It’s tough to know how to start a post like this. I guess that “I’m fine, the cats are fine, and Miranda is more or less fine” should do it.
I’d been on the road about an hour today and was approaching Beckley on the West Virginia turnpike. Traffic was heavy and there was construction. I merged into the left hand lane around some construction when the semi in front of me slammed on his brakes to the point that there was smoke coming from them. The man in the pickup behind me was riding my car bumper and had no room to stop. He slammed into the back of the car, which slammed into the back of the motorhome.
The state trooper took me aside to say that the fact that I did not hit the semi and that the guy in the pickup did not get rear ended suffices as proof that he did not give himself enough braking distance. Because I was rear ended there is no question that the guy behind me is responsible, but the state trooper assured me that I couldn’t have done anything to prevent this. So, please, no comments like I got after the brakes incidents asking me to rehash every single moment of this. It happened, it’s being dealt with, and I can continue on to Virginia tomorrow. I am parked at the wrecking yard for the night and was given the go ahead by both insurance companies to go ahead with my travel plans.
The first photo I am going to share is going to be shocking. You can see that my tow bar assembly is sheered off and that I was pulling the car only by the cables. This is important, folks. Look at the tow assembly. It isn’t dragging on the ground. You need to crisscross the cables so that if something like this were to happen, the cables would act as a net and catch the tow bar. My system worked flawlessly.
Damage to the front of the car:
Damage to the rear of the car:
I don’t believe that the damage to the motorhome requires immediate attention. She drove fine the 10 miles or so from the crash site to the wrecking yard. There is damage to the under carriage where the receiver hitch was welded on. However, none of the damaged parts are attached directly to the main part of the chassis. I feel comfortable driving to Montreal but I will have the rig looked at once I get there and won’t be taking the road again until the repairs are done.
It will take a few days for an appraiser to come out and look at the car, but I reasonably certain that I am looking at a total loss on it so I am okay with leaving it behind. So long as the other party takes responsibility for his idiocy, my insurance companies will not charge me a deductible. So it would make sense to have the car repaired if the appraiser says it needs to be, and I’ll be close enough by to come back and pick it up. But I seriously doubt that will happen.
At this point, there is no sense making guesses about how I am going to proceed. I will know more once the motorhome damage is appraised and dealt with next month. The big question is my towing assembly; it could cost almost $5,000 including parts and installation, to get a new vehicle set up for towing.
I’ll be renting a car in Virginia and will see what my options are when I get to Montreal regarding getting a new toad. I’m fairly confident that the car is worth twice what I owe on it, so there is a chance that I could get the loan cleared and have enough left over to buy a decent used vehicle. One thing is for certain; I have no intention of financing another vehicle.
The big question now is, how do I carry the bike and extra propane tank? I stuffed the car roof rack and whatever I had in the car trunk into the motorhome basement, but the bike and propane tank are going to be tricky.
To my surprise, my insurance company is paying the absurd towing bill for the car, $250. It cost half that to have Miranda towed after she lost her brakes and she was going further! Anyway, the wrecking yard is letting the insurance company settle the bill rather than making me pay it and then be reimbursed, so that’s fine.
As for the inside of the rig, I need to do a thorough evaluation, but I lost one external hard drive and a bunch of dishes. It looks like everything else was secure.
It has been a very long day. The accident happened at 10:30AM. I got to the wrecking yard at 12:30 and called my insurance broker. He told me to stay by the phone and that my insurance companies would call me. I spent about an hour emptying the car (thank you so much to the nice man who helped me get the bike out of the car through the passenger side door since I couldn’t get the trunk open and to the other one who carried my 30lb propane tank the equivalent of a full block). Aviva called me around 3 for the motorhome. I hadn’t heard from Intact for the car so I called my broker back at 4 and he gave me the adjuster’s number. By the time I hung up with her, it was 5:30. It is now 7:45 and I’ve only had a small slice of pizza to eat all day (damn those nerves), so I think I will go grab a few things at the Walmart next door to make a quick cold picnic. Sitting in Miranda today was like sitting in an oven, but at least I was home.