By on September 23, 2015

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You can understand why deputies from the Kosciusko County sheriff’s department, along with police, fire, and EMS units from Syracuse, Indiana, responded last Friday afternoon to a report of a vehicle colliding with a school bus. Fortunately, there were no children on board at the time, but arriving officers found a nine-year-old boy with minor head injuries lying on the ground near the wrecked, apparently driverless Dodge Avenger that had hit the bus.

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An investigation revealed that the boy’s mother, 35-year-old Angela Kipp, of Syracuse, was backing out of her driveway onto a county road with her son in the back seat, when she was startled by a spider on her shoulder. Kipp freaked out and bolted from the car, leaving it in reverse. The boy climbed into the driver’s seat, hoping to stop the car, but he hit the wrong pedal, accelerating the Avenger into the road just as a Wawasee Community school bus was passing by.

The driver of the bus was uninjured and Kipp’s child was transported to a hospital in nearby Goshen, where he was reported to be in stable condition with what were described as minor head injuries. There has been no report of any, tickets, charges or involvement of child protection agencies, but the collision is still under investigation.

Photo courtesy the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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51 Comments on “Along Came A Spider… Child Injured In Collision With School Bus When Arachnophobic Mom Flees Car In Gear...”


  • avatar
    JimC2

    Parenting fail level “expert” achievement: unlocked.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Now Daddy can request physical custody of Junior. You can bet that in a week or two, he will learn how to whittle a stick, how to roll up a sleeping bag, how to catch a trout and which pedal is which.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    Mom of the year.

    Maybe the car companies can build another safety device to prvent this from ever occuring again. It will only add $350 to each car and will result in the prevention of 3 injuries a year.

  • avatar

    FEAR and TERROR are powerful motivators and can get people to do things they otherwise wouldn’t do.

    Only a FOOL assumes that “instinct” (in this case, maternal instinct) is stronger than FEAR.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      BTSR is the voice of reason on this thread so far. NOW I Have seen everything.

      Spiders make pretty things and are mesmerizing to watch. I wish people didn’t fear them so much.

    • 0 avatar
      paxman356

      I had a friend who was arachnophobic. Even mention a spider and his attitude would become dead serious. Act like you have a spider in your hand, it could get broken. HAVE a spider in that hand, it may get taken off. He was that bad with it. Fear, even irrational fear, is strong indeed.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure…

  • avatar
    redliner

    It sounds like an honest, if somewhat stupid mistake. Give her a ticket for “unsafe backing” and perhaps “failure to yield right of way” or “reckless and unsafe driving resulting in a collision” and call it a day. I mean she drives a Dodge avenger… She has already been sufficiently punished.

  • avatar
    SlowMyke

    As much as it pains me because this is so incredibly stupid, give the woman a ticket and leave her with her child. But they should also require her to get therapy for her fear of spiders. Arachnophobia, while legitimate, is one of the dumbest fears to live with. Deal with your issues and get along with your life. Damn near every single spider you’ll encounter in the US will not or cannot harm you. If you can’t control yourself while in a vehicle with your child in it, you need to address it immediately.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      She abandoned her child in an engaged car. Charge her with endangering life of a child, strip parental rights and send her to short prison term, so she will have plenty of time to think, what is more important, her self-imposed fear of spiders or life of her son

      • 0 avatar
        SlowMyke

        Look, I agree on the basis that this person has a stupid fear that overcame all common sense and caused her to put her self, her child, and many others in immediate danger. But arachnophobia is a legitimate fear and I think any decent lawyer would be able to defend her in court. She needs to be mandated to get therapy in order to keep her child. If she fails to address her fear, then that is proof that she is knowingly putting her child at risk and ought to be taken from her.

        And as stupid as all this is, BTSR rightfully pointed out that a moment of intense fear can override your brain and common sense. Address the issue at hand rather than create another ward of the state. That helps no one.

        • 0 avatar
          CRConrad

          @SlowMyke wrote: _”But arachnophobia is a legitimate fear and I think any decent lawyer would be able to defend her in court.”_

          But is it, really?

          How do you define “legitimate” in this context?

