ROADS REPORT

Article February 05, 2001
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Pick-up no match for Bronco


Pick-up no match for Bronco


Gary Smith can't remember the night he became a pro wrestling fan. That's because he was drunk and had just plowed his pick-up into a tractor-trailer.


But luckily for him, Chad Bonvillain was driving by. The 6-ft 7-in., 372-lb enforcement officer who wrestles professionally under the name "Bronco Bill" stopped immediately to help. He managed to pull a woman out of the passenger door, but Smith was pinned in the driver's seat by the center console.


While calling police on his cellphone in one hand, Bronco Bill managed to rip the crumpled driver's-side door off with his other. He then grabbed Smith by the neck and carried him to safety just as flames began to overtake the truck.


For all his fortune, Smith still suffered a broken arm and several broken ribs, not to mention an arrest for drunk driving. Bronco Bill said that if he ever heard of Smith drinking and driving again, he'd give him a spike piledriver.



"The Juice" gets a little spicy


Everyone's favorite Floridian is at it again. O.J. Simpson was accused last month of succumbing to a violent fit of road rage.


Jeffrey Pattinson claims that "The Juice" ran a stop sign and cut him off as he was turning left. O.J. said that Pattinson then followed him and flashed his lights.


Pattinson said that O.J. then pulled over his SUV and approached his car yelling, "So I blew the stop sign. What are you going to do? Kill me and my kids?" Pattinson replied, "What the hell is the matter with you?"


O.J. then allegedly reached through Pattinson's window and pulled off his $300 glasses, scratching his face.


O.J. said that he pulled over to allow Pattinson to pass. When he didn't, Simpson got out of his car to see if Pattinson was someone he knew or if there was something wrong with his car. He denied any physical altercation.


Pattinson reportedly said later, "I was scared there for a minute. I'm just glad I didn't lose my head."



JST STUPID


One of Florida's worst toll violators has turned himself in. Wesley Ridgwell, 23, has agreed to pay a reduced fine of around $7,000 for driving through toll booths over 700 times in the past 16 months without paying.


Ridgwell, known as JST CRZY due to the license plate on the back of his late-model Honda, initially denied being the perp. Despite hundreds of surveillance camera photos of his car and license plate caught in the act, Ridgwell maintained that someone stole one of his two license plates and put it on a car similar to his.



Highways to heaven


Reader's Digest, the foremost authority on highway safety, recently published a list of the five most dangerous highways in America. Based on accident statistics, press reports and interviews with safety experts, the winners are: Highway 21 (Blood Alley) between De Soto and Otto, Mo.; Route138 (The Highway of Death) between San Bernardino and Palmdale, Calif.; U.S. Route 431 (The Highway to Hell) between Seale and Eufania, Ala.; U.S. Route 6 (The Road of Death) between Spanish Fork and Price, Utah; and U.S. Route 6 (Suicide Six) from South Foster, R.I., to Connecticut.


Strangely enough, all five roadways also made the list of the coolest highway nicknames along with U.S. Route 420 (The Devil Must Have Designed This Road) and Highway 82 (Turn Around Or Die).



The boy had a lot on his mind


A 10-year-old Ohio boy hiding in a pile of freshly raked leaves was lucky to suffer only bruises after his mom accidentally drove the family minivan over his head.


John Wadsworth was raking leaves in the back yard of an Akron, Ohio, home his family was renovating when he decided to hide under some leaves. When his mom came home, she drove the minivan across the yard and rolled a tire over the boy's head.


Luckily, the ground underneath John's head was soft and gave way under the weight of the van. Other than some swelling and a bruise on his face, the boy was fine and was released the same day.



Using your heads


They say do what you love and the money will follow. Such is the case with an Oklahoma City man who has turned his lifelong hobby of collecting roadkill into big bucks with Skulls Unlimited International.


Jay Villemarette got started as a kid by searching out roadkill while his father and brother fished. Later, after becoming a professional auto mechanic, Villemarette used his hobby as a way to earn extra money. Now he has seven employees, $1 million in annual sales and a 7,500-sq-ft office.


Who in the world would pay this guy for roadkill skulls? Well, Skulls Unlimited mainly services museums, medical schools and movie producers. Villemarette said beaver, raccoon and coyote skulls are the biggest sellers, going for around $40 each. He also sells human skulls for $250-$650 which are purchased mostly by educators. (The key word there is "mostly.")



Dirt nap on the driveway


Ashford, Wash., is not the place you want to die of a heart attack. Charles Bardsley found this out when, after dying of a heart attack himself on the way to the hospital, emergency workers turned around, returned to the man's house and left his body lying on the driveway.


The paramedics' reasoning? Well, the nearest hospital was 50 miles away, and they didn't want to take the body inside because Mrs. Bardsley, who suffers from Alzheimer's, appeared confused. (No kiddingwho wouldn't be?)


"We expected to find an ambulance there," said Bardsley's daughter-in-law, Cindy. "But he was lying right in the middle of the driveway where someone could have run over him."


At least he wasn't left under a pile of leaves.



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