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Photo of the Week: An overturned 4×4 in Forest Park – UPDATED

Posted by on February 22nd, 2010 at 3:21 pm

UPDATE: Several people in the comments below have shared that they feel this photo and my call for captions were inappropriate. I was very surprised at this reaction and had no intentions at all of making light of this crash. I appreciate the feedback and will take even more care with these decisions in the future. Thank you. — Jonathan Maus

PUMP's Forest Park mountain bike tour
Larger version below
(Photo © J. Maus)

Here’s something you don’t see everyday — a truck that managed to drive off a road above Forest Park and came to rest right near a popular trail.

This photo was taken in June 2007 during a group ride in Forest Park. You can view a larger version below or see it on Flickr.

I’d love to read some clever captions… feel free to share yours in the comments.

Just when you thought it was safe to ride in Forest Park!

NOTE: At BikePortland, we love your comments. We love them so much that we devote many hours every week to read them and make sure they are productive, inclusive, and supportive. That doesn't mean you can't disagree with someone. It means you must do it with tact and respect. If you see an inconsiderate or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan and Michael

  • K'Tesh February 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Let’s take this baby out for a spin…

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  • Amos February 22, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Bicycle trips up, vehicles plummet.

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  • Amos February 22, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Cyclist group looks to overturn motor vehicle decisions.

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  • Ron February 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    It’s raining cats and cars.

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  • kgb February 22, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Bonus points if you know where the old Lincoln Continental rests.

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  • Amos February 22, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    okay, one more then I’m done :) … 4 wheel advocates flip over forest park access restrictions.

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  • Anonymous February 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Hopefully everyone was ok.

    Ha! I crack myself up!

    I really meant to say something like:
    Good. One less SUV on the road -or-
    Serves them right for driving a gas guzzler.

    Jonathan- I really doubt you would put a picture of a bike accident up on your site and ask for funny captions.

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  • Anonymous February 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Or would you?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) February 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm


      obviously I mean no disrespect for the person driving the truck. I do remember hearing that no one was hurt in the crash. But your point is well taken… perhaps my request for a “funny” caption is insensitive. I’ll erase that word. Thanks for pointing this out.

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  • AaronF February 22, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Any idea what sort of car that is?

    It looks like a sedan to me, and gives me bad flashbacks of taking my 85 Volvo camping.

    Here’s my shot:

    Forest Park: because sometimes dumping stolen cars in Brightwood is just too far to drive!

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  • Anonymous February 22, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Nevermind. The point is clearly lost. I think you’d feel different if your wife and kids had been in that truck; injured or not.

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  • Anonymous February 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    It is an early 90’s 4runner. You can tell by the wheels.

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  • Also anonymous February 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I’m with anonymous; this seems off-tone for BP.

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  • AaronF February 22, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Oh wow.

    It flattened out some for sure.

    That would be waaay terrifying.

    People are always on my butt when I drive Germantown, but I’m not about to drive off the road by going faster than I am comfortable… so they can slow down for awhile.

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  • Ron February 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    “Off tone?” It’s a car for god’s sake. Lighten up and enjoy a little gallows humor and quit trying to control everything.

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  • Anonymous February 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    For all we know someone was in the truck and had the most terrifying experience of their life.
    Let’s mock it!
    Perhaps they are a follower of BP, let’s help them relive it!
    Poor taste. Plain and simple. Any other blog, maybe, but if you are championing the cyclist way of life and as high visiblity as BP, you need to have higher standards.
    I’m sure the Oregonian will like this.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) February 22, 2010 at 4:36 pm


      This post isn’t about “mocking” what happened to the person in that vehicle. After you pointed it out, I acknowledged that my initial request to leave “funny” captions could be taken in the wrong way… so I changed it immediately.

      I shared this photo because I thought it was an interesting juxtaposition and thought it might spur some equally interesting captions.

      Just to clarify… I have never said this site is about “championing the cyclist way of life.” I’m not even really sure what that means. Also, you — like many others — assume that somehow I never drive and therefore have no regard for the feelings of someone who might have crashed a car. That’s not true at all. FWIW, my family and I often drive to Forest Park to enjoy a hike…. it just never occurred to me that someone would be offended by this photo and/or my framing of this post.

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  • AaronF February 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    “Lighten up and enjoy a little gallows humor and quit trying to control everything.”

    This is what I thought when Maus tried to get Facebook take down the “Cyclists need to get out of my way!” page.

    I’m sure there are a bunch of reasons why that’s completely different though. :-)

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  • Dan_Miles February 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    As a rule, I’m really impressed and grateful for the coverage on this site but I disapprove of this one. It looks to me like someone may have died in this crash. Shouldn’t we send our best wishes to the family?

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  • Barney February 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Must be a slow news day, but hey, any chance you get to rip on an SUV must be taken advantage of right? Wait, what about all those SUV driving cyclists (like myself)? Now I’m conflicted.