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      It really depends on what region of the country you’re in. Brown recluses are pretty common where I am now and I grew up in an area with black widows. Black widows weren’t aggressive, but I’ve seen some pretty remarkable brown recluse behavior. They don’t seem that reclusive at all when they work their way along the ceiling until they’re over people and then drop on them. Perhaps it is our bug shortage that drives them to hunt people.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I knew two guys that got sent home from basic training in Fort Benning, GA due to brown recluse bites. One got a fully discharged because the bite on his knee actually caused necrosis of the area. Gross. F those spiders.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          That happened to someone in the house I used to rent in La Jolla. I was bitten by a spider in the Bahamas that caused a big circle of dead flesh to form on my forearm. In Costa Rica I had one of my hands swell up like a softball with fingers after a spider bite. I was raised to calmly pick up spiders on a piece of paper and drop them off outside when requested by frightened womenfolk, but there are some spiders I kill now.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            One thing is when you don’t know if the spider is on you. But when you see it, the easiest part is to slap it with your hand and crush it before it bites you. This woman could of done that but she had chosen to abandon a child in a working car. Today she abandons the child. Tomorrow she is a traitor to a nation. so the enemy will not even have to stick needles under her nails, they will just expose her to itsy-bitsy spider

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “Today she abandons the child. Tomorrow she is a traitor to a nation…”

            Try posting a little further away from one of CJ’s next time. There’s an induction field…

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I only learned the other day that there are black widows here in Ohio – both the northern and regular varieties. I didn’t think that was a thing here.

          One time a few months ago, I was on the phone with my dad and opening mail at the same time. One of the things was one of those orange padded envelopes, which had been folded over and taped. When I unfolded it to get to the pull tab thing, a black widow fell out from the folded part onto the counter! She was sort of “asleep” I suppose, and started moving slowly.

          I said OMAHGAA BLACK WIDOW IN THE MAIL.
          My dad said KILL IT!
          *Smash, with envelope!*

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    “Our computers aren’t afraid of spiders. You can trust us.”

    -Google

  • avatar
    turf3

    More evidence that not everyone should breed.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      How about the fact that the 9 year old had the presence of mind to try to stop the car?

      He might actually be smarter than his parental units.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        OTOH, he jumped on the wrong pedal.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Yeah, when I was 9, I knew which pedals did what, but then again, I was always obsessed with cars.
          Even so, Id have grabbed the parking brake if it was in the console (please forgive my unfamiliarity with Chrysler’s crappiest recent car).

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I keep driving cars with foot operated parking brakes or electronic parking brakes that engage when they feel like it after a suitable delay. The obsession with re-appropriating center console real estate for distractions that cars don’t need to be safely operated must stop.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Had an exact copy of that crapcan a year ago when my car was in the body shop.

            IIRC, it had a console brake lever.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Many people twice his age or older would’ve confused the pedals too.

          I recall an incident at the local Goodwill, an an older driver “accidentally” slammed on his gas in the parking lot, smashing his truck through the glass into a line of clothing.

          No one was hurt other than a poor victimized clothing hanger.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      More evidence that everyone should drive a manual transmission.

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    My wife is deathly afraid of spiders. Can’t even watch them on TV. Freaks out and hollers for me to come and kill it if she sees one in the house.

    She has gotten me up from a nap or after I have gone to bed to kill it.

    It gives her no comfort when I tell her that there are, on the average, 10,000 spiders per acre of land.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      You should take her to psychologist before she bails out from car with you in it. when I meet a woman and discover that she is like that, I bail out because people like these, usually have many more underwater rocks, if you know what I mean.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    It could have been worse. It could have been a house centipede.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I was expecting you to say:
      “It couldve been worse. She couldve destroyed a halfway decent car.”

      Lol

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Well that’s true too.

        I was just thinking that I’d rather have to kill 100 spiders rather than have to kill one of the big ol’ house centipedes we had when we first moved into our house. Those things are fast.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          You realize you really can’t eradicate house centipedes entirely! They just eat live bugs anyway, so they’re beneficial if you’ve got spiders or etc. in the basement. If they had nothing to eat, they would all be dead. And they don’t bite, except maybe if you put it in your hand and lightly squeezed it.

          Decreasing humidity downstairs helps as well.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It’s in their DNA for no good reason, apparently. In some worse than others, but I watched a seasoned woman homicide detective completely FREAK when a spider was near the body of a victim of violent death. It was a COPS reality type show that followed detectives around, but she let out a blood curdling SCREAM from the bedroom as the camera was hanging back in the living area, with other cop. She screams and they all look at each other, like WTF???, before running in.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      It is not in DNA. General anxiety is in all of us. If you don’t have it – you will end up under a car or whatever else you will not afraid. But irrational fear, like fear spiders is a learned behavior. Ever heard of Pavlovian conditioning? One of my relatives can’t drive on highway. Because she thinks that she will swerve off the road. she really developed this in her. she really believes it. Well, one time she was dizzy and drove somewhere. That one time was enough so even when she is not dizzy, she still thinks that she will not be able to hold a line. But until person will by self not destroy this idea, it will persist. With spiders it is even easier. It is called desensitization. In a week or two you may just love them.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        If it’s almost alway women that have the over-the-top irrational thing about spiders, it’s written into their DNA.

