If this has been done before (as an alarming number of my “new” posts seem to have), please paste into the appropriate thread…
Here’s a good one to remind us all to slow down and chill out while on the hogs/scooters/mopeds/bikes…
Worst spill you’ve seen in Taiwan: mine was in Tainan and was seeing a guy get hit by two cars as he was lying in the intersection after having hit a metal thing on the road that made him fall off his scooter. Arm got badly crushed. But, he survived as long as it took for the ambulance to get there. Phew.
Worst you’ve been in: Mine was ripping down the highway between Pingdung and Kenting with a girl I’d just met a few days earlier. Someone dropped cinderblocks (the kind of big bricks they use to build seawalls) on the highway and as we were doing almost 100kph we ran right into them as we came round a bend. Scooter flipped, we flew, scooter lands on her branding her forever with the famous Taiwan-tatoo on her calf. Then we spent a couple of disoriented seconds calling out to one another and then getting to the side of the road just a three cars come along and one by on, connect with the cinder blocks. Freaky part was that one side was mountain, one side was a drop off into the ocean (the side we were on) so we were scared the cars might ricochet and take us over the side. Scary. By the way, I broke a toenail.
I did break a whole toe in an unrelated accident once…
Not Taiwan, but I got hit head-on by a logging truck while riding my bicycle in California (I was observing the traffic rules; he ran through a stop sign). Got taken to hospital by ambulance, broken arm, concussion, stitches in head, but not too bad considering. After that I began wearing a helmet.
I saw a girl get hit just the other day. She was on a scooter and the car just plowed through her. She fipped over the hood, but wasn’t hurt much. She looked sore 'cause she kept rubbing her butt. The car had some of the plastic knocked off on the side around the headlight and bumper.
The road is one where two lanes combine after the stop light. Stupid design.
Worst accident i have ever seen was about 6 or 7 years ago back in UK, early winter morniing just outside of Birmingham on the motorway, in total i think the number of vehicles involved was 390+, some burnt out etc, a pretty site it was not.
Worst here in Taiwan has to be when driving back from Ilan, the driver of the car in front of us decides to drive straight on a right hand bend, takes himself, one other car and a scooter straight over the edge. It was a long way down.
Worst accident I’ve seen? Motorcyclist who’d just been hit by a car. My old man, who’s a doctor, stopped to provide help, while I picked up the guy’s helmet – which turned out to be about one-third full of his brain and assorted skull fragments.
In Taiwan? Well, since there’s a typhoon coming, here’s one. Hsin Hai Rd., height of a typhoon about 12 years ago. Rode my motorcycle past a taxi that had a tree branch through the windscreen, through the taxi driver’s chest, through his seat and through the back seat. He was still conscious and talking to the ambulance driver while they tried to get his door open to free him.
I was in a cab about 3 years ago, and I saw an accident that just happened on Bei Hsing Road, near HsinTien. There were several scooters and their riders strewn over the road. Some were bleeding and not moving, and some were just starting to move. Apparently it had just happened seconds before we got there.
Saw on the news the next day that it was a drunk taxi driver that didn’t stop for a red light, and plowed through the scooters that were waiting there at around 50-60kph. According to the news, at least 2 of the people we saw lying in the street that night didn’t make it.
The growing pool
There was a time when you could not drive in front of what was the Hilton Hotel on Chunghsiao in Taipei (you can now). My friend Andy and I had finished teaching on Kaifeng Street and were on our motorbikes and, since it was about 10pm, we figured that no cops would stop us if we went east down Chunghsiao. At the time, there was an overhead footpath leading somewhere (to the original train station, I guess) and it had big concrete pillars.
We started along and ahead of us, at the pillars, we found a woman off her bike and on her back (this is years before the helmet law). We both slowed after seeing her and saw a small bit of blood at her head. By the time we had put our bikes on their stands and hurried to her, the pool of blood was about five feet across and growing. She was a goner, so we left her and went on to Buffalo Town.
At the Jenai Circle in 1985 I saw the aftermath of an 18-wheeler that had somehow got a woman motorcyclist under its rear double wheels. The gruesome part was that she was wedged between the two wheels like chewing gum caught in the tread of your shoe.
They had to bring a crane to lift up the back tires to pry her out.
Them’s brains and stuff
Somewhere or other in Taipei I came upon an ambulance that was just leaving the scene, which was on the other side of the grassy meridian. There was a bus parked askew in the road and behind it, for about 30 or so meters was a big streak of what was clearly the insides of some poor fellow like some twisted multicolor paintbrush and been swiped through.
Oh shit, that’s his eye!
I used to have to motorcycle through the Hsinhai Tunnel at least twice a day. I hate tunnels and this one has all the claptrap associated with ghosts since on the hill above it are hundreds of tombs.
