Garrison Keillor (sp?) of PBS Praire Home Companion once did a hilarious skit on "ditch suction". Well, it's not just out in Minnesota! Look below for examples in the northeast.
The following are pictures of vehicles caught in the dreaded "ditch suction". I'll put new ones at the top so you only have to load a few to see what you haven't from time to time. You can go to My Commute if you want to see why I have a chance to encounter so many examples of ditch suction.
The large pictures here were taken with a SONY Mavica MVC-FD7 set at low resolution. Some were slightly zoomed. The low resolution setting helps with camera shake and creates a smaller file that takes less time to download than a high resolution picture.
The smaller pictures taken before February 1998 were done with a Casio QV-11.
Whan you're done looking at Ditch Suction, here's a site from Massachussettes, towzone.com that has a similar bent. Please come back here when you're done poking around the wrecks! Then go over to greatnorthwoods.org, my other web site to see what's going on up here.
Route 3 in Twin Mountain at the south end of the big fields about a mile north of the fish hatchery. Don't know if this was ditch suction or on purpose. There was a green truck behind it, saw no damage. Perhaps injuries? About 10:15 PM. The officer at the scene told me to move on, so I did. No traffic in sight in either direction. How do I get a press pass?
Twaaannng! A police vehicle at the intersection just south of the fish hatchery. The officer had been going north on route 3 responding to the situation in the previous picture. Wiped out a row of guard rail posts, dragging the guard rail cable along. Then stopped by two guy wire cables to a utility pole. Knocked out power to a few houses.
A very lucky crash landing! Sort of like snagging the cable at the end of a runway or carrier deck! No injuries, the officer must have been wearing seatbelt. Had the vehicle gone a foot or two further to the right when striking the guard rails it would have gone head on into an embankment with far more damage and perhaps injuries.
Road conditions were so bad there really was no safe speed above stock still.
This mini van was northbound on I-93 about a mile north of the Campton exit.
So was this sports utility vehicle (SUV). He was in the median about a quarter of a mile north of the mini van. I don't think there had been any interaction between them as they were so far apart. For some reason many drivers of SUVs think they can defy physics.
Another view. The plow driver had stopped to see if he or she was ok.
The road just beyond the two above pictures. Treacherous!
Another SUV off the road just above Last Chance in Twin Mountain 18 feb 1998 (route 3 in NH).
Getting ready to tow it out.
Hooking up. He's probably wondering who's taking his picture and where it's going to wind up! Psssstt! Nobody's going to see it! (heh-heh).
The driver of the ramp truck tried to pull him out by driving forward but didn't have enough traction and started spinning. So he had to back up, block the tires, run the ramp back, hitch to it, then run the ramp forward several times, re-hitching the cable and chain several times.
Here he has run the ramp forward.
Another SUV about a mile south of the Last Chance in Twin Mountain, NH on route 3 south. I went back to snap these pics. The passengers were waiting for a tow in in the New Hampshire State Police car. Troopers were johnny on the spot throughout the trip north, waiting in the medians to go to ditch suction sites and/or helping folks in need.
Folks think these things can go anywhere. This one can't even traverse a couple of feet to the edge of the road. With a little digging underneath and putting tire chains on all four tires it could probably be driven out. I notice that most SUVs have fat tires. These just reduce traction in snow.
Recognize this car? It's the edsanders.com car, pulled off the road right here in Lancaster by ditch suction.
I was just starting up Corrigan Hill on clear dry road, when I discovered a drift across the road from the Portland Gas pipeline area. It was about 6 inches deep with glare ice under it. I was going too fast. Turned into four "fishtails", getting worse each time and wheeeee! Off the road sideways! The Saturn just blasted through the snowbank sideways with no hint of lifting.
About two minutes later, along came the Lancaster Police Department, Johnny-on-the-spot. We enjoyed getting as laugh out of the fact no more then a second before one of them had remarked to the other that it was really nasty there, and someone was going to go off the road. An instant later their headlights shown on my car and he was proven right. Are these guys clairvoyant or what?
I asked them to call Leo Rideout (788-2724) to bail me out. Here he is dragging it back on the road. I hitched the tow hook onto the front anti-sway/tension bar next to the bracket. Even after the sideways trip through the snow bank and continued slide through heavy packed snow plus the tow out, the alignment was still right on the money.
This was on I-93 north somewhere around the Plymouth, Thornton area I think. Ditch suction sucked the wheel right off this trailer! November 25 or 26, 1997.
This one is the first I saw enhanced by snow induced traction reduction in the fall of 1997. The fellow in the orange coat is a Hooksett policeman providing assistance.
It's in Hooksett, NH on route 28. The driver had been going southbound and somehow spun across 3 lanes to get in this position off the northbound side.
The driver of this truck on Reed Road in Lancaster was nowhere to be seen. He or she was obviously just innocently driving along when ditch suction pulled the truck in.
Another view. I can feel the suction pulling at my leg... better get out of here!
Side view of the same.
I spotted this spectacular example of ditch suction on of all days, October 13, 1997. The suction must have been particularly powerful that day as it sucked this car right up over the guard rail on I-93 north in Concord, NH. It looked like the car just grazed the guard rail.
You could see where it bounced, gouging the grass before coming to rest against this tree.
Another view of the same.
The ditch suction was also pretty strong on September 20, 1997. This fellow had been driving east on route 2 in Vermont. We came upon him just as he was getting (apparently unhurt) out of his truck. I went down and helped him and a neighbor flip the truck back upright. It went back over pretty easily.
The truck now upright. You could almost drive it out, except the ditch suction had sucked it down a little too deep next to a rock.