While driving home from work one day I was crossing the river on the old Vrooman Road bridge before you come up the big hill. It had been lightly raining for a while, so the roads were a little slick.

Looking down on the bridge I crossed from up the hill we climbed.

Just as I approached the bridge you could hear screeching tires. There was a car skidding down the hill and it ran into the van going the other way. The van was pushed backwards into the vehicle behind it and in front of me.

I got out of my car and I heard kids crying in the van. I quickly checked on them. Since they were OK, another motorist and I decided to run up the hill to stop anyone else from trying to come down so they didn’t meet the same fate.

As we got about a third of the way up the hill, we realized we were too late. An old pickup truck that was towing an even older wood fishing boat started coming down the hill. We started waving at him to stop. He tried.

When he hit his brakes, the rig jackknifed. The trailer whipped around with its tail end pointing at us. The momentum from that spin broke the boat free from its lashings, launched it off the trailer, and then skidded down the hill right at us at about 35 MPH…in a 25 zone.

The boat looked a little like this.

The guy who was running with me dived to the right up the embankment. I dived to the left over the guardrail and partially down that embankment. The boat went between us, continued down the hill, smashed into the car that started it, which then smashed into the van again.

We were able to run up the steep hill and stop anyone else from going down.

That hill is the biggest reason that they finally built the new bridge. There is no hill to climb anymore.