The sound went on for so unbelievably long that I realized this couldn't be the sound of applied breaks. Because no one could possibly apply the breaks for such a long period of time, with them grinding and screeching like that, without stopping or hitting something. So finally Shadiee and I relaxed and went on with our conversation.
Suddenly from the window we saw the car, still screeching and grinding at top speed, with smoke trailing from it. Clearly the breaks were not working and the car was careening out of control toward several cars stopped at a red light. Breaks still wailing, but still useless, the driver made a last minute split decision. In order to miss the occupied vehicles he swerved into a parked car on the curb. The sheer velocity at which the driver hit the parked car sent the car flipping into the air. I don't think I have ever witnessed an airborn car before that moment. It was flipping and would have turned completely upside down had a telephone pole not broken it's flight. It instead came crashing down, right side up, half on the curb and half some one's front lawn - wedged into the telephone pole.
We watched concerned as passers by and emergency vehicles descended on the scene quickly. There was no doubt, seeing that car flip through the air, that if the driver was not wearing a seat belt he was most definitely dead. And if he was wearing a seat belt, he had a good chance of surviving. We still don't know which it was.
Only a couple of days ago I read the journal of some one who's 19 year old friend just died in a car crash. The car was full, but he was the only one not wearing a seat belt. As a result he was thrown to his death while everyone else in the car survived the accident.
Please people... wear your seat belt.