Yesterday morning as I arrived at work about 6:30am, a taxi was dropping off an elderly gentleman and parked halfway across our driveway in the process. This is not particularly uncommon for idiot drivers to park across our driveway being that we're next door to a couple of ATMs that people like to "just quickly run to". As such, I shook my head, squeezed past and went into work.
About an hour later the secretary from the lawyers upstairs comes into our office and asks if we could assist an elderly gentleman up to their office since he's apparently early for his 8:30am dentist appointment (the dentist is also upstairs). This is the same guy who was being dropped off at 6:30am and has now been out in the cold for an hour wondering how he was going to manage to get up the stairs and into the building.
So we head out and are in the process of introducing ourselves to the gentleman who seemed very grateful for our assistance when there's a loud crashing sound which notably wasn't proceeded by the screeching of tires. Apparently a young guy had turned right into our driveway directly in front of an on coming car, driven by a now very shaken up woman. Other than being shaken up they were both okay but now the woman's car was sideways across half the road and the bonnet had crumpled in enough to prevent the front left wheel from turning and so the car couldn't be pushed off the road easily.
To the credit of the drivers that turned up in the next ten minutes or so they all drove carefully, many of them saw the accident and took an alternate route around it and many drivers on the unblocked side of the road were smart enough to stop and let the blocked side of the road through from time to time.
Once the fire truck, police, tow trucks and ambulance all turned up though the entire road was blocked and people needed to detour around the block (simple and obvious). This apparently proved too challenging for most. Immediately a stream of cars built up as they all came up to the accident finally clued in that they couldn't get through and did a U-turn. Then of course to go around the block they had to turn right across the line of traffic that had backed up (and no one is smart enough to not enter the blocked intersection where everyone was trying to turn). Classic deadlock. Eventually they managed to swear at each other enough to get a few people to head round the block and free up space for the U-turnees to get through.
At this point the tow truck guys and a brisbane city council traffic controller were waving people on one side of the accident around the block and it was flowing fairly smoothly (until they got back up the other side and had to try and get across our long line of deadlocked cars who still weren't bright enough to just turn left without first coming up and doing a U-turn). So I headed down to the corner to wave people around the block and get things flowing again. You'd think that seeing flashing lights everywhere and a guy standing on the road waving at you to slow down and turn left you might actually do that. Nope, the natural reaction of nearly every driver was to take their eyes completely off the road and stare at me like I was a lunatic, naturally keeping on driving and then discovering they had to do a U-turn. I had to give up and leave them to their own devices, otherwise the people staring at me would have wound up running into the tow truck that was parked across the road.
Fortunately it was all cleaned up within about 45 minutes and things returned to normal pretty quickly. I was very impressed by the response times of all the services involved, though I think the police got lost trying to find the place as their call center had to call me back and they were the last to arrive. The traffic controller was particularly good and probably prevented quite a number of subsequent accidents as well as keeping traffic from backing up too badly. The only thing he lacked was a big sign that said "road blocked, detour ->" for up at the corner.