This was not how I wanted my New Year's Eve to go...
It was right about here where I hit an icy patch in the road. The rear end of my car started to turn on its own. I tried to make minor corrections, but each change turned the car too much. I knew my car was going to crash, I just didn't know where. Finally, my car picked a course, and turned into oncoming traffic.
My memories of the crash are a blur. From what I could tell, I hit the first car on the front passenger side. That hit spun the truck around, where it was hit by a tree-trimming truck. Somehow, my truck stopped with its tailgate in the back of the first car. Besides the annihilation of the front end and the impact on the back, my front door was also bent so badly, I had to climb out the passenger side to get out..
A few days later, I went to the towing yard to pick up the contents of my truck. The old man at the desk asked me who the driver was. When I said it was me, he turned white as a ghost. Apparently, he didn't expect to see anybody walk away from that accident.
These pictures were taken the weekend after my accident, at the tow yard where I signed her over. She served me well over 8 years and 50,000 miles (and the previous owner another 2 years and 30,000 miles more). She was a good truck, and while I wanted to drive her until the wheels fell off, this wasn't what I had in mind.
In closing, I would like to leave you with a short list of things I've learned from this experience.
- Why are cars so expensive and so heavy? One reason is they're (usually) engineered to be safe. When a vehicle slows down from 25 mph to 0 in a fraction of a second, that releases a lot of energy. Plastics and metals in the car are designed to bend, break, crumble in such a way that absorbs much of that energy, softening the impact. All in all, it takes thousands of dollars of material and design to safely transport $5.00 worth of organic matter (though that last value is debatable).
- When I think about the accident, I can't get the song "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood out of my head.
- Trying to replace the above song with Pearl Jam's "I'm Still Alive" has lead to some interesting results.
- I learned that if you have GEICO car insurance, and you show a cop your insurance card on your smart phone, that can be as good as a paper copy.
- I also learned that downloading the app, logging in, failing the log-in attempt, requesting a username look up and password reset, checking your email (several times), successfully resetting your password, then searching the app for a copy of your insurance is a pain in the fingers when you're outside in freezing weather and your smartphone refuses work without your gloves off.
- The hectic life is a raging river, forcing all your attention on keeping afloat, without letting you wonder "How did I end up in the middle of a river?"
- Finally, I'm truly thankful for the outpouring of support from my friends and family. Your help, prayers, and well-wishes are so appreciated.