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  • a.O February 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    The bicyclist-haters cannot win at any of the substantive arguments, so they feign outrage over stuff like this to distract from their ignorance.

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  • AaronF February 22, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    This is more offensive than that car ride at Disneyland at least…

    I think what happens is that people get used to that standard, and then when you have the nerve to kid about a car accident people go all “reverse discrimination” on you. I hope that makes sense…

    It doesn’t bother me, but when I saw this I expected some complaints.

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  • OregonJeff February 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I think a whole bunch of you need to take a chill pill and cut the editor some slack. I mean seriously, it’s sunny outside. What the heck are you doing on a computer unless you’re *looking* to cause trouble…

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  • bob February 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I weep when I drive past junk yards.

    Here ya go:
    Fair and balanced.

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  • Ron February 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    “For all we know someone was in the truck and had the most terrifying experience of their life.
    Let’s mock it!
    Perhaps they are a follower of BP, let’s help them relive it!
    Poor taste. Plain and simple. Any other blog, maybe, but if you are championing the cyclist way of life and as high visiblity as BP, you need to have higher standards.
    I’m sure the Oregonian will like this.”

    Oh goodness, get the smelling salts! Listen, I come hear because Jonathan is a consumate professional and he does this very well. If you can do it better, why not try? As for this specific post, Jonathan owned up to it so why don’t you quit rending your garments?

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  • Brian E February 22, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    FYI, circa 1980, there were about 15 stolen and abandoned cars near the top of FL3, just north and downhill from the Hotel California house.

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  • SUV wheeeee! February 22, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    As a 4 wheeler who has rolled(with a roll cage, mind you), low speed rollovers aren’t nearly as dangerous as high speed rollovers that occur at highway speeds. Those fatalities are usually a result of being ejected or having the roof crushed down from the immense energy dissipated during a high speed rollover. Even without a rollcage, a slow rollover such is likely from the photo, is unlikely to have caused the roof to collapse. A, B, and C pillars(the side sections of a car holding up the roof) are incredibly thick and designed to hold a vehicle’s overturned weight.

    People laugh at bicycle crash videos on youtube. So what. Some people cry and some people laugh when they get hurt.

    The picture is about an SUV(a hulking mass of gas guzzling metal) smack dab in the middle of Forest Park. Ever run across a Boeing 727 in the middle of a forest? I have.

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  • Blah Blah Blah February 22, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I have a good caption…This web site is really beginning to suck!!!

    Report the news…Don’t make the news.

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  • Anonymous February 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    I did not imply, nor have I ever, that you do not own or drive a car. I know you do on both accounts.
    Like I said, nevermind, the point was lost. I just look forward to the day when you post a bike that was destroyed in an accident and ask for “interesting” captions.

    a.O. – Being disappointed at an attempt to make light of a car accident in no way distracts anyone from my ignorance. I am ignorant of many things, which is why I am still in school and plan to attend forever. I truly appreciate your opinion on many of the topics discussed on this sight; I feel you and I see eye to eye on many things (even though you have labeled me an ignorant bicyclist hater). However, if joking about a rollover makes one more worldly or knowledgeable, then I hope I never reach your level.

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  • Michael R February 22, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    No, don’t worry, that one can’t run you over.


    Aww, the SUV is trying to be cute and get its belly scratched.

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  • Anonymous February 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Sight = site; just another example of my ignorance, or fast typing and lack of proofreading. You decide.

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  • DanS February 22, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    I’ll play:

    “Who let Toonces drive home!!???”

    kgb: if the Continental is white, it is downhill from Leif around the 6 mile mark, am I right? At the time, I was astounded but since then I learned that cars were allowed on Leif up until a few years ago.

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  • Also anonymous February 22, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    By off-tone, I mean this is usually a pretty positive source for news, entertainment, and information related to bicycles. To open up a snapshot of what was likely someone’s worst day in a long time to a caption contest is insensitive, and does not help or inform the cycling community. Reverse the situation (bunch of drivers standing around looking at a mashed bike) and you’d be outraged. I’m not some kind of anti-bike nut, I don’t own or often use cars, but I think this sort of article is needlessly inflammatory. By all means, ignore me.

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  • q`Tzal February 22, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    How did this guy get where this picture was taken? It looks like one of the fireroads that should be blocked off.
    Perhaps the driver was so pickled as to not feel any pain when the vehicle rolled.
    Regardless, any vehicle left like this id likely leaking any number of fluids and needs to be dealt with by the proper authorities. Would that be DEQ?

    Caption: Abandoned Suburban Apocalypse Theme-park display piece circa 2150.

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  • cyclist February 22, 2010 at 10:14 pm


    This post is pretty damn inappropriate. It reminds me of the photo of the guy who hit a whole bunch of folks with his car wiith the “funny” caption that you’ll see on fark every once a while. A request for captions is basically a call for humorous posts, your removal of the word funny doesn’t really change the post’s intent.

