A Fortunate Accident?

Car Accident

Big One and I took a road trip this week and a truck smashed into us on I-90 just east of Ashtabula.  Big One has her new license and was looking forward to “being big” – driving on the highway in the United States.  She drove for a few hours on the highway in three states (New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio) on Interstate 90.  Everything was terrific.  She was confident, proud, and calm.  Here’s the story in her words:

I was driving along, feeling good.  I was thinking how my driving instructor taught me to check my rearview mirror every 9 seconds, and how I am supposed to sweep from side mirror to front to rearview mirror to be aware of everything around me.  I realized this is now a habit and I don’t have to think about it like I did when I first started driving.  I looked in the mirror and nothing was there, and the next time I looked I saw the truck coming right through my window.  I hit the gas trying to speed up, but it wasn’t enough and he hit us.

Here’s the story in the other driver’s words:

I’m so sorry.  I fell asleep at the wheel and when I opened my eyes, I saw a big white thing right in my window and realized it was your car.  I didn’t think I was that tired.  I worked a long shift, but I felt alert.  I had just talked to my wife on the phone and was happy that I was only a few miles from my exit.

Our car has a lot of damage and is only 4 weeks old.  That is the bad news.  This is why I consider it a fortunate accident:

  1. Big One kept control of the car and didn’t swerve into the semi-truck on the left or the cement bridge on the right.
  2. Nobody was hurt.
  3. I was with her to comfort her after we stopped.
  4. Big One realized she learned from her instructor about control and keeping her head when things go wrong.
  5. The man who hit us was kind, and sorry, and normal.  A regular hard-working guy who had a long day.
  6. It was a hot summer night so standing on the side of the road was not torture.
  7. The policeman who took Big One’s statement asked me to sit with her in the cruiser.
  8. We called home and got sympathy and comfort from my husband and Little One.
  9. If the truck hadn’t hit us, he could have gone off the road and rolled.
  10. When we got to our destination at 1:30 a.m., my parents were sitting outside on the curb waiting up for us and let Big One tell her story even though they were exhausted.

There will be pain and annoyance with insurance companies, but the car will be fixed.  Knowing she had people caring for her at home, at her destination, and in the car with her turned a potential horrible situation into a fortunate accident for Big One.

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9 Responses to A Fortunate Accident?

  1. Pingback: Please Just Do Your Job! | Working Tech Mom

  2. yellowcat says:

    Wow! You really can turn lemons into lemonade. I’m glad everyone is all right and she’s good emotionally.

  3. carlaat says:

    So glad that everyone is ok. You have found a lot of fortunate things from a scary accident!

  4. Someone is looking out for you all! WOWZA…

  5. charlywalker says:

    Thank God you are all OK….
    My daughter hit a deer and totaled her car…….I thank God she came out unscathed…can’t say the same for the deer though….
    My blood pressure jumped a few levels that night….
    thanks for the Post!

  6. Whew! I’m so happy no one was hurt. It could have been a lot worse if not for quick-thinking Big One. She should write up her story and send it to a local newspaper. New drivers would benefit (and probably lots of “experienced” drivers, too).

    You go Big One!!!

    Techy, get her driving again soon.

  7. dragonfae says:

    First accidents are so hard on new drivers. Happy to hear everyone is relatively unscathed and I’ll bet Big One was really glad you were with her. And give her kudos … there aren’t a lot of people who would think to hit the gas in that situation. Big hugs to both of you!

  8. John Erickson says:

    I’m glad nobody was injured. I would have to rate the first point as the most impressive. From the massive amount of driver’s tips drilled into me by my father, who was heavily trained by the old Bell System, Big One did everything right. For her to keep control of the car, even to the point of taking “evasive action” by speeding up, and then getting the car safely to the side of the road, is highly commendable. Give her a “well done” from me!
    And from what I can tell, it’ll take more time to get all the estimates than to fix the damage. If the trunk still opens, it’ll be a quick fix. If not, they may need to straighten some sheet metal, but there should be no long-term effects. (Based on what I can see from the photo – please don’t quote me! 😀 )

  9. huffygirl says:

    How fortunate that no one was hurt! Glad you’re all right.

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