coolest wreck

Terry E. Toller

Well-known member
I also remember two guys on two of those rice rockets who took a big rig HEAD ON! They had been cited just a half hour earlier for speeding. Tried to pass a car on an uphill grade with a curve. The cornor towed the tractor to his lab to 'try' to recover as much tissue as possible. The radiator was a giant strainer. There was nothing that resembled a human body part. That wasn't cool, it was sick...

Then there was the guy who was driving in pea soup fog with his head out the window watching the fog line. Problem was, he was on the wrong side of the road. His head hit a passing power pole... The CHP officer let me stand on the hood of his car to get a shot of the man's head in the bed of his pickup...

I have many but just one more. Two guys on a motorcycle on a curve on the freeway. Hit black ice and went down. Crashed into the guardrail. One man hit his head on the metal rail. Top of his head seperated from the rest of the skull. Nasty. The other guy went airborn and landed in the top of a tree about 50 feet away. The fire department had to use a ladder truck to recover him...


Well-known member
It's hard to not go past some places and remember where you shot fatal accidents...the truck driver who rolled and his rig caught fire...the kid who went about 75 into a tree sideways, didnt die immediately, but only after he had three limbs amputated because of the fire in the car...the guy hit by a car while changing a tire...the guy who drove under a perpendicular driving semi...the guy who hit a chevy truck at 65 and then his bronco caught fire...the one where the trooper turned around to catch some speeding HS students just moments before he rolled the truck...the one where the elderly couple lost control on ice and went down a hill into a creek...and those i was lucky enough to not cover-my friend rolling her car and dying and the one where my friend got hit by a semi.

Natural Born Stringer

Well-known member
Originally posted by Shootblue:
...the guy hit by a car while changing a tire...
I read this and had a flashback - shot one once where a bunch of drunks had a flat on the freeway and stopped to change it in the HOV LANE! The guy who was killed was standing behind the car getting the spare out when he got hit by another car going almost 80. They found pieces of him several hundred feet down the road, including a shoe that still had his foot in it. I took a couple nights off after that one....


Well-known member
13 year old driving his dad's delivery in the passenger seat...the kid looses falls out and is run over by the truck, DOS. I feel sorry for the kid, but why was dad letting him drive on a major highway?
There is one wreck that always reminds me to slow down in bad weather. Three kids driving the speed limit (55) on a back road, pouring rain, go over a hill and around a turn. Car starts to spin sideways going down the hill directly into the path of an 18 wheeler coming up the hill at 55mph. Truck driver tries to avoid it, and puts the big rig into the ditch, car slams into the front, rips into three pieces. Looked like the car just exploded with shredded metal everywhere. All three kids in the car killed on impact. Took them about 3 hours to do cleanup. Never heard of any bad hydroplaning accidents until I saw that one first hand.
I remember back to when I first started working in the field... it was the second week that I was working, I got called out to a wreck, thinking that I was hot ****... When I pulled up there were two Med Helos sitting on this small rual highway, and there was a "duley" truck with a horse trailer that smashed a passenger car into an embankment... The FD was on top of the car trying to cut the woman that was inside out with the jaws of life and grinders... When I heard "oh ****" the car burst into flames. The woman inside started screaming bloody murder... The FD couldn't get her out and she burnt alive as I watched...

I was strong about this until I got home to my wife, where I started balling my eyes out, and barfed... I know one thing that I won't ever forget that smell.
Originally posted by retroactiv:
I know one thing that I won't ever forget that smell.
Damn that's harsh, that's one smell I can't forget either no matter how many times I've smelt it.

Worst I've seen was trash truck that head on'd a a motorcycle with a guy and his girlfriend on it at about 60mph. This was 7 years ago, but I'm pretty sure they are still scraping the meat off the truck


Well-known member
Guy driving a pick-up on a country road. Goes into the ditch and hits a tree. His body was fine because he was wearing his seatbelt. But the load of dirt he was haulin was in the cab with him and held his body up with the seatbelt still on. His head ended up right where the hood ornament should be.
That happend about twenty years ago. I still remember like it was last night.


