Friday, September 16, 2005

Five car pile-up

The one day I leave home without my cell phone...turns out to be the one day I could really use the darn thing!

I had the day off today, which was great, because I had to get a layout and a card for Fiskars done today so I could FedEx them by tomorrow afternoon. Well, they came together really quickly and easily--that must have been my good karma for the day!--and I decided to run over and FedEx them this afternoon so I wouldn't have to bother with it tomorrow.

Coming home, I had two options--go back the way I came, which is the southern end of the "loop" between my house and the main shopping area, or take the northern end of the loop. Since traffic was getting heavy, I decided to take the northern end. I was so hungry and really needed to get home and eat some late lunch!

There's a spot where you cross the "line" from Newport News into York County, and the road goes from four lanes, 45 mph to two lanes, 55 mph. But just as you speed up, there's a little ratty-ass convenience store on the left side of the road all by its lonesome. No left turn lane for it, so if anybody wants to turn left and pick up some cigarettes or a lottery ticket, they hold up all that speeding-up traffic behind them for a minute or two until they get across. It's always been an accident waiting to happen.

Which is exactly what I was thinking, for the umpteenth time, as I braked hard behind a line of three or four cars who were waiting for Mr. Pickup Truck to make his left turn and get out of the way. No sooner did the thought move across my brain than--WAP! suddenly I was rammed from behind and sailing toward the back end of the car in front of me.

It's amazing, but I've been driving for almost twenty years and this was my very first-ever traffic accident. I braked again as hard as I could and managed to get by with just a tap on the car in front of me. Then I pulled off the road, turned off the car, and saw that my flip-flops were lying on the floor by my feet. I think I got my shoes knocked right off my feet!

Turns out there were five of us all together...I was the second car from the front of the line, so I didn't get it too bad. The woman behind me said she saw the car that caused it come barreling up behind us in her rearview mirror, and she knew we were gonna get hit. I'm not sure the driver even slowed down--just plowed into the back of a car, which plowed into the back of the next car, which plowed into me, and I bumped right into the car in front of me. Like bumper cars, only more expensive.

The cops and paramedics were there within five minutes, but none of us were badly hurt. Some sore necks and shoulders, and the first woman who took the impact got bruised when her airbag deployed, but thankfully we were all okay. It took the cop forever to get all the information and the story--I wasn't able to leave the scene till more than an hour later.

At first I thought I just had a small dent in my rear fender, but on closer inspection, the whole right rear panel is askew, and the right rear door won't open. I think it might be a pricey fix-up job...and that lady has four more cars to pay for, including her own. God save me from ever causing a pile-up like that!

Anyway, it was an experience!


beverly d said...

I'm glad you are OK and that your car is driveable. The guy was probably stopped to get a mega millions lottery ticket since the pot is over $250 million tonight.

I'm also glad you didn't get cited. I remember when I used to take those calls for insurance claims that most cars in a rear-end situation, even if another car was the catalyst, were cited. It seemed unfair but I heard it numerous times, "I was just sitting there and got pushed into another car and yet I got a ticket for rear-ending the car in front of me."

Now-- the calls and letters from attorneys start, too... and car repair shops. Fun stuff for you!

But, I'm glad you are safe... and I hope the moron making the left turn doesn't win the lottery tonight. =)

Sherri said...

What an experience! Glad that you are ok after all of it. Unfortunately I've been there done that. Wreck, surgery, letters to insurance .... yuck. Hopefully all of it will go as smoothly as these things can go for you.

Mimi said...

Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry to hear that you were in that accident, but so thankful you are ok!

Askew cars aren't a good plan, I think it's an expensive fix. Urg.