I was a lineman on a two-man crew. It was a simple after-lunch task.
The crew chief and I were discussing the job as I finished putting my tools on. A beat up old pick-up truck pulled up and double parked on the other side of the street, about one hundred feet away from us. You could hear the motor running as the driver walked away. It seemed a little weird but…
There was a distinct grinding sound, like that of a worn-out clutch when changing gears, as I stepped onto the pole to begin my climb. We looked over and the truck began moving up the street, very slowly. There was no one in it as it inched its way slowly and steadily along. Keeping its' creeping pace, it veered toward the sidewalk, narrowly missing a parked car. We expected to see the driver come running after it, no one did.
We couldn't believe what we were seeing. It was now moving across a front lawn and heading straight for a car parked it the driveway. With my tools jangling on my belt and hooks clanking, I ran toward the truck. It struck the rear of the car and seemed to bounce back...then hit the car again... and bounced back, each time the motion moved it toward the rear of the car. By this time, I was alongside the truck trying to get to the brake pedal. I had the door open, with no time to get in. I slammed the door closed and jumped back, narrowly missing being pinned, just as it continued on its journey. It crossed another lawn and t-boned another car.
The gears were still straining to move when we finally shut her down. It was a manual transmission!