Fact Check

Save the Planet with a Small Car

Photograph shows an automobile crushed in a New Orleans accident?

Published Aug 4, 2009


Claim:   Photograph shows an automobile crushed in a New Orleans accident.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, August 2009]

This accident happened in Jefferson parish (New Orleans) Louisiana.

Think about this while you are saving the planet by driving that small car.

Click to enlarge


Origins:   The picture displayed above is reminiscent of the
Crushin' Roulette legend (two collided trucks are pulled apart weeks later, and a small car is found to have been crushed between them); and although its circumstances may not mirror the substance of that legend, it's close enough that many viewers have found the photograph both fascinating and chilling.

According to information from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and various readers, the accident pictured above took place in May 2009 in

Harvey, Louisiana, and involved a Ford Escape SUV, not (as is commonly reported) the smaller Smart Car. The impact did not occur dead center as apparently
shown in the photograph: it was offset to the right, and thus the driver's side was not nearly as heavily damaged. The driver of the Ford survived the crash and has since been released from the hospital.

A reader who told us he was present at the scene of the accident said that (although it is not visible in this photograph) a second vehicle was between the Ford SUV and the dump truck at the time of the collision but was knocked onto the grass underneath the elevated roadway, and that any vehicle "short of another dump truck" would have suffered the same crumpled fate as the Ford did.

Last updated:   16 July 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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