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Car Crash in Tehran


The New York Times (NYT) reported yesterday on an unusual car crash in the city of Tehran, Iran that was said to have occurred “recently.”  It was a single vehicle crash and occurred at five in the morning.  The vehicle involved was a yellow Porsche Boxster, a 2015 model.  From evidence at the scene, the police determined that the driver, a 20 year old girl, had been going 120 miles an hour when she hit the right hand curb and crossed the road, coming to rest against a palm tree in the median.  Both driver and passenger, a 21 year old man, were killed, the passenger surviving for a few hours in the hospital.  A photograph of the vehicle after the crash was included.

What makes this crash particularly unusual, in Iran, is that the passenger was the grandson of a high official in the government, and was affianced to someone other than the driver, a classic beauty from a poor part of town whose photograph was also included.  Technically, it is illegal in Iran for unmarried men and women to be together.

It seems that the young in Iran have somewhat similar problems to the young in other countries.  This makes the Shia Muslim government very sad.  No doubt that is why social Internet media reacted to the crash with scorn more than sympathy.

The image of a yellow Porsche Boxster speeding through the streets of Iran’s capital, Tehran at five in the morning is particularly ironic.  A naive twenty year old girl who doesn’t know how to drive is at the wheel.  The slightest twitch of the wheel at speed will throw the Boxster across the track.  A tiny lapse of attention could result in losing control.

Then, after the crash, there is the warm dead body of a beautiful young girl who was alive a minute ago, and the passenger, critically injured, gasping and choking.  There are unseen moments that no one has registered: a skid, contact with the palm trunk, crumpling superstructure and breaking glass; the girl is dead and won’t remember, the boy is choking on blood, draining into his larynx, can’t remember what happened, just the terrible silence after the car comes to rest and oil begins to puddle on the pavement, the engine ticks, contracting and cooling, oil pan is ruptured and drooling out onto the pavement.

A long time later, and the boy is unconscious, come the sirens and finally, too late, medics to pull the boy onto a stretcher. He is given oxygen by mask, an IV in the arm, and a rigid neck collar.   They take their time about removing the girl; they handle her limp, cooling body with reluctance and tenderness.  She, too, goes on a stretcher, covered with a blanket.

The sun is rising; the sky changes from black to orange to blue.  The streetlights, one by one, go out.

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