Monday, August 3, 2009

Yep - I'm pretty sure she got a time out

For several weeks there have been little things here and there that I've thought about writing about, but I just haven't gotten around to it.

And then, last night, something happened that absolutely MUST be blogged about.

It's my accident #4 story. I wrote about my first car accident here. I wrote about my second one here. I intended to write about my third one, which is also a must tell story, but for now I'll have to skip it and tell you about my fourth accident.

It was a doozy.

Yesterday afternoon, while we were trying (unsuccessfully) to get Kaitlyn to take a nap, our power went out. This is the second Sunday in a row that our neighborhood suddenly lost power - last Sunday I think an animal (may it RIP) was the cause, and I have no idea what happened yesterday.

We hung around the house for a while before deciding to take a drive. We needed gas, it was dinner time, and somewhere along the way we could stop at Wal-Mart to look at swing sets and pick up some butter. (Random, I know, but we were out of butter and we've been thinking about getting Kaitlyn a swing set. Wal-Mart just happens to sell both of those things.)

We did our driving around, got gas, and went to Wal-Mart, where we looked at swing sets, got our butter, and picked up a sandwich to eat at home for dinner.

We were sitting at a stoplight, waiting to exit the Wal-Mart parking lot and turn left onto the road that would take us home.

Our light turned green. As Mike started into the intersection, we both saw a red truck speeding towards us, running the light that had just turned red for her. She was headed straight for our car.

Mike's instincts kicked in and he sped up, trying to make it to the other side of the intersection before she hit us. He was hoping she would swerve the other way and attempt to miss us, but she didn't - I don't think she even hit her brakes.

She slammed into the back driver's side door area, which was the only spot in the car where no one was sitting.

We swirled around the intersection - thankfully there was no oncoming traffic for us to run into. As soon as the car stopped we both got out and rushed around to Kaitlyn, who was hysterical.

I looked up to see the red truck limping off down the road. I thought they were attempting to move out of the way, but tried to get a good look at the license plate in case they were actually running away. But my brain just could not process what I was looking at, let alone help me to find a pen and paper to write down the number. Instead, I saw that Mike was attending to Kaitlyn so I quickly found my phone and dialed 911.

As I was telling the dispatcher what happened, I kept looking around for the truck and kept telling the dispatcher that I had no idea where it was. I was panicked. By that time several witnesses had come over to us and reassured me that the driver, a woman, had pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot. They pointed to where her truck was parked.

I finished my conversation with the dispatcher, then turned my attention to Kaitlyn. She seemed to be ok, aside from the drama of having experienced her first car accident. But we didn't want to pull her out of her booster seat until the paramedics arrived, just in case.

Then I realized that Mike was hurting - I'm pretty sure he whacked his head against the window during the impact. After talking with him, we decided that he should go to the hospital to get checked out. I also called my parents to see if they could come and help out.

By this time we were wondering where in the world the police/paramedics were. It seemed like it was taking them FOREVER to come! Mike and I noted that there were two people sitting on the ground next to the red truck, who we assumed were the driver and a passenger. We were more than a little annoyed that they didn't come over to see if we were ok.

Then the firemen/paramedics arrived, and it was a circus of trying to get Kaitlyn to make friends with the fireman who was checking her out, answering questions from the county officer who responded, and dealing with Mike getting strapped to a stretcher and put into the ambulance. As I type this and think back to the situation, I'm amazed at how calm I was which is definitely a testimony of how God was at work.

I only spoke with the officer for a few seconds, and as soon as I pointed out the red truck that hit us, he left to go talk with them.

I turned my attention back to Mike and Kaitlyn, and it was about this time that my parents showed up. Mike went off in the ambulance, Kaitlyn was now talking the fireman's ear off (telling him how she had blonde hair, and had just gotten a new table and chairs that were purple, and whatever else happened to pop into her little head), and I was working with my dad to clean out our car.

I think that's when I first overheard the firemen talking and became aware of what was happening with the driver.

