|OK, aside from a moment in my far past that involved too much alcohol, too few clothes, and standing up through a sunroof, I have thought of them as fairly benign pleasant aspects of a nice car. However, this woman as a far different perspective!|
From the Express-Times:
Open sunroof brings unwelcome passenger
CALIFON -- Longtime borough resident Joanne Korba was driving through town just minutes after dropping her 13-year-old daughter at school.
And then it happened.
"I was turning onto Main Street and I heard this big crash," she said.
The mother of three initially surmised that a neighborhood youth had selected her car to test his throwing arm.
"I turned around to see who threw it," she recalled. The time was 9:15 a.m. Monday, June 6. There were no vandals in sight and the borough street was quiet.
Korba's gaze shifted downward to her back seat, where the source of the mysterious "crash" lay temporarily stunned from a fall from great heights.
It was a squirrel.
"My sunroof was open," she said. "It must have fallen from a wire."
Then Korba thought for a moment.
"What do you do when a squirrel falls in your car," she recalled saying to herself since this was her first encounter with a wild animal in her vehicle.
Her thoughts quickly led to an idea.
"I pulled the car over and got out," she said.
Borough police Chief Jeff Ollerenshaw said Korba was screaming as she stood on the Main Street sidewalk.
Korba denied that characterization and said she was merely wringing her hands and wondering what to do next.
As luck would have it, a friend drove by and saw Korba standing outside her car.
"I told her there was a squirrel in my car," Korba recalled. "Then I remembered seeing Officer Jeff in town."
The friend drove down Main Street and found the chief.
Meanwhile, the stunned squirrel had regained consciousness.
Ollerenshaw arrived at the scene and went to work.
"He asked me if the squirrel was belted in," Korba said. The police chief then donned a pair of gloves and grabbed a pole he uses for situations like this. The chief opened the door and, after some gentle prodding, the squirrel stepped outside and ran into some nearby woods. Ollerenshaw said he was happy to report the squirrel did not sustain any apparent injuries during its escape.
The police chief later reflected on the chances of a squirrel falling through the sunroof of a moving car.
"The speed limit there is 25 mph," he said. "So (Korba) must have been driving about that speed."
He said the squirrel likely fell from an overhead wire or tree branch. The chief conceded the impossibility of taking any meaningful measurements to illustrate the incident. He said there's just no way to know how far the squirrel fell.
"But think about it," he said. "A half-second either way and it wouldn't have happened."
Korba said she's just glad the chief convinced the squirrel to get out of her car.
She said she's got some kind of squirrel phobia going on right now.
Korba encountered one on her friend's porch a few days after the incident.
"I told it to get away," she said.
And then there's the sunroof.
"I've been keeping that closed," she said.
( Reporter Tom Quigley can be reached at 908-475-8184 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. )