    Your site’s tagline is “to inform and inspire,” do you think this post measures up? This is old news, so there’s no journalistic value.

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  • trail user February 22, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    There’s a sign on this trail below Germantown Road that reads “Caution: falling debris overhead”…who would have expected a Toyota 4runner. Oh wait, Toyotas have sticky throttles.

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  • matthew v February 22, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    without pointing fingers can i say some folks just need to get over themselves… i have.

    finding humor where least expected is’t always a bad thing. i have no idea if someone was in the vehicle but i certainly can’t see and evidence of anyone, rescue personel, jaws of life use, etc.. absolutely nothing like a pic of a car mowing down cyclists.

    if you can’t laugh at yourself it’ll be even rougher when folks laugh at you. suck it up cheery-o’s

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  • cBomb February 23, 2010 at 12:24 am

    I’m with cyclist #36. I immediately thought of that awful picture of a group of cyclist being hit.

    I follow this site with a passion along with out of state friends and family. I tell people about this site, non-cyclists included and I hope this “news?” isn’t their first experience with bikeportland. This is the single greatest local cycling site around and although I can certainly appreciate the humor in this photo, I don’t think it belongs here.

    I know this isn’t a news site, but it seems like it aspires to be one.

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  • Jimmy February 23, 2010 at 6:36 am

    @ #5 KGB,

    Bonus points if you know where the old Lincoln Continental rests.

    It rests at the bottom of the gully at the intersection of FL5 and Leif.

    I was riding FL5 the day this Toyota was flipped. It was kind of creepy especially since I was by myself.

    If I remember correctly, the truck was stolen, flipped then abandoned on the trail. It serves the person right if they got banged up.

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  • velo February 23, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I think the phono and challenge is amusing, Jonathan, don’t listen to the nay sayers.

    I never needed a tow truck to flip my bike back up after a roll over.

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  • Northwest Girl February 23, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Jimmy @ 40:

    FL 5? Was the Toyota on Saltzman and then flipped down onto FL 5?

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  • Vance Longwell February 23, 2010 at 8:17 am

    What, I gotta come in here and defend BikePortland.org? Really? I have this trouble on ‘other’ local news sites all the time. When is it appropriate to take the ‘kid-gloves’ off after a community tragedy? We’re not at the wake, we’re not in some ones’ home, is this really an issue of social-responsibility? I don’t think so.

    This is an issue as new as the net itself, and thus-far, I observe that society is basically just applying the same Judao-Christian inspired reverence for the dead and injured that it always has. But should it? It is such a stretch to state that certain comments at certain times represent a direct, intentional, threat to civility; and are insensitive.

    For instance, I don’t know these folks, they don’t know me. I’m not happy for their demise, nor am I saddened by it. It really doesn’t have anything to do with me, why then do I owe some allegiance to the Church? Now, keep in mind I JUST got slaughtered in comments about M. Vilhauer’s accident for essentially the same lack of civility. So who am I to be offering input, right?

    That’s an extraordinary picture. It documents an extraordinary event. It’s germane that it’s a 1989-1994 Toyota 4-Runner as that is an SUV model. It’s germane that it’s lying upside-down in a park near-and-dear to the two-wheel set. It’s germane because there’s man’s fantastic invention, topic of how many debates here, lying upside-down in the weeds.

    I support Jonathan’s choosing to satire this situation. If there were folks injured in this accident, how could they not be, I’d be the first one with my hand up to help. Conversely, you’ll notice I’m also at the front of the line to laugh my a** off, ’cause that’s just a funny thing to see. So then, turns out I can care about these people’s demise, and poke fun at them too. Huh.

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  • kgb February 23, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Correct and correct. The outrage being expressed here is outrageously hilarious.

    This truck is down a firelane. This isn’t an ACCIDENT it’s called a joyride and it is a criminal act. Oh boo hoo somebody stole a car turned down Saltzman road drove around the gate did a ton of damage to the park and then rolled over trying to turn around in a some crazy bender. That is who and what your defending.

    And you compare this to a picture showing a drunk driver plowing through a peloton, people flying in the air. I’m sorry but that is what I find offensive here.
    That is just ridiculous.

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  • Anonymous February 23, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Some of these commenters need a hobby.

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  • J.R. February 23, 2010 at 9:10 am

    I found humor in the advertisement that displays just below the photo on this page. It rotates so here is a screenshot what I am seeing:

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  • q'Ztal February 23, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Some of these commentors need to turn down their self-righteousness down a notch.

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  • AaronF February 23, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Thanks for sharing J.R.

