The other night I was on a call regarding a three-car collision when I looked at one of the drivers and said, “You look familiar.”
He turned to me with DUI-looking eyes and didn’t say anything.
“Have you crashed before?” I asked.
He nodded his head as he said, “Yes.”
“Do you remember me?”
He shook his head no.
There was a tremor in the force because my Jedi senses told me I had run into this guy before. Well, he actually ran into someone else to be more accurate. I spent the rest of the call trying to figure out how I knew him.
A little while later, the arresting officer told me our driver was in a 2014 DUI collision that I was on. I knew it. Later on, I did some research and read the old report.
Bingo. I knew exactly who he was.
Back in May of 2014, I was stopped for a red light when my partner and I heard a crash. I looked across the intersection and saw two cars that were involved in a rear-end collision.
I drove across the street and pulled in behind the cars. The striking vehicle had front-end damage and smoke was coming out from under the hood.
That’s when the door popped open and the driver fell out of the car. It was as if all of his weight was against the door and he rolled out onto the street. Once on the street, he flopped around like a sea lion at Sea World begging for a treat after doing a trick.
The only thing missing was a crowd, a bucket of fish and a large pool of water.
After a few moments of animal entertainment, he rolled over and started doing a low crawl like a sniper was shooting at him from a clock tower. It surely would’ve won the grand prize on “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” In the end, he was arrested for DUI and went to jail.
It was funny to watch because it’s not every day you get to see a grown man fall out of his car because he’s so drunk. It’s also not every day you get to run into him again at another collision.
Here’s the sad thing: This is the second time this year where I’ve contacted a previous DUI customer of mine at a crash where they were DUI again.
When are these people ever going to learn?
Editor’s Note: John Roman is a traffic officer for an Orange County police agency who writes a blog, Badge 415 (www.badge415.wordpress.com). His posts focus on the human side of police work and safety tips. Roman, a cop for more than 20 years, has handled more than 5,000 accidents as a collision investigator. BehindTheBadgeOC.com shares some of his columns.