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DeMoore

Goodbye, Dodge Viper

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Wow 21 years, it only seems like yesterday when I first saw it at the Los Angeles convention center, it is too bad, but like the ad states it will remain an icon.

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I saw one get totaled once.

The guy was next to me in bumper to bumper traffic when he decided to turn right at the stop light we were both slowly approaching. It was the kind of light that had a separate triangular island and a yield sign. There was no cross traffic so he didn't really have to worry about making a right, even on red. As he was looking over his left shoulder to verify no oncoming traffic he gunned it. A few seconds later he slammed head on into a bronco that was a wrong-way driver coming in his lane. The air bags deployed and the front half of the car was destroyed. At this point I figured that since I was a witness I ought to hang around and speak to the police if needed. Clearly the viper driver was not at fault - at least not compared to the other driver. I made the right myself and pulled over. At this point some words were exchanged between the drivers and things got understandably tense. The wrong way driver made some bad comment and the viper driver went after him. At this point I jumped on the viper driver and got him in an arm hold. He understandably had no idea why I did that until I explained that if he assaulted the other guy, which was understandable and I'd have done myself, he'd have been the one in trouble with the police when they arrived. At that point he understood and became less agitated. Some of his employees arrived from their nearby business and they further calmed him down. He even offered me a cold drink from the convenience store which he sent one of his guys after.

When the police showed up a few minutes later the officer got statements from the drivers and put the viper driver in the back of the police car. I didn't think anything of that at the time. She later brought me over to give my account of events and I proceeded to explain the whole sequence. She finally stopped me and said she didn't need to know about the car accident and instead wanted an explanation of how he assaulted the other driver because the other driver had made that claim to her. I explained that he did lunge at the guy but didn't actually touch him and that if anything I had been slightly scraped up and I certainly didn't care about that. She then let him leave. One of the buddies explained that the viper was just one of many "toys" and that he'd just get a new one.

I certainly later realized that I could have easily gotten myself hurt but it just was one of those instinctive reactions.

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