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They’re called the “laws of physics” for a reason, and when they’re not obeyed, the consequences can be truly horrifying, or in this case — deadly.

Around 3 a.m. on May 16, a driver in Fairway, Kansas combined high speeds, a large tree, and a hatchback, in a terrifying scenario that sadly ended his life.

Looking at the photos of the scene of the accident during clean up, you’d almost swear that there were two hatchbacks involved in the wreck. And, how coincidental would that be: Two of the exact same make and model, driving at exactly the same high speed, on the same road, at the same time? It sounds like the setup for a Mythbusters experiment.

What you’re actually looking at in the picture is one car that has been completely torn in half along the length of the body due to the force of the impact. Give that a moment to really sink in.

Credit where credit is due: It does appear that the airbags deployed as they should have. Tragically, there’s not a whole lot they could have done to save the life of the driver, who according to police, was killed on impact.

Following the accident, the roadway near 55th Street and Shawnee Mission Parkway was closed for nearly five hours while clean up crews diligently worked to make the streets safe again for morning commuters.

As these truly gut-wrenching images convey, there are some fatal accidents that airbags, anti-lock brakes, and forward collision alert cannot prevent. Johnson County, Kansas police continue to investigate the crash to learn more. While the details surrounding the crash have not yet been released, the main takeaway should be clear: Physics is real, and challenging the laws of physics at any time is a really, really bad idea.

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Always drive safely, drive sober, mind the speed limit, and of course, obey the laws of physics.

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