Tuesday night’s vehicle crash involving a Tesla on Little Avenue has brought up the debate of safety at the train tracks where the incident happened.
At approximately 8:20 p.m., last night, a vehicle travelling west on Little Avenue, just past Huronia Road, became airborne after hitting the incline where the train tracks are located.
The vehicle then jumped the curb and skid across the field of Assikinack Public School before hitting a pickup truck parked in lot of the south-end school.
All of this was able to be verified as the vehicle was caught in mid-air on camera from a home situated directly beside the train tracks.
One of those people from the home who jumped up from a relaxing evening sitting in front of the house was Amber Natale, who was visiting her dad, Roger, at the time.
“We were sitting in the garage enjoying the night and we heard a familiar sound of someone hitting the hill at a high speed and then saw this car airborne,” said Natale. “My first thought was, 'Oh my God, that is insane'.
"People go fast on that hill often, but we did not expect to see a car take flight right in front of us like that.”
In the video provided to BarrieToday, Natale and another man can be seen running from the house in the direction of the vehicle to see what, if anything, had happened to the occupants.
“The adrenaline just fills up in you and we ran over to see if there was anything we could do,” Natale said. “As I approached the car, it was hard to see anything because there was so much dust and debris surrounding it.
"Once it hit the ground, it jumped the curb and slid maybe 100 metres or so across the school’s grass and hit a truck. It stopped only a few metres from the doors of the school.”
Natale said that there were many people who rushed over to the scene after seeing the car stop. It was hard to tell who was there as a victim from the car and who was a bystander, but one occupant of the vehicle was seen trying to leave the area and was stopped by a passerby.
“From what I could tell, it looks like one of the passengers was ejected through the sunroof and one of them was trying to get away from the scene,” Natale said. “I noticed that the driver had one arm that was paralyzed from something previous to the accident, so he would have been driving with one hand on top of the ridiculous speed he was travelling.
"It happens often here, not to this degree, but we all said it was a matter of time that something to this extent would occur and here it is.”
A 46-year-old Barrie man has been charged with dangerous driving. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Paramedics took two of the vehicle’s occupants to hospital with what Barrie police say were minor injuries.
Natale said there were three people in the vehicle.
Roger Natale says that it’s a "absolute miracle" no one was killed, particularly since the incident happened at a time of night when people are normally out and about.
“It was around 8:30 p.m., a time when folks are walking their dogs or enjoying the night like we were,” he said.
“The other thing is that the car landed on the other side of the road and only veered back into the right lane because the tires popped and it sent the car sideways and into the field of the school," Roger Natale added. "He could have hit another car, slammed into a house or a family or the field could have been full of kids playing.
"It's an absolute miracle no one died.”
Roger Natale says he often hears and sees cars taking the incline at high speeds, presumably to get the thrill of weightlessness and he would like to see the city do something about it.
“I see it all the time and we continued to see even after the incident last night,” he said. “I don’t know what can be done, but something needs to (be done). Maybe an underpass, I don’t know. Someone is going to die and it's near a school, so it should be a top priority.”