Friday my mom and I left to come to Fancy Town to start the move. Things were going well. Clear skies, good tunes on the radio, etc. Then four hours into the trip, some douchebag asshole who most likely didn’t have insurance totaled my new car (I’ve only had her since December 28th) and then drove away. We are all okay–me, mom, and the mutts. We’re banged up. I’m a total fucking wreck about it though. Because I know it’s stupid, but I LOVE my car. Every single thing about her. And we got this freakishly incredible deal on it, and I’m afraid that we are just not going to be able to get that car for that price again.
Here’s what happened:
We were driving along. We were in the fast lane. Traffic was moving just fine. Then suddenly, for no reason, the car in front of me slammed on his breaks going like 80 miles an hour because I think either the car in front of him stopped or someone merged right in front of him while going like 50. I was going about 75-78, probably closer to 78, and I slammed on the breaks and managed to stop a safe distance from the car. The two motorcycles behind me were pretty close and the truck behind them was even closer. Motorcycle One went into the median on the left and drove around me. Motocycle Two clipped M1 and drove around to the right. Mom sees the pick up truck in her mirror and says “that guy’s not stopping.” I see him in my rearview mirror. M2 was right next to me. I see the truck swerve a little bit, or he looks like he’s going to swerve because he can’t stop, and I’m afraid that if I try to get into the next lane from a stop, he’s going to barrel right through me. He did swerve, and he would have killed us if I had moved. It took me a full 24 hours to come to this realization as all day Friday I was like “I should have moved. Why didn’t I move?? I’d still have my car, and we’d be okay.” Well, that would not have been the case.
As it is, had he not swerved either, he would have hit us full on in the rear, and Nola and her mother would likely be no more. Seriously. He didn’t even hit the breaks and he was going well over 70. He clipped the back passenger side of the car, crushing it. He hit with so much force he shattered the rear window. He hit us with so much force that it catapulted us the 5-8 feet cushion we had forward into the car in front of me crushing mainly the passenger side of the front of the car. The accelerator got stuck. I was in full panic mode so I didn’t know what to do. My little car was revving at 8000 rpm. She started to smoke. Finally MOm and I were like, “shit, turn off the car!” My mom was lurched forward and to the side and the seatbelt scratched up her neck and ripped a hole in her shirt. And she jammed her leg up (her poor ankle and toe were swollen Friday–better now). The Divine Miss T, who is almost 14 years old, let me remind you, was thrown into the dashboard, but somehow managed to have the presence of mind to go feet first and brace herself with her feel (I didn’t see it–that’s what mom said). All I know is that when I looked up, she was on the dashboard in between the steering wheel and the window. The Red Rocket flew forward and hit the windshield head on (I didn’t see that either, thank god, but Mom did). When I looked up, Red was already back in the backseat looking around. In the meantime, the guy who hit us got across four other lanes of traffic, drove up ahead and parked on the shoulder far enough away so that no one could see his license plate, got out of his car and surveyed the accident site and then drove away.
Motocycle One guy was not injured and he stayed to make sure that we were all okay. He called the police. He was upset though that Red was barking at him, although I was like, “it’s not you, it’s your bike.” I was just crying “my car, my poor car” when I saw that we were all okay. I couldn’t get a hold of the J.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, when the tow truck came and we were loading the dogs into the truck, I pick up Miss T and she starts screaming and she bites my mom twice (not bad–Mom’s got a welp that’s almost gone already and a scratch). I start screaming and crying because I thought she had internal injuries in her chest–she’s almost 14–and it turns out that as I was picking her up she was trying to climb the stairs of the truck and got her toenail caught in the step and I was pulling her poor foot and toenail.
We get to a body shop. The lady in there is super nice and lets us have the dogs in there (because the tow truck driver is a friend as far as he brings all his business there and he loves dogs). She cleaned up my mom’s dog bite for her, too. I will say this, my insurance is awesome though. The rental car place was in the showroom at the front of the body shop (we were at a dealer), and before I even got up to the showroom, the insurance guy had called me back to tell me that the car was ready to go for me. The body shop woman also got one of the body shop guys to unload all our luggage and stuff from the car for us, so I only had to go back and get a couple of things and take some pictures.
