July 26, 2005

President Ave. Crash

Police said the vehicle became airborne, striking several parked cars and a telephone pole. Investigators were waiting the results of a toxicology test. Police believe speed was a factor in the accident.

Slightly more detailed story here in the ProJo, reg. req’d.

I imagine you wouldn’t have to be going all that fast downhill on President Ave to become airborne in a light car. For those unfamiliar with it, it’s a very steep hill on the west side of Fall River, dropping off from Highland Ave down to North Main street.

My heart goes out to the family of the woman who lost her life there. It’s a terrible thing.

A topographical map of the area reveals the steep grade. Look just to the south border of North Park and you’ll see the road, and the elevation lines all crowded up against each other.

As a kid, we’d always get a little thrill out of that hill, because it’s a variable grade — they’ve leveled the hill out in a couple of spots for side streets. So, it’s a bit like a roller coaster. Driving down that hill, you want all your wits about you.

To the north of North Park, however, you can see the even steeper Weetamoe. Here’s an area we know quite well, don’t we? (Brian, BOB, Bull). A glance at the elevation lines and you’d think it goes straight down. In fact, approaching it from the top in your car and it certainly looks like you’re going over a cliff.

I’ll always remember the time we bottomed-out in the Olds Cutlass Supreme around 1984 on that hill, tooling around Fall River. And, yes, we were completely sober but for the drunkenness of adolescence.

The steepness of these roads is not apparent in the satellite pic. But I will have to get a picture for you demonstrating the angle sometime soon.]

Posted by James at July 26, 2005 9:58 AM
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Too bad about the death. I'm just guessing here but if someone was flying down (or up) that hill at 2:20am on a Saturday morning more than speed was involved.

I've always loved driving that hill (and Weetamoe). I find going up is actually better than down. You can really gun it and hit the little hills fast without worrying about losing control. You can actually feel like your hitting hills on a roller coaster.

I don't know who though Weetamoe was a good idea. It's the steepest drivable hill I've ever seen, including anything I've seen in San Francisco. I always wanted to sled down it in the winter.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at July 26, 2005 10:53 AM

I've not driven around Fall River much, but I do remember the first time. President Ave was involved, as were some other hilly streets. I remember being stopped at a light on a steep hill. I needed to make a left but I couldn't see whether there were cars coming towards me over the hill. I thought, wow, Fall River sucks and I'm glad I don't have to drive around here much.

Posted by: Julie at July 26, 2005 11:32 AM

During the Blizzard of '78, a friend, who lived on the President Ave end of June Street, climbed the hill and "wicked flew all the freakin' way down the Ave on that Flexible Fly-ah."
At least that's how he used to describe his adventure as we wheeled him from class to class.
To our relief, he got better.
(Isn't there a rule against comparing Fall River to San Francisco?)

Posted by: ThirdMate at July 26, 2005 12:28 PM

Google Earth's view of the incline doesn't quite convey the steepness either but it is better. Looks like 700 President Ave. is right near the top of the hill.

Posted by: Mike at July 26, 2005 12:39 PM

Sledding it would be great, except for the fact that you'd end up on North Main at the bottom. Weetamoe bottoms out before that, though, so you might be able to stop yourself.

Posted by: James at July 26, 2005 1:29 PM

(Isn't there a rule against comparing Fall River to San Francisco?)

I'm not saying it (FR) compares favoarably. Hey SF is probably my favorite city in the world but FR has nastier hills. Hell the wusses in SF put curves and one way signs on their steep hills (and Lombard's got nothing on Weetamoe). Also they are both two word cities (although calling FR a city now-a-days is pretty laughable).

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at July 26, 2005 1:40 PM

Heh. I used to walk up Weetamoe on my way home from school. Lots of fun in the winter.

And I still remember sledding north park. Lots of great wipeouts long before extreme sports were all the rage.

Posted by: briwei at July 26, 2005 2:48 PM

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