Filed under: 1992 Chevrolet Beretta (Purple People Eater)
1. Will & I had to run to the city (10min away); it was 9am. I slapped on my new wiper blades & we visited his grandparents for an hour or so. We were inside the city, so the speed limit is 30mph.
2. Leaving his grandparents, we come to "that" traffic light. It's a bad spot to be. There's a church on the corner to my right, a house with overgrown bushes on the corner to my left, and empty lots on the two corners across from me.
3. The light's red and there's a phone company truck in front of me. The light turns green, but the guy is so busy looking down & talking on the phone that he doesn't notice. I wait, figuring that like most people, he'll look up & go. For whatever reason, I didn't beep my horn. The light goes red again, so we waited.
4. A couple seconds after the light went yellow (it holds yellow for ~4sec) for the intersecting road, there was a car coming around the curve in the road on the left. That curve is about 200ft away from the intersection. The nature of that curve & the bushes to the left means that you can't see the car as well once it passes that curve.
5. By the time the light goes green again, a car has come to a stop (for their red light) to my right at the intersection. The truck in front of me starts to go since he was actually looking up this time to see the light.
6. Because this intersection is pretty blind to my left, I double check my left as I let the car roll into the intersection. The truck in front of me was only 1/4 in the intersection at that point. My car was about 1/4 of the way into the intersection. I looked to my left (again) right before I went to press the gas pedal.
7. When I looked, the car that had been 200ft away only ~3 seconds earlier, was about 1ft from my car. I remember the deer in headlights look she had on her face. She never touched the brakes until after the impact. She ended up slamming into my fender, right in front of the tire.
8. All I remember is a loud noise and immediately dead silence. My vision blacked out for a second or two. I remember the airbag deploying at an extremely slow rate.
9. I immediately started beating the airbag down so I could see to steer myself out of further danger. I ended up steering to the right, right up onto the sidewalk, and my bumper coming to rest on the church steps. I was now facing the opposite direction I was when I entered the intersection.
10. The car smelled awful. There was the stale smell of the airbag, the smell of antifreeze, and the smell of the smoke coming from the engine.
11. Will asked me if I was alright, but my first thought was to turn off the car so nothing went into flames, and to put it in park so it didn't roll back into traffic. I then struggled to get my seatbelt off & the door open. All I wanted was to get out so I could have fresh air. Then I finally answered his question, letting him know I was alright.
12. The ambulance station, fire department, and police station were all 200ft down the road. The ambulance was there shortly after I got out. It turns out that the truck in front of me called the accident in since he saw it happen in his mirrors.
13. Prior to the ambulance, I was pissed at that girl for not only speeding through the city, but also for running that red light. She was on the other side of the road apologising & crying. I was on my side of the road, pacing, mumbling pissed off comments to myself.
14. It turns out that the third car involved (the one who was stopped for the light) had been hit by the girl after she hit my car. We all got checked out by the EMT's; my blood pressure & heart rate were perfect.
15. I wouldn't let them call their own tow truck (just a random local one). I had them call my tow guy, and I wouldn't let my tow guy move the car until my dad got there with the digital camera. Yea, everyone laughed at me wanting to wait so I could get pictures.
16. Funnily enough, my grill was on the other side of the street in perfect condition. Her car & the 3rd car both had minor damage. The only visible damage to their cars were sidemarker/headlight lens' being broken or cracked.
17. The police wrote up their report, and gave us each a copy (which I still have). The girl was ticketed. Her statement said that she thought the light was flashing yellow, because it's always flashing yellow whenever she goes home for lunch (even though this happened hours before most people get lunch break).
18. It wasn't until an hour later that I lost my adrenaline rush enough to go from laughing about where I landed, to just losing emotional control over what happened.
19. Within 4hrs the adrenaline rush was completely gone, and my back started killing me. It got to the point where even sitting/laying still was painful. It turns out that I had pretty severe whiplash. She hit me hard enough (she never touched the breaks until after the impact) that my head whipped to the side/back pretty bad.
20. Claim numbers were exchanged. Will told the story for me because I couldn't talk about it. A week later the adjuster came out to see my car. I got a copy of his paperwork/quote, along with a check for $1800. That car wasn't worth more than $600B, and $800NADA.
The guy gave me an extra $200 for it having a sunroof. The new (1mo old) rims & tires got me another $400 iirc. The exterior paint looked good (it was only the front that had the dents & peeling paint). Having cruise & auto locks got me extra too. Then I spent $2000 on the Z26, which I bought on valentine's day of '04. :)
Attached is a picture of what the scene would have looked like when the girl was first coming around the corner.
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