Everybody knows that a red light means stop - it's kindergarten knowledge. Sometimes, however, drivers get tired, have one too many to drink or simply believe they can make it through the intersection. In these cases, the resulting car accidents are often devastating, both for the red-light runner and for anyone else in the intersection.
Earlier this month, a man drove his 2011 Ford through a red light in Stockton, California. The vehicle struck a tractor-trailer in the intersection, driving both vehicles off the road. The truck came to rest when it struck a utility pole. The pole came crashing down on the vehicle, shocking it with live electricity. The truck then caught fire, which spread throughout the cab.
The tractor-trailer driver was able to get clear of the cab. His problems, however, were far from over. When police officers arrived on the scene to assist, he informed them that his truck had just been filled with potassium hydroxide, a dangerously corrosive material. By this time, the fire had spread to the truck itself, and some of the potassium hydroxide had spilled from the container.
Police called a hazardous materials crew to deal with the situation, but they were unable to work for several hours, as the live power line prevented attempts to extinguish the blaze. Authorities were eventually able to get the scene under control. It is currently unclear exactly how much of the toxic material was spilled.
The tractor-trailer driver received moderate injuries. The red light runner received light injuries. Though he had been drinking on the night of the accident, police determined alcohol was not a determining factor in the crash. He was not arrested on the evening of the accident, although given the injuries and widespread damage associated with the incident, he may face legal consequences in the future.
Recordnet.com, "Red-light runner causes toxic spill, fire" No author given, Sep. 16, 2013