One night, not really so late, I noticed another biker ahead of me. He was pretty far ahead and he entered the tunnel far ahead of me. Traffic was light. Also ahead of me was another guy on a motorcycle, but not so far ahead. After I entered the tunnel myself, I came upon the first man off his motorcycle in the middle of the tunnel. The other biker ahead of me had stopped just before I arrived. The first thing I noticed was that there were no other vehicles. By all appearances, the guy crashed all by his lonesome.
Oh, and his right eye was hanging out of its socket. The other guy was sort of trying to comfort him and I headed home before I lost my cookies.
Long before they widened and straightened the road along the coast north of Tamshui, it was a windy, dangerous two-lane stretch. Dangerous because the Chinese have this “the other guy will get out of the way” mentality regarding such things as passing on a blind curve.
I came upon one of those ubiquitous blue mini trucks upside-down with the driver still crammed into the now significantly shorter front seat. He had hit another car, a station wagon (believe it or not) and about four or five people were in various stages of minor injure along the side of the road, totally freaking out.
I wandered over to the truck and the guy was dead, but in his lips were tiny sprinkles of shattered windshield glass. They looked like little diamonds and for some reason all I could think of was how beautiful it looked.
The ambulance crew arrived and went through the motions of CPR, certainly for show, and I finally decided I was in the mood for a hotdog so I headed out.
I was a cop back in the UK, so I saw my fair share of accidents.
However, once I was riding around Da Jia (near taichung) through a crossroads at night. The road was pitch black and I had all my lights on.
I was on one of those 150cc Zing things. Suddenly, as I went through the crossroads I saw a red light, which was the tail light of a scooter passing from right to left infront of me. I had no time to react and hit the scooter square on and I went flying.
I was wearing a helmet but I still sustained scratches to my handsome, attractive face.
Anyway, I pull myself together and get up. About 20 yards down the road at the crash site are two bods with blood everywhere. One female and one male. A closer inspection revealed that one had broken ribs and one had a broken ankle. The bloke had swallowed his tongue which I retrieved from his throat to get him breathing again. I made them both comfortable and waited for the arrival of the Police and the (so called) paramedic who just bundles them into the back of the ambulance without checking for a broken neck.
I got taken to the police station.
I explain that I was happily going along at about 35 mph and the scooter just drives across my path without having any lights on and checking for traffic. My road, as agreed by the police, is the main road so I have right of way. I also had a licence and insurance.
It goes to court and I’m barred from leaving the country. I explain myself. I get blamed. Apparently, because they got hurt more than me, it’s my fault, regardless of whose fault it really is.
I get kicked out of Taiwan. I get kicked out for saving two idiots lives who caused their own accident, who ruined my face for a month and bent my bike. I should have just left them on the side of the road, but…I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.
Anyway, i’m back in Taiwan now.
The laws are a little different now, but just be careful. if someone has guan xi with the police, you never know what trouble you’ll land yourself in. Be careful folks.
[quote]in Taiwan? Well, since there’s a typhoon coming, here’s one. Xinhai Rd., height of a typhoon about 12 years ago. Rode my motorcycle past a taxi that had a tree branch through the windscreen, through the taxi driver’s chest, through his seat and through the back seat. He was still conscious and talking to the ambulance driver while they tried to get his door open to free him.
Gosh, Wolf, what wonderful breakfast time reading!
I’ve seen so many scooters take a plunge while racing down the street.
I saw a scooter with a family get hit once. The baby on it literally flew up into the air and landed in the middle of the street. Miracuously, it was fine and no one bothered to run over it, while the mother and father were grimacing in pain. There’s always wrecks in the scooter lane on the Huachiang Bridge. It is always some idiot speeding and passing.
I was hit by a scooter while jaywalking. I looked both ways and the coast seemed clear but apparently this guy just came roaring out behind a bus. All I remember is taking a step, hearing a chainsaw sound and waking up on the pavement next to a car, while seeing him in the middle of the road, still on the scooter, but lying on the pavement. I managed to walk away from that one.
Another time someone tried to pass me on my right when I was pulling into the scooter-turn box. I fell over and was in terrible pain. The worst thing, though, was all the cars honking at me to get out of the way!
That tunnel is notorious for scooter mayhem. Was driving through it recently at rush hour where the scooters all jokey for position and someone bumped into another scooter and the whole pack went down, about 20 total. Kind of reminded me of the Tour de France where the peleton is in tight and someone makes a wrong move.
I was right behind the whole thing in my car and, fortunately had enough time to brake and get the hazards on so no one would come speeding up behind and send me into the melee. No real injuries, as far as I could see. Just 20 dazed scooter boys and xiao jyes ambling around trying to find their bikes. Happened so fast, it looked like a stack of dominoes or a house of cards falling down.
I was riding on my motorcycle don Ta Tung Lu in Tainan years ago when an old woman on a bicycle made a sudden left turn in front of me. I did not have time to react and I knocked the bicycle out from under her. Just flattened it. She came down on her face. Broke her jaw and knocked all of her teeth out. Clearly her fault but my insurance paid out the ass for it.