    That is way funny. :-)

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  • oliver February 23, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Well, since no one else is going to…

    “hold my beer and watch this”

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  • Brad February 23, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Why do car owners and the larger public believe that cyclists are a self-righteous group of douchebags that hate any form of transportation other than their beloved bikes?

    Let’s collectively grow up! We are at a critical juncture in the acceptance of bicycles as transportation. Let’s rise above being snarky children for our own self amusement.

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  • Vance Longwell February 23, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Anonymous #45 – Some of us do. Commenting at BikePortland.org.

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  • Wow! February 23, 2010 at 11:00 am

    “I don’t know these folks, they don’t know me. I’m not happy for their demise, nor am I saddened by it. It really doesn’t have anything to do with me” … so he can joke about it.
    Amazing statement. The defenders of the jokers are as immature and self-centered as the jokers themselves.

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  • jocko February 23, 2010 at 11:45 am

    good one vance!

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  • Chris February 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Dear G-d people, lighten up.
    It isn’t like some grandma was driving down Germantown, had a heart attack, and plummeted off the edge of the road killing the baby kittens she had in her back seat.
    Like Jimmy stated, this was a stolen vehicle that went around a gated fire road for a joy ride and eventually flipped on a tight banked corner.
    I can maybe understand people being upset not knowing the circumstances of the crash. That being said, if you pay any attention to this site you would know that Jonathan has better taste than to post something like this if he knew someone was injured…
    Relax people!

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  • AaronF February 23, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I heard Jonathan cuts the brake lines on that Toyota himself…

    I kid!

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  • rwl1776 February 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Want an inside scoop? I was there with Jonathan and other PUMP Board members: The organized ride included members of Portland Parks and Rec, PBOT, and City Commissioner staff members: Our goal? To highlight the construction technique we used when PUMP helped build the NEW lower end of Firelane 5, AND to show why some bicyclists LOVE to ride AWAY from traffic and cars. It’s quiet and safer!

    Much to our surprise, when we arrived at the top of FL 5, there were cop cars and a wrecker. I asked WTFIGO? (nicely), and they explained it was a stolen vehicle, and someone had bashed THRU the locked gate at the top of the FL, and was taking it for a joyride.

    The exact location is where the second of 2 overlooks had been made when the park was planned. Originally, the path may had been used for a driveway to a house, but had since been utilized as a scenic overlook. While FL 5 curves to the left and downhill at this point, the path the driver had taken veers off to the right and uphill, where it deadends. It appeared to me the driver attempted to back down the hill in reverse, and cut the wheel too soon at the bottom; the left wheels went into the drainage ditch there and the vehicle rolled.

    No idea whatever happened to the driver and/or occupants, but there were various 40 ouncers littering the area from when it rolled.

    As for the make, I think it was a Toyota SUV, and who knows, maybe the brakes failed and the accelerator got stuck! Awesome Japanese engineering, I guess.

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  • sabes February 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    And you wonder why some drivers hold cyclists in disdain. How would you like it if an automobile blog had a caption contest for a photo of a mangled bike? Hooooboy that would be hilarious!

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) February 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    sabes.. .depending on the context and the photo… yes, it might be funny!

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  • Joe February 23, 2010 at 6:42 pm


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  • aaronf February 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    58 – It’d be funny if it was a mountain bike!

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  • Paul Johnson February 23, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    ⇓ dn ǝpıs sıɥʇ ⇓

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  • cyclist February 23, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    and had no intentions at all of making light of this crash

    That’s awfully disingenuous isn’t it Jonathan? The original version of this story included a request for a “funny caption.”

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  • jim February 24, 2010 at 12:10 am

    It’s funny how all the comentors were concerned about the driver untill it was stated that it was stolen, then the whole tone changed. It shows how pissed off we get when people break the rules. And the moral of the story is….

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  • Kt February 24, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Here’s my contribution:

    “Hang on, I saw this in a cartoon once”

    I too have rolled an SUV (Suzuki Sidekick) off a forest road at slow speed. It was a nice sunny March day up on Mary’s Peak outside of Corvallis lo these many years ago. I drove over some ice and we slipped ever so gently off the road and rolled, slowly, 3 and a half times. A handy tree stopped us from rolling off a cliff.

    Injuries: Slight soreness from the seatbelt. That’s it.

    As SUV Whee pointed out up above, vehicles are built with strong A, B and C pillars for a reason. A slow roll won’t kill you unless you are hanging out the window at the time. A snap roll at freeway speeds– that’ll injure you if not kill you.

    (For contrast: I’ve also rolled a caged car at a stage rally event. It was loud and not fun. No injuries there either except for soreness from the belts. Yes, I am a rally driver, and yes, I really enjoy riding bikes too. I knit as well, so stop pigeon-holing me.)

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  • jacque February 24, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    hey hey vance, agree all around with what you said.

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  • Will April 3, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Horsepower corrupts!

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  • So... October 27, 2014 at 10:30 pm