The following story was related to me by my friends from La Paz,
Richard and Mary Lou Adcock, in the Spring of 1995. At the time
this happened they were driving from La Paz to San Diego.
While on a straight section of the highway north of Santa
Rosalia, Richard and Mary Lou were passed by a small "sporty"
car traveling at about 70MPH. As this car was heading uphill
into the beginning of a mountainous section, it suddenly began
fish-tailing and then went off the road in a great cloud of
Richard stopped his truck in the road and, with great
trepidation, approached the remains of the car (the dust was
just beginning to settle). His first sight inside the car was
that of what appeared to be a large bag pressing against a body.
As he reached the car, the bag was hissing and deflating - an
"Air Bag Supplemental Restraint System!" The driver seemed to
be the only person in the car, and was then starting to show
signs of coming out of shock. He didn't know what had hit him.
The driver survived with only minor scratches, and was able to
crawl out the passenger side. The car had gone end-over-end
several times before landing right-side-up, and was a total
loss. It turns out that the driver was a young man who had been
visiting in San Diego and had rented the car there. Against the
restrictions of the rental policy he had taken the car into
Mexico, in fact all the way to Cabo San Lucas and half-way back.
He had also not bothered to purchase Mexican insurance. It
would have been interesting to have seen him returning to the
rental agency with that tale, and no car!
Now for the important part of this story - Why did this
occur? It turns out that there was a rock in the road which
caused the driver to swerve suddenly and begin the fish-tailing
which led to his going "off-road." The area did not have cliffs
from which the rock might have fallen, and so one has to wonder
about just how the rock got so strategically placed in the road.
It is my conjecture that the rock was placed in the road by a
well-meaning truck driver. Sometimes the older trucks will have
a break-down on a mountainous grade and, as a warning, the truck
driver will place a large rock in the roadway some distance in
back of the truck (rocks are plentiful and cheap, while fancy
reflective devices are expensive). Once the truck was fixed, it
seems likely that the driver forgot about the rock that had been
placed in the road - and there it sat, awaiting its victim.
Moral: Expect the unexpected!