        • 0 avatar
          Toad

          Historically males that are deathly afraid of spiders (or have too many other irrational fears) could not hunt, forage, or farm: in other words, they starved. Irrational fears are a luxury for males that, until recently, Darwinism did not support. Overcoming fear allowed males to survive battle, hunt wild animals, and farm among the snakes, bugs, and assorted vermin, that live in fields.

          OTOH, Females can live and even thrive with irrational behavior and fears.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            So the irrational fears in men got flushed out, as THEY died out. Then women’s irrational fears were allowed or encouraged to flourish in their gene pool.

            The women that feared living without a man around, the most, reproduced the most. Perhaps with several different men throughout their reproductive years. We know them as the women that can be alone for a minute.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Thanks, Og and Ook, for that illuminating glance into the evolution of human gender dichotomy.

            Next up, The Double-O’s will be back for some surprising insights into the revolutionary technique of stick sharpening!

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    I blame VW…had to be the fumes

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Someone tell her not to replace the Avenger with a Flit-built Mazda6.

    http://money.cnn.com/2014/04/06/autos/mazda-spiders-recall/

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2014/04/07/mazda_issues_recall_because_spiders_invade_fuel_tank_causing_fire_risk.html

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Strange, but I suppose it’s not totally unfamiliar to me. I had a girlfriend who was so afraid of snakes that the picture on the sidewall of my Cooper Cobras was scary to her. I always wondered if her religious upbringing was a factor in creating that fear.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Spiders, rats, snakes, if you’re going to be scared of them you may as well be scared of dogs, or other humans piloting 3000+ pound hunks of steel and plastic.

    I personally just let spiders be, if they’re on me I just ignore them, the more spiders the less insects roaming about.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      3000+ lbs is just a meaningless, arbitrary number, to the minds of those obsessing with their irrational fear of spiders, mice, etc. The laws of physics, escapes too many of the women folk.

      Yesterday morning on a fast downhill 4 lane, this lady in a Camry sees her gas station at the last second, slams on her brakes directly in front of a loaded 80,000 lbs bottom dump, tandem trailer sand-hauler going full blast. No time to get on the air horn as she completely stops in the outside lane, no shoulder. The guy at the pump was backing up and blocked her entrance!! I was watching from the next parking lot over, but the sand hauler couldn’t move over, had all 18 locked up and zig-zag jackknifing, while this lady braced for some “action”..

      Now she could’ve easily pulled on to the sidewalk/grass to save herself, and probably others at the gas station, but gawd damn! Eventually the lane next to the sand hauler opened up, as the cars next to him stood on the brakes, so he went full throttle, and straightened it out as he swerved around her at the last split second.

      Sheesh! Normal people don’t mess around with sand haulers! How ’bout you??

      She’s probably deathly afraid of spiders though.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    When I was young our house had a big yard, and when my sister was 9 years old she begged to be taught how to operate the riding lawn mower. This went well for about a month, until one day we were all out there and she’s trundling across the yard at low speed, I’m mowing around trees with a push mower and my dad is trimming the fence line with a weedwacker, when all the sudden she lets out a scream, bolts off the mower and runs into the house. My dad just stood there agape for a moment before running off after the still moving rider. I’m going to tell this story at her wedding.

    Bee.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I find this amusing .

    I used to work in a HUGE heavy duty truck shop , an old building that at any given moment was crawling with black widow spiders ~ for fun , whenever the roach coach (lunch truck) was out side and all those big burly he-man typ Diesel mechanics were standing around , I’d go over and begin squashing the black windows with my thumb whilst drinking my coffee with the other hand ~ most of these big ‘ tough ‘ guys would begin to squeal like little girls and several simply couldn’t watch me get any where near a spider much less touch one with my thumb ~ they’d turn white and run back into the shop .

    Me , I hate spiders but no big deal : pop ’em and get back to work .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Goes back to what I have said before about parents in 200s and Avengers. This behavior is not surprising.

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