[Guest post by DRJ]
There are not one but two stories today – one from Los Angeles and one from San Antonio – of people who were left for dead in car accidents. First, from Los Angeles:
“An autopsy is underway today to determine the cause of death of a woman who was found in a crumpled car in a San Fernando Valley tow yard a day after paramedics had removed her son from the vehicle after a crash, authorities said. Shirley Lee Williams, 72, of Paso Robles, had apparently been left in the car at the accident scene in Tarzana as her son was taken to a hospital, they said. Her name had been withheld until authorities could notify her son, who is still hospitalized.
At the Los Angeles Fire Department, officials were trying to figure out why the woman was left in the car. “We’re just trying to get information ourselves,” Battalion Chief Ronnie Villanueva said.
Investigators began looking for the woman Sunday after family members reported that two relatives, not one, were missing, said Officer Mike Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department. “We conducted a follow-up to the tow yard, and we discovered the woman inside the vehicle,” Lopez said. “She was dead.”
On Sunday afternoon and evening, LAPD detectives and officials swarmed the vehicle lot at Howard Sommers Towing Inc., an official police impound and tow yard in Canoga Park, trying to determine how city paramedics and traffic officers had failed to spot the woman in the damaged vehicle.
Williams, described by police as slightly built, was concealed beneath an air bag that deployed during the accident. The vehicle was badly damaged.”
And here’s the San Antonio story:
“An investigator with the Bexar County medical examiner’s office made a surprising discovery early Sunday upon arriving at the scene of a traffic collision to examine a body. The person wasn’t dead.
“On arrival, the medical examiner’s investigator noted the victim appeared to be breathing and was trapped in the vehicle,” a statement issued by the medical examiner’s office said. “EMS was called to the scene and took charge of the victim.”
Officials on Sunday guarded details of the incident. A video taken for KSAT-TV shows a victim at the scene draped in a yellow sheet — a typical procedure when someone is killed.
Sabrina Shaner, 22, the Accord’s driver, and back-seat passenger Amber Wilson, 22, suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, Rios said. Front-seat passenger Erica Nicole Smith, 23, was in critical condition Sunday afternoon, according to Rios.
Bobby Smith, Erica’s Smith’s younger brother, said in a telephone interview Sunday night that Wilson and Shaner already had been released from the hospital, but his sister remained hospitalized with head trauma. Bobby Smith, 21, said he hadn’t heard about the incident involving the medical examiner’s office. He said his sister, a senior at Texas State University, had been trapped in the Accord and that emergency workers had to pry her out.
“It took her way too long to arrive at the hospital,” he said.”
I know this can’t be common but it’s still shocking.