I cry every time I think about the wreck or my car. We have a picture at the apartment that the J’s mom took of us with the new car. I look at it and cry. I want another one just like her, but now I’m afraid to be in a small car again. It’s not good that I am anxious in the car now. Every time someone was behind me, especially a truck, I’d get all panicky and nervous. I feel like on some level, the accident is my fault. Had I not being going so fast, had I not been in the fast lane, had I gotten my shit together earlier this summer and saved the money like I needed to we’d still have the POD and not the truck therefore we wouldn’t have had to leave a day early, had I not taken a new job, had I not taken the job in Fancy Town in the first place two years ago, had I not done a whole host of other things, this never would have happened. I know nothing worse happened, but it could have been so much worse, and that has me really upset and freaked out and scared and sad. But I’m trying not to dwell on what might have happened.
I’m assuming that since it was basically a hit and run and the other person who most likely didn’t have insurance is not paying for any of this and that my insurance is, I’m sure my insurance will go up, which is not cool. But none of us who stayed at the accident got any tickets or citations or anything because well, we did nothing wrong.
The mutts are okay. My mom’s friend is an animal pathologist or something like that, Ph.D., works for the CDC. So we called her and asked her what to look for in the dogs regarding internal injuries because they seemed to be acting fine. I checked their pupils because I was worried about concussions and they were fine. I felt them all up and down checking for protrusions and tenderness. One of the things Mom’s Friend said to do, Miss T would not let me do, so I had to improvise, but I ended up scaring her, but I have to pick her up to get her in the car, and if anything were wrong with her ribs or spine, she would have let me know when I picked her up. Anyway, for future reference for those of you with animals, especially dogs, here are the things to look for if you suspect internal injuries: are their gums normal colored and do they bounce back to normal color after to press on them? Are their pupils normal? Is the poop normal? I guess if dogs have concussions they will shake their heads, like flap their ears excessively. That I didn’t know. And I had to at least get the RedRocket on his hind legs and do like a scoliosis exams (remember those?) on him. That’s what Miss T would not allow. She’s not getting up on her hind legs for that. Not out of pain. Just out of arthritis, age, and grumpiness. Yesterday morning before we left the hotel, they were wrestling. And my mom’s friend said to give them massages because they’d be sore and grumpy, too, but that’s normal. By this afternoon though it will be 48 hours and then they will be out of the woods, but right now, nothing indicates any injuries in the mutts either.
The things that hurt the most on me right now are my forearms. My poor Mom is really sore though. She’s got a knot in the base of her neck that’s making her neck and head hurt, and it’s in the back of where the seat belt would have been in the front, so I know that’s what did it–well, I’m sure the force of an angled impact at however fast the asshole was going is what did it. I know I’m not the one that caused the accident, but I still feel like this is all my fault. And since I’m paranoid now about making another cross country trip by myself, when we get the truck packed up, Mom and I, instead of staying in a hotel Saturday night to relax and leave Sunday morning, we are leaving with the J and following him home. I’m afraid to do this by myself now. I’m so glad that I don’t have to do this ever again.
However, in order to not be totally paralyzed by this event, here are the “positives” that are a result of this outcome:
- I think I will become a more defensive driver. I’m trying not to be a paranoid or anxious driver, but I felt myself relaxing a little bit more yesterday afternoon until we hit traffic and then I got all anxious and upset again.
- Had we not been there to take the blow, it’s likely that one or both of the motorcyclists would have been killed by the pick-up truck, and since neither mom, nor I, nor the mutts were seriously injured, I’m okay with looking at the accident as something that might have been necessary so that the guy who helped us could go home to his family rather than have his family attend his funeral.
- Because I’m afraid to do the drive back by myself, we will get home next Sunday night giving me a whole extra day to work on my paper (unless I have to drive nearly four hours to the body shop to get my tags and the rest of my things out of the car, but hopefully someone will be there Sunday afternoon because we have to drive back past it).