Saturday, June 28, 2008

Night moves

I never thought my lack of sleep would come in handy but I was wrong. Just climbing into bed Saturday morning just before 12:30 am I settled in to bed to the usual noise of traffic on the roadway, the slap of the blinds on the windowpane in the light breeze and the neighbors dog barking at the stars. But another sound sprang up this morning, sirens.

It is a bad sign when the sirens sound at 12:30 at night. Usually it is a fire engine responding to a medical call followed by an ambulance. I can tell the difference right away between the two emergency vehicles and the sirens this morning were neither. Police cars, lots of them were rolling Code 3 with their lights and sirens through town. The sirens were steady for about 2 minutes or so. I lied in bed and waited for them to stop. They didn’t. Bad sign number two. I got up out of bed grabbed my scanner and thumbed the power on.

Tracy fire engines had joined the call and the scanner gave the call of a car accident with a fire hydrant sheared off and the vehicle into a building. The directions were to go down Grant Line and follow the emergency lights. I threw on some clothes slapped in fresh batteries for my flash and headed out. Turning onto grant line I could see the armada of emergency vehicles with their lights flashing as they blocked Grant Line Road just past Tracy Boulevard.

I arrived on scene to find a geyser flooding the roadway with the car lodged into a wall of the Driftwood Apartments. As I started to shoot I was cautioned to get back as I was in a crime scene. The accident was the result of a shooting. Crime scene tape was strung across the roadway as officer began to investigate the wreckage.

It is a bad sign when one of your job skills is being able to distinguish emergency vehicle sirens at a distance along with turning on your scanner in the dark. I kept telling the police at the scene that honestly I was in bed when it all started and I really don’t listen to my scanner 24/7. Sad times when I jump into a big news story in the middle of the night while lying in bed.

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