NEWS- The Jump: Thrill-seeking teens terrorize mom
Cameron Sipe was driving down bucolic Old Ballard Road in Ivy around 5pm with two three-year-olds. "I saw this car coming towards me– air bound," she recounts.
She looked in the rearview mirror and saw the car land on her side of the road, hit an embankment, ricochet to the other side of the road, flip, land on its roof, and spin around.
"I thought they're dead, they're absolutely dead," she says. "The car was flattened like a pancake."
But to Sipe's further amazement, two young males got out of the car.
And that's when she learned about "The Jump."
From what she's heard since, speeding eastbound on Old Ballard and catching air has been a popular activity for Western Albemarle High School students for years, although they've managed to stay under the radar of police– and even some Old Ballard Road residents.
David Ibbeken's parents still live on that road. The 1982 WAHS grad doesn't remember anything named The Jump, but does recall, "At least one or two points on Old Ballard Road, there's a rise where you can get air without really trying."
"I just learned about it recently with that horrific accident," says Liz Hanson, in front of whose house the 1995 Ford Mustang landed on its roof. A Western grad from 10 years ago confirmed to her that teens have known about the spot for years.
Hanson has called the police before about speeding and considers it too unsafe to let her daughter jog on the narrow road.
"It absolutely amazes me that someone was doing that at 5:20 in the afternoon and someone like Cameron Sipe with two three year olds could have been killed," says Hanson.
Police decline to identify the 16-year-old driver, who was charged with reckless driving for traveling at a "gross, excessive speed."
"They had to be going 90 miles per hour– at least 70," estimates Sipe.
She's still shaken from the March 15 crash. "I wasn't upset until the police said, 'You know, m'am, they could have killed you and your little girls,'" says Sipe.
Just seconds separated her from disaster. "If I'd been a little bit farther behind," says Sipe, "we'd have been in that crash."
Cameron Sipe is astounded that neither alcohol nor drugs were involved in the accident in which speeding teens nearly killed her and her three-year-old daughter.
PHOTO BY LAUREN BROOKS