Friday, July 29, 2011

My First Car Wreck (that was my fault)

I was 17 years old. I was on my way home from a long day at school and then my shift at Burger Chef. It was around 11:30 at night and I was worn out. (I also had to get up for school the next day)

I was speeding as was my custom when I was that age. I came upon another car which had the nerve to actually be using the road in front of me. An intolerable situation which I intended to rectify at the earliest possible moment!

I was in front of the vet's office in Justice Addition when I saw an opening for myself to pass the car in front of me. The fact that it was a no passing zone is irrelevant to the story.

I whipped my car into the opposing lane and pressed the gas for all it was worth. I quickly speeded up to around 80 miles an hour and was just on the verge of getting past the car which was impeding my progress when I saw a set of oncoming headlights rounding the curve ahead of me! There was only one thing to do. I smashed on the brakes!

Now for those of you who don't know, here is a piece of advise that I learned the hard way that night. NEVER, NEVER, EVER, EVER PRESS THE BRAKES OF THE CAR WHEN YOU ARE GOING 80 MPH! No good will ever come of it. I immediately went into a tailspin! I had no control of my vehicle whatsoever! I don't know how many times doughnuts I did that night but I do know I barely missed a telephone pole, the car I had been passing and the oncoming vehicle. The last thing I remember before I ended up in the floorboard of the passenger side of the car was a cinderblock wall coming right at me!

My car came to an abrupt halt and as I sat curled up in the floorboard of the passenger side of the car taking stock of my body I realized I was not hurt. As I climbed out of my car I saw that I had run through a fence (chainlink) and over a bush. In fact I was parked on said bush and fence. I tried to start the car and it wouldn't start. (thankfully - who knows what damage I would have caused if the car had started and I had tried to move it) So I did the only thing I could do.

I got out of the car. As I did the car I was passing backed up to me to make sure I was alright. I thanked the man for stopping and assured him that I was in fact going to live. Then I had to gather my courage to knock on the door of the house whose yard I had just invaded and ask to use the phone to call my parents. (this was in pre cellphone days of course)

The people were very nice and only concerned for my safety. They let me use the phone at the midnight hour to call my parents and I tearfully broke down when my dad answered the phone and told him of my situation. He and my mom were with me in a matter of minutes. I made up some plausible story about being run off the road and I was delighted to discover that they were relieved to find that I was OK and the damage to the car and surrounding area was negligible at best. I was not even in trouble.

My dad told the people he would be there to collect the car in the morning. I had to pay to fix the man's fence and replace the bush out of my pocket but that was all. My dad was a car dealer so fixing the car was not a problem.

That was the night I understood the glory of being a car dealer's daughter. We never got in trouble for any vehicular mishaps we were involved in. Afterall it's just a car - not a person. An attitude that I have had toward cars my whole life - even now.

I always marvel when someone wrecks a car and everyone's first question is about the damage to the car - not the possible injuries suffered by the occupants of the car. I guess that's just the way I was raised to think about the situation.

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