Elon Musk’s SpaceX Rocket Launch Caused Traffic Jam, Three-Car Pileup


Los Angeles drivers are more than capable of causing a traffic jam on their own, but they recently got a little help from Elon Musk.

Musk’s aerospace company, SpaceX, conducted its final Falcon 9 rocket launch of 2017 on Friday, causing westbound motorists on U.S. Interstate 10 to slow to a crawl as they looked at the sky. One driver, however, paid too much attention to the sky, and not enough to the road.

Mark Sales posted a YouTube video Saturday that showed dashcam footage of a white minivan slamming into a Toyota Corolla, hurling the sedan into the back of a Toyota Highlander, which was about two car lengths ahead. Based on how fast the minivan was traveling when the crash occurred, the driver likely hadn’t looked at the road since the two Toyotas started braking 15 seconds earlier — which is slightly terrifying.

At 65 mph, for perspective, a car covers about 95 feet per second, suggesting the motorist could have been staring at the sky for nearly an entire mile. And that’s a conservative estimate, because the speed limit on I-10 in California is 70 mph.

The twittersphere interestingly was just as chaotic around the time of the Falcon 9 launch, as not many people in southern California were aware it was taking place. As a result, the unusual shape of the rocket’s tail led many to wonder if the U.S.-North Korea standoff finally had reached a tipping point, and others speculated if the sight was related to The New York Times’ recent report about the Pentagon’s secret UFO research program.

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