Posted Monday, March 7, 2005, 8:38 am, [link to this entry]
For those of you with whom I do not speak on a regular basis, here's a news flach: A few weeks ago, I was in a car accident and my trusty Nissan truck was badly dammaged. Here's the whole story:
Stef and I went to Louisville for our first set of dance lessons. We are going to be hip-hop superstars. Afterwards, about 7pm, we went to Osaka, a little sushi bar down the street from th edance studio. We ate a lot fo sushi, and before we left, the sushi guy convinced Stef to take home a container of ginger. He assured us that if we ate one piece a day, it would make us skinny. Whatever. Next, we went to Wet Willys for a drink. Stef had an Erdinger, and I had a Bell's Two-Hearted Ale. Being as full as we were, we decided to leave it at one beer and head home.
Our standard route home from Wet Willy's goes through one of Louisville's "Urban Housing" areas. Because of this, the lights along the street are timed such that once you enter the "Urban Housing" area, you don't really have to stop, so long as you go 30 mph (too fast to get carjacked). So there we are, cruising down Jefferson, hitting the lights as they turn green.
Then, as my nose is about to enter the last timed light intersectio9n, I glance at the light and see that mine is still red. I can see that the opposing light is yellow. Crap... I must have gotten ahead of the pattern... but it's too late now. Better to try and get through the intersection than to slam on my brakes and stop in the middle of it. As luck would have it, there was approximately one (1) other car on the roads of downtown louisville that night, and the driver was trying to beat a red light.
Stef and I were in the intersection before we saw th eother car. We were almost through it before he hit us. He was driving a little coupe of some kind, and he was driving it fast (hence my mention that we was tryign to beat the red), because when he hit us in the passenger side rear wheel, we flipped up on our side, spun a bit, and slid 50 feet or so before my tired caught and plopped us back up on all 4. It happend pretty fast. My engine was still running and there was pickled ginger all over the cab. My windshield was broken. Even while th eaccident was takign place, I was asking Stef is she was okay. Luckilly, we were both fine, a little startled, but physically fine when I shut off my engine and got out to go check on the other people.
They were both out of their car, a guy was driving his girls car from what I could tell. I repeatedly asked if they were okay, but all they said to me (over and over again) was "My car! my car! (the chick)" and "Man, you had a red light (the dude)". I did have a red light... but so did he. By the time I was through, there is no way his shits were still yellow. At any rate, I went back to my truck to asses the dammage. It was dammaged on about 70% of the body panels and the windsheild was broken. The frame around the cab was knocked slightly off kilter. The other car was crushed like an accordian. Good thing they had airbags.
An ambulance was there in about 90 seconds... somehow. And police and firetruck soon followed. The other car was leaking fluids, so the moved it out of the intersection (I drove mine up on the curb) and flooded the street with a nerby hydrant to wash off the debris and fluids. Everyone but Stef and I was gone within 20 minutes, and traffic resumed. We waited on John to come over so he could follow us home - my tail lights were out.
On the ride home, my truck drove fabulously. I don't know how, but there didn't seem to be any dammage to the frame other than the cab, and the allignment was spot-on. The next day I reported it to insurance and took it in for an estimate. 10K in dammage, so they declared it a total loss. After a 1k deductible and buying back the salvage (still driveable, for $1750), I got a check for 10.5K and sold the wreck for $2250 for a total walk-away of 11K. I had just paid my truck off in January.
Last night I bought a 97 Nissan Sentra for $2650. 88K miles, runs like a champ so far, and gets 35 mpg. The rest of the payoff went to zero out ALL of our credit card debt.
All in all, things could have been a lot worse.