Active member
I wouldnt exactly call this a cool wreck BUT one evening, I was at my station when a fire call went out for a wreck just a 1/4 mile from the station. I jumped into a news unit and drove over there, I found a women sitting in the middle of the road alone. I got out and asked her if she was ok, she replied "I dont know", about this time, I looked over her shoulder to see a car way off the road in deep woods. I asked her if there was anybody else in the car, she again replied she didnt know. The local FD is volunteer, so they were still not on the scene, I went down to the car and looked in to find 4 young girls about 16 or so, all unresponsive, and one struggling to breath. I checked the pulse of the driver, no good, she was gone, I tried to reach in and clear the airway of the passenger that was having trouble breathing. Not much luck there either, obviously a major cervical case. I had to reach way in to do this all, the car was on its side and wrapped around a tree, roof first into the tree trunk. I could now hear a siren approaching. I climbed out and went up to the road, found a fire policemen starting to direct traffic, I told him I had 4 heavily entrapped and a possible fatality. Up to that point he had acted like it was a finder binder. Well that put things into action in a hurry! I returned to the car. Each attempt to reach and help the victims made the car move so I was being very careful. After about another 5 minutes, the FD finally arrives and I backed out to do my job. Final toll was 2 dead, 2 seriously screwed up and one without a scratch. This was the one in the roadway. She had been ejected upon impact and was thrown about 100 feet and was un-injured. To this day, I still get a cold shiver whenever I pass that spot. That was a terrible month for MVAs involving teenagers, we lost 6 in about 5 weeks in horrific crashes.

The Daywood

Well-known member
Guy's car breaks down on Highway....He pulls over, and a friend drives up on the 2-way service road. Guy goes to talk to friend, when crossing back, is hit by car...Guy literally explodes, head ends up in front seat of car, arm, foot and other leg scatterrd near friend's car...It was at night, and they wouldn't let us near...took a while to figure it out, I didn't have any major illumination...DPS finally told us and pointed out all the parts.


Active member
A couple of months ago, this lady hit the wrong pedal or something and blew her SUV through the front of a Long John Silvers. Some how she hopped the two-foot brick wall lining the walkway, and some hedges. Everyone was ok. The best part was I got this cool shot of the menu sign, with a big blue "Drive Thru" on top, and the back end of the SUV sticking out of the restaurant.


Well-known member
I had an NPPA winner in 2000 out of Phoenix. It was an old lady who hit the gas instead of the brakes. She and her older Mercedes coupe blasted through an empty storefront's windows, rear tires spinning cause the car to fishtail on concrete inside, then the car blasts forward, goes through a side wall and into some pool-supply store next-door. She was fine, employees in the store were fine... and I banged out a nice pkg for the 5pm! Crazy to see that she crashed through two walls, the second wall at 90 degrees to the first... and nobody was hurt.


Well-known member
I had a good one about a month ago. I work the a.m. shift and was about to head out for generic live shots for the early show. Right as I was walking out the door the scanner went off about a semi crash.

All morning long I had live shots of a semi on fire in the black of night. I had great shots of flames shooting 10-30 feet in the air. Oh yeah, the driver of the truck walked away after the crash.


Well-known member
The least coolest crash I had was the one where I ran a flashing red light at 5am, in my newstruck, and crashed into the only other car on the road at the time. D'oh! Nobody was really hurt, a few scrapes and my damaged ego. I was 4 months into my first full time gig.

Side note, I took complete responsibility for it and the ND actually thanked me. Learned my first big lesson in workplace relations.

Dave Putnam

Well-known member
Been to many. Two of the most impressive was the semi full of dog food that swerved to avoid hitting a bear standing in the middle of the road in the middle of the night. The semi ended up launching over an embankment and landing in an orange grove. Bear was flattened, driver had some pretty good scratches but lived.

The other one was the aftermath of the first gasoline tank truck fire that I ever had the pleasure of covering . It blew me away to see what little of the truck was left after the 10K gallons of gas burned up. It looked like someone had taken a soldering iron and melted several rolls of solder on the pavement. Besides that not much else left except the truck frame and the steel from the tires. That truck done burned real good.

[ November 17, 2005, 02:35 PM: Message edited by: Dave Putnam ]


Well-known member
One up in upstate NY in my first market where a lady got on the highway ,drunk AND high, going the wrong way. She hit an 18-wheeler head on and the front of the car from the front seats up was under the truck and she was in the trunk.

The other was a guy who was going to fast on snowy roads, put two wheels on the shoulder, over corrected and slid sideways about 50 yards and hit a telephone pole. When they finally let me up there, the pole was in the middle of the driver's seat.


Well-known member
Two guys speeding, in a pick-up, on a two-lane road, hit an oilfield truck head-on, the truck had some pretty good damage...but the pick-up was COMPLETELY destroyed. The engine was in the middle of the road and the rest of it was, literally(sp), in a million pieces. A set of golf clubs were originaly in the bed of the truck, they ended up across the fence, 50 yards from the scene. Both people in the pick-up had body parts scattered all over the highway. They identified them by dental records.