My last post was making fun of Kim’s new car for telling me how to drive. Then…shit happened.
Last Friday night before Christmas, we had made our way across county. We were coming around Indianapolis at midnight after missing all weather and having a smooth trip so far. As we entered a curve on the interstate, I found myself in the outside lane with no car around. We started banking up and to the left and I quickly realized that I was no longer in control of the car. I was driving a tad fast and couldn’t react. The car went into the median on the right side with the right wheels and started to slide. Crash. We just bounced off the guard rail going through the turn. That part wasn’t too bad.
Kim says calmly and loudly, “Kids, we are about to wreck”. I was very nervous. The car bounced off the guardrail and began to spin back out into the interstate. No cars around but we were in an overpass covered tunnel with concrete on both sides. But the scary thing was that the car was rotating back into the highway and anything more than about 45 degrees would cause the wheels to grip the wrong way and us to flip. I had visions of the car rolling and kids dying.
That all happened in a few seconds. Time for the rubber to hit the road. And it did. The car corrected itself hard…in the forward direction. Safe. Phew. Now what?
I just wanted off the road. We found a spot to pull off and went to access the situation. The kids were crying. Kim worked to settle them down. Reagan spilled her chocolate milk everywhere. Apparently, she was not listening when we said she needed to put the lid back on in between sips.
This was probably the first time in my life where I really worried about the inside of the car (meaning the family) vs. the outside of the car. Guess I have evolved. But then again, I haven’t been in a wreck in forever.
Outside, the damage was depressing. Starting from the front bumper, down the quarter panel. Both doors smashed in. The rear quarter panel tore up. The rear bumper shaved off. All the way back to the hitch rack we had on bent up. Both rims have huge chunks of steel shaved off of them too. That guard rail is a few feet off the ground and probably 18″ high or something. Pretty much wrapped the car right through it so it touched from front to rear in a rolling motion.
Luckily, the car was drivable so we decided just to press on the 2 more hours to our family as planned. It was a quiet drive. Lots of “if only”. But still felt good about being able to walk away from the whole thing in tact. In the moment, it didn’t seem like that was certain.