Fortunately, I had diplomatic immunity at the time!
Saw a scooter punk decapitated right in front of me while his passenger went under the back wheels of a container truck…Never seen so much blood in my life.
This was in 1994 while coming back to Chungli from Lungtan…
I also had a truck drop a full size refridgerator right in front of me about 2km north of the Taishan toll station…It hit the ground, bounced right over the top of my car, and exploded on impact. Amazingly, not one car was hit despite 200pounds plus of flying shrapnel.
Found a man unconsious on the Kwandu bridge in 1989…He died in emergency later that night…Drunk and struck by a car.
Racing another hopped up RZR down Fushing south road in 1991…We had to swerve to avoid a tazi and locked horns. We had just enough time to look at each other before we both went over the bars at about 90. Dislocated shoulder and lots of road rash…No helmet or even shoes, very, very lucky (and really stupid).
Missing a switchback corner coming up from Ilan on the Bei-ee road (No 9). I had dropped my wife off at the train station in Ilan because the conditions were so bad. 10pm at night, total whiteout conditions, heavy rain…Ran off into the bushes. Some scratches and shaken, spent the night in Chiaoshi and checked out the spot the next morning where I’d run off the night before…Less than 5 feet from where I stopped was a 80 foot freefall…1990.
I was taken out by a drunk driver that went straight thru a T junction, after smashing me off my motorcycle he only stopped when he hit an immovable tree. Liquid lunch on payday… in Australia
6 operations in 4 years, total of 32 weeks in plaster from my hip down to my little toe. Shattered kneecap, torn all ligaments either side of knee… screwed wrist and dislocated jaw and disclocated shoulder. Thats gotta hurt I still remeber the pain of it all lol.
All in all I’m fine now, still running up and down mountains, buildings and rooftops.
I get kicked out of Taiwan. I get kicked out for saving two idiots lives who caused their own accident, who ruined my face for a month and bent my bike. I should have just left them on the side of the road, but…I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.[/quote]
This is the way it is here. The person who is least badly injured is to blame.
Lessons to be learned:
If you’re going to spill, spill spectacularly and make friends with bent doctors
If you can get away with a hit and run, do so.
Taiwanese lawyers know nothing about arrest procedures or traffic law. Some of them don’t even know the difference between civil and criminal law. They are not interested in mitigating costs or the best interests of their clients. Avoid them.
Some silly bitch dragged me throught the courts after throwing a comedy left turn on her scooter. We touched and she went down like a sack of spuds. In common aith all Taiwanese drivers (and I mean ALL) she didn’t look before she turned into my path and was obviously completely stunned that she wasn’t the only person on the road. It’s a long and boring story - she was a professional plaintiff, but she got nothing in the end because I’ve met her type before and they don’t like it up 'em.
I should have kept on going - it was her fault, I didn’t fall over because I was looking where I was going. Next time, I will not stop.
THE WORST ACCIDENT
Given that Taiwanese people do themselves no favours when it comes to safety, it’s ironic that the worst and most shocking thing I ever saw was no fault of the poor bugger involved.
Going either home or to another pub from Bushiban, I was with two fellow alcos early in the morning when we were waiting to cross Xinhai, heading down Roosevelt. Along comes a youngster on a scooter who hits a massive pothole and does a comedy cartwheel landing smack on his head. This was before helmets. He went limp and his head was clearly caved in. It was surreal. I was rooted to the spot - he was clearly dead. A taxi driver pulled up and soon there were a few people standing over him. I bet he wasn’t even pissed or anything, looked like a college kid.
Needless to say we carried on to the next pub. (But where was south of Xinhai on Roosevelt ? Any pubs down there ?)
I was riding my Hayabusa GSX1300R at 300kph when an M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank pulled out in front of me. Right at the moment of impact, some drunk rich guy plowed his Gulf Stream V-SP into us from behind, and it turned out he was smuggling liquid hydrogen. What a mess. Broke a nail AND ruined my favorite shirt.
Funny that – I was thinking the same thing when I read your post. But it could have been either Clubfoot on the corner of Keelung/Roosevelt where I played with Wu Bai back in the day, or maybe that one in Gongguan that Ling Wei had for a while. Can’t remember the name of it but it was supposed to be a jazz pub – had a grand piano in it and a kind of mezzanine floor.
What are you, an old lady? I hate nothing more than these cowboys that buy huge bikes and ride them at a snail’s pace.
Anyway, if you’d been any kind of rider at all you’d have just popped the front wheel up, ridden up and over the tank, and left the scene as the plane crashed into the tank, using the blast from the asplosion to gain an extra burst of speed.
You deserved far worse than a broken nail.
I actually don’t know dick about cycles, and did a quick Google for “fastest motorcycle”. Didn’t actually check to see how fast it would go, thinking that 300kph would be pushing the limits of any bike. I take it that’s not the case?