"I don't think I made a mistake"

I don't usually blog about vehicular accidents, but there's something I found strangely disconcerting about the details of a fiery tanker crash which happened on a major Detroit area overpass on Wednesday.

The driver of the car -- an unapologetic 27 year old who got his driver's license (from the Secretary of State) in May -- broadsided a tanker truck loaded with 14,000 gallons of fuel, which exploded, causing what a local official called "the biggest fire in the city's history":

"It was a miracle that no one was killed," Klobucher said. "An absolute miracle. I can't say enough about our police, firefighters and other first responders. We had an explosion at a house earlier in the day and then this, the biggest fire in the city's history.
According to investigators, the crash was caused by speeding:
Sims said that Haidarian-Shahri was in the far left lane and driving faster than the 50 mph speed limit on that section of I-75, commonly referred to as the "Nine Mile Curve." Haidarian-Shahri lost control and shot across the freeway to the right lane and collided with the side of the tanker carrying 14,000 gallons of fuel. The truck jackknifed, which caused the fuel tank to break and explode, he said.
Speeding or not, how could any normal driver who wasn't intoxicated or asleep lose control in the left lane in such a way as to broadside a fuel tanker all the way in the right?

I realize that everyone makes mistakes, but the callused, completely unapologetic attitude of this driver shocks me a lot more than the accident. As you'll see, he is not sorry at all. Does the man have no conscience?

I'm not alone in being shocked. Haidarian-Shahri's attitude also shocked the seasoned newsman who interviewed him in the video here. Take a look.

I mean really.

It is bad enough to have "lost control and shot across the freeway to the right lane and collided with the side of the tanker carrying 14,000 gallons of fuel." Still, we all make mistakes, and accidents will happen.

But to say "I don't think I made a mistake."

How am I supposed to agree with that?

If he didn't make a mistake, then what on earth was the guy doing?

Would it be too insensitive of me to hope the Secretary of State will take his drivers license away?

MORE: While some Freepers are having a field day with this incident, I don't see the slightest evidence of terrorism.

But the man's refusal to apologize is an outrage. As to his saying, "I don't think I made a mistake," I think merely by saying that he made a huge mistake -- because people might interpret the statement literally.

Considering his educational background, the driver is obviously smart enough to know the difference between a mistake and its opposite.

posted by Eric on 07.17.09 at 03:23 PM


The terrorism charge is just stupid. There's a thousand ways this guy could've caused a lot more carnage with a "car vs. tanker truck" scenario if that'd been his goal.

apotheosis   ·  July 17, 2009 5:56 PM

Arrogant in the worst way.

Donna B.   ·  July 17, 2009 8:03 PM
The terrorism charge is just stupid

because jihadis don't ever test the system

newrouter   ·  July 17, 2009 8:51 PM


It's a very common attitude among Middle Easterners; never admit, never apologize, attack accusers. It's part of the reason why that area is such an interesting part of our world.

There's a book entitled "Culture and Conflict in the Middle East" by Philip Carl Salzman that explains where these behaviors come from and why they are so resistant to change or improvement. Remember the Middle East is the land of "I against my brother; my brother and I against our cousin; and my cousin, my brother and I against the stranger."

11B40   ·  July 18, 2009 12:42 AM

A jihadi doesn't "test the system" by not killing anyone but (nearly) himself, though I certainly wish they did.

Nice try.

apotheosis   ·  July 18, 2009 10:35 AM

To be fair to the arrogant jerk-to admit anything at this point is to leave himself open to big financial and legal trouble. The smart answer is "talk to my lawyer." He's not that smart.

Stewart   ·  July 19, 2009 4:19 PM

"I don't think I made a mistake."

He's right, he did not make a mistake. He made several. Born stupid is a gimme.

Duncan Idaho   ·  July 20, 2009 4:40 AM

I don't think I've witnessed or been involved in an accident where the person who caused it admitted anything ever. And I don't mean because they are afraid of lawyers, but act incensed and shocked anyone would dare think it's their fault.

Because it's the car's fault you know not theirs. Or my favorite excuse "but I didn't see him" they don't realize they are admitting they were not paying attention, they think that means it's not their fault. Like it's only your fault if you deliberately ram a car.

plutosdad   ·  July 23, 2009 1:45 PM

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