hell, the video a few posts back where a dude punches another guy in a demon mask. Everyone’s first response is mild horror that he just knocked someone out, followed by laughter. This is a normal human response. We find shock of bad things followed by no one being dead funny. Get over it.
Hell, you can hear it happen in this video. They are chatting. The truck crashes. There is silence for a few seconds. No one is obviously hurt. Everyone laughs.
Perhaps I am a horrible human, but I would have done the same.
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