I don’t often sit down and just watch the news. Generally I’m also folding laundry or jotting down notes or on the phone during the broadcasts, so I admit that I miss a lot of what is going on. But a story caught my ear this week that caused me to stop whatever else I was doing to find out details.
The story involved a woman and her two children, ages 10 years and 10 weeks, who were traveling along a bridge on Highway 101 when their car was hit from behind by a semi truck. The collision caused the big rig to crash through the guardrail and plunge over the bridge and down about 75 feet. The truck burst into flames and killed the 48-year-old driver.
The woman and her children were also dragged in their car to the edge of the bridge, but as luck would have it they didn’t plunge over to almost certain death. Instead, they stopped short of toppling over the side, but still extended precariously over the edge.
When rescuers arrived on the scene, they found that they couldn’t get to the car’s occupants because every time they attempted to cut through the wreckage the car would inch further over the edge.
As they were figuring out what to do, along came six US Navy Seabees from Port Hueneme. The Seabees – which stands for Construction Battalion – were traveling back to their base when they came upon the accident. They apparently approached the fire department’s captain and offered to help in any way they could. It turns out that they could help and in a big way.
With the Seabees was an extendable-boom forklift that could extend up to 300 feet beyond the accident. Wasting no time, they extended the forklift across the gap between the northbound and southbound lanes of the freeway, securing the car and its passengers and allowing firefighters to extricate the mother and two children. They were pulled from the wreck and transported to a hospital with reportedly little injury.
What an amazing story! What are the chances of the car not following the big rig over the side? And for the Seabees to happen along at that time with a forklift that extend far enough over the edge of the freeway to prevent the car from plunging over the side?
According to KSEE News, the Seabees were pleased to be able to help out, and not surprised at their ability to do so.
Said one of the officers, “Put us in any type of situation, and we are trained to adapt and overcome.”
So the Internet was a little dark yesterday.
My search engine of choice is Google. The site is very creative in that it will incorporate its logo – G O O G L E – into celebrations of iconic people and events. For example, for the 96th birthday of guitar master Les Paul, the Google homepage had guitar strings extended across the site’s name. The guitar strings were active – you could actually strum them using your computer mouse. And there was a ‘record’ button that would record your compositions. Very fun! Just this past Monday, a Google doodle celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King could be found.
But yesterday’s Google logo had a big, black ugly band across it. It was notice that Google, like other online sites including popular Wikipedia, oppose two bills that are going before Congress: the SOPA – Stop Online Piracy Act – in the Senate and PIPA – Protect IP Act – in the House According to Google, these bills “would censor the Internet and slow economic growth in the U.S. and impose harmful regulations on American business.”
At Wikipedia, the entire site was down for the day in protest.
Visit Google to learn more about these bills and what it is that Congress hopes to achieve.
The Senate will begin voting on Jan. 24. The public is encouraged to voice its opinion.