My skin is metallic now, no longer an elegant powder blue
My body unhinged and sleeping in the jungle
Of motor block manifolds and metal relics
What was deluxe becomes debris, I never questioned loyalty
But this dead end demolishes the dreams of an open highway
– Adrian Belew, from King Crimson’s “Dig Me”
Here’s the scene. I’m preparing to climb up the side of the Caterpillar dinosaur seen tearing a car in half in this video in order to shoot a 360 degree night panorama of the junkyard. And then out of the silence of the desert night there is a sound. A sound that will haunt me for years. At the time, I wasn’t sure if it was a car crash or a plane crash or a close encounter. I got on top of the dinosaur to take a look. The sound turned out to be a high speed head-on collision about a mile away. A strange kind of shock, and then sirens, as police and ambulances quickly rolled to the scene. I setup for the 360 panorama and by the time I was completing the last shots a helicopter appeared in the sky for an airlift. As the helicopter departed, I made the image below. We didn’t see anything in the paper the next day. I was able to track down some of the accident details online: the driver of one car died, the couple in the other car were airlifted to a hospital. I hope they’re OK.