She wasn't sitting on the curb next to her truck.

She had disappeared into Wal-Mart.

Seriously? (I know I use this word a lot, but seriously, if ever there was a time to use it, it's RIGHT HERE.)

At this point we didn't know why she had gone in there. Was she making a phone call? Maybe, like me, she really needed some butter?

After waiting for what seemed like an eternity the officer finally came back to get my information.

That's when it was confirmed to me that she was evading the police. In Wal-Mart.

Originally, Mike was worried that maybe he hadn't really had a green light - maybe he was at fault? Even though I had already assured him that he DID have the green light, I'm pretty sure that no one is going to contest whose fault it is when the other driver feels the need to take refuge in the world's largest retailer.

It sort of reminds me of Where the Heart Is, only the renegade hit-and-run version.

After the tow truck came and we finally got everything taken care of at the scene of the accident, we drove over to the red truck to take a look at it and to get some photos. (What did we do before cell phone cameras?)

That's when it really hit me - she absolutely intended to run away. She plowed through a red light, smashed our car, could have killed my husband, and she tried to run away. What a punk.

Her front fender punctured her tire, making it impossible for her to go anywhere. Well, impossible to drive anywhere.

Her truck was also filled to the brim - in the back she had mattresses and furniture, and in the passenger seat she had several garbage bags stuffed full of who-knows-what.

We drove past the front of the store, where there were two or three county sheriff's cars, and all of the fire vehicles that had been at the scene of the accident were now parked out front. I'm not sure where she thought she was going to go.

We went to the hospital to get Mike, and after waiting there for 45 minutes or so (or at least it felt like it was that long) he was discharged and we headed home, with a stop at the Taco Bell drive thru so we could finally eat dinner.

Kaitlyn didn't get to bed until after 10pm, and about 30 minutes later the county officer called to tell us that the woman had turned herself in. He suspects that she was drunk at the time of our accident, but she evaded the police long enough for the alcohol to work its way out of her system, at least to the point where they wouldn't be able to prove anything.

However, on the radio this morning Mike heard a local station reporting on our accident and they said that open containers had been found in the car. (I'm not sure how true that is because they also reported that a two-year-old had been taken to the hospital.)

We also got the incident report, which stated that the other driver had been arrested on two misdimeanor charges. (She got a time out and went to jail.)

Oh, and she's uninsured.

But the truck she was driving is registered to someone else. We hope he/she has insurance.

We're pretty sure our car is totaled.

We're not sure how all of this will play out.


We are sure of who's hands we're in. (And it's not All State.)

And we are sure that he works all things together for our GOOD.

We're putting one foot in front of the other, taking one step at a time, and when we get discouraged we stop and remember what happened one year ago tomorrow, when we closed on our house. Our house that is above and beyond what we could have asked or imagined.

I also look at what happened and realize we are so blessed to have walked away from this without serious injury. If Mike had not sped up to get through the intersection, the other driver would have smashed directly into Mike's door. I don't want to think about what would have happened to him.

Speaking of Mike... he just got home, so I will wrap this up for now. I'll be sure to post updates later this week.


Esther said...

Your dad called last night. Yes, it could have been much worse. You have the inconvenience of a car you can't use, time spent in a way you wouldn't plan but you are all ok. One never knows what God may be doing thru "annoyances" that come up. Some good will come out of it.

Willow Tree said...

What a punk, Indeed! I'm so glad you guys are ok. I am thankful you still have humor; that with faith will take you far. :)

I got hit by a car when I was 13. (like walking across the road) I am told I jumped straight up in the air right before impact. The car broke my pelvic bone in 3 places, but if I hadn't jumped it would have smashed my rib cage and given me all kinds of internal damage. Can't tell me He does not guide us in trouble.


Diane said...

I am so glad everyone is okay ! Wow what a story!!!!!!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Erin!!! Oh my word. That is CRAZINESS. I am so glad you guys are ok, but I'm really sorry about the car being totalled. Keep us updated...