As a memory exercise I will attempt to capture as much detail as I can remember of a car crash I witnessed at 09:40 at Birchmount Road and Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario on May 7 2009 (today). I will refrain from doing any analysis or draw any conclusions because the thought process might cloud the observations.
I was east of Birchmount Road driving westbound on Sheppard Avenue, in the curb lane, after shopping at Walmart and No-Frills. The weather was cloudy but visibility was at least 1 km clear. Temperature was around 15 degrees Celsius. The roads were wet but water was not pooling. I was driving at below the speed limit with no cars in front of me for 20 metres. . As I approached the intersection of Birchmount and Sheppard, thirty metres ahead of me I see a black car in my lane, the curb lane, traveling westbound on Sheppard, enter the intersection. This car was then hit by another black car going northbound on Birchmount but turning left or westbound on to Sheppard.
The debris cloud that shot up in the air was quite high, over 4 car height’s high. The first black car’s left side bumper corner was the largest piece of the debris. There were no squealing of brakes nor honking of horns from either vehicle. The first car left the road and went onto the pedestrian sidewalk, about equidistant between Birchmount Northbound and Sheppard Westbound.
Traffic immediately started to flow northbound on Birchmount, blocking my car. No cars stopped to help. Traffic southbound was blocked by the crash and could not move.
After about 5-8 seconds, a white cloud of some vapour started pouring out of the first black car. After a further 5 seconds the male driver exited the vehicle from his front driver’s door. The door’s movement seemed stiff or jerky. He had an awkward position in his left arm, hand straight, elbow bent and forearm pointing downward. He was wearing dark clothes.
A couple of seconds after the second car’s right rear passenger car door opened to reveal passengers, but they did not exit the vehicle. I recall the passenger had beige or khaki coloured pants.
I continued to have a red light and came to a complete stop at the intersection. I turned right on Birchmount north and immediately into the fire station, which is just north of the traffic light. Note that there were many people waiting at the bus stop and intersection that were looking at the crash site and I was extra cautious in my turn because I knew that they were not watching traffic. I hit the fire station buzzer and a white guy in a blue shirt answered the door. I recall he had yellow lettering on his shirt but cannot recall what it said. I told him there had been an accident at the intersection no less than 30 seconds ago and he said that he would go over to take a look. As I entered my car to leave the fire station I saw him in front of the rightmost truck (facing the station) of the two trucks in the garage. I then entered Birchmount north and drove home.