Friday, October 22, 2010

Knowing Physics Saves a Driver's Life

The hero of this story, Duane Innes, is both very brave and very smart. When Innes saw a truck driving out of control on Highway 167 in Seattle, Washington, Innes knew there was just one thing to do and "no time to take a vote" among the passengers in his minivan. Innes speeded up, pulled in front of the truck and let the truck rear-end him. That action saved the truck driver's life and prevented the truck from hitting any other vehicles, and it caused no injury to Innes or his passengers.

Innes, who happens to be an F-22 fighter jet project manager at Boeing, knew exactly what letting the truck hit him would do: "Basic physics: If I could get in front of him and let him hit me, the delta difference in speed would just be a few miles an hour, and we could slow down together," he told the Seattle Times.

The 80-year-old truck driver had passed out because of a heart problem. He's fine now.

Amazing story. And another reason to go to the science festival on the National Mall this weekend.

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