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Life as a Scot in California

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A Usual Saturday Night in Albany

Posted by berkeleyscot on October 3, 2009

Albany is a quiet town.  Someone recently described it “The place where white folks with kids, live.” I suppose that is mostly true and families are attracted by the local schools, which have a good reputation.

Albany is a ‘walk able’ town. Shops, restaurants, parks and farmers’ markets can be accessed without a car.  For the most part, Albany is considered to be a safe place to live, although it is situated near a freeway ‘corridor’ between well-known high crime and drug dealing areas.

But, we, the residents, only read about the crime and the bad guys in the police report that is published in the local paper.

But, that changed on Saturday night and we witnessed, a police car chase that ended in a neighbour’s drive!

I heard brakes squealing as a car approached the STOP sign at the awkward corner by our house. The road bends to the right, but not in a straight line and the street lighting is insufficient.

I just KNEW a crash would follow and I was already dialing 911 before I heard it.

The driver lost control of the car and skidded into a drive where 2 cars were parked, one behind the other. The force of the impact demolished the first car, pushed it into the car in front, which rammed the locked garden gates and pushed them open.

Police cars blocked the street; their flashing lights making it look like a fun fair.

I wanted to go outside and join my neighbours, in their dressing gowns, but I stayed indoors, peering uselessly through the windows. Trees and bushes obscured my view.

I got up early the next morning to be nosy and learned from neighbours that the chase involved a Berkeley police car. The crash was a long way from Berkeley.

It was obvious that the chase was heading either towards San Pablo Ave or the Freeway.

It was completely daft to conduct a chase in a residential area. Police car chases are daft anyway.

So many times, an innocent person is killed or injured. In fact, when I heard the crash, I thought it was a head –on collision. That would have been a tragedy, but to demolish two innocent cars belonging to innocent people, asleep in Albany, was just plain stupid.

I have no idea if the driver suffered an injury. I heard no ambulance, but only the ‘beep beep beep’ of the tow truck that hauled his car away.

There was no report in the local news or paper.

Why would there have been? No one was injured and nothing happens in Albany, anyway!

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