Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Kind of Weekend Where You're Glad You Have Good Insurance

I dropped off my daughter and some of her friends at a dance last weekend and was happily coming home when a Hyundai Accent, driven by a young man 18-20ish, tried to make a turn too fast. He ploughed over the median and took out the road sign before ramming me along the side and back end.

Honestly I didn't even see the whole thing. It was only from the witnesses who pulled over to help that I even pieced together the chain of events. They said he flew over the hill toward the turn, going "about 70 or 80" in the 45 mph zone and while I'm sure that's a great exaggeration it gives you an idea of the kind of damage and the kind of person we're dealing with here.

Once we stopped moving Lillian (who was the only person with me) burst into tears and those who had seen the accident rushed over to make sure we were okay--especially with the sound of a crying child. By the time I'd calmed her down the police were there and began doing their job to make sense of what had happened.

While I sat in our mangled car, comforting Lily, I watched the man who'd hit me. He was talking to his friend who'd been in the passenger seat and the two made a couple cell phone calls then settled down to start laughing and joking about the whole thing. They walked around their car, looked at the damage, tugged at their sagging pants and made a couple more calls before talking with the police officer.

When the officer got to me he delivered the good news that my friend wasn't even insured. Of course.

The officers went around taking pictures and eventually arrested the guy in the blue car. I wonder what his friend did to find a ride home? Maybe that's why he was on his cell phone so much.

Anyway, as I sat there in a bit of shock, my car smashed up and my child sniffling it was a bit hard not to really dislike this jerk who never even looked at me. Forget taking care of the mess he'd made he didn't even come over to say he was sorry or find out if he'd killed anyone.

Most likely the incident would slow him down for a bit (while his car was impounded) but he'd probably be back on the road before six months were out, driving erratically once again. My dislike passed into stronger feelings as I felt myself loathing people like him who care about no one but themselves. What would it take for someone like him to change? Actually killing someone?

Then I noticed the others who were there. There were six or seven people who'd seen what had happened and instead of driving off with a glance in their rear view mirror, assuming someone else would take care of things, stopped to help. They wanted to make sure we were okay, they called the police and then waited with us for forty minutes to give testimony and see what they could do to help--none of which they were forced to do. The police officers too were kind and helpful, it was just that one other person who had problems with that whole "Good Samaritan" scenario.

It made me think that while it's easy to look at the world and see the bad side of things and think things are bleak and dismal there's really so much more that is good going on. I think it's just that those who cause the problems get most of the publicity and the problems they can cause happen in an instant while the quiet work the good people out there are doing takes years to see fruition.

Luckily my irritation at the man passed. Afterall, at least no one was hurt, I had a wonderful family to go home to and my life is good.

He's
going to be riding bus for awhile.

93 comments:

Peruby said...

That is horrible! I should have been a judge! I would take somebody like him and make them work for a month with folks who had been disabled by a vehicle accident. Sigh. Probably wouldn't help the idiot.

So glad you and yours are okay. I hope Lillian didn't have nightmares.

Bee said...

To read about his attitude made him so angry! But you're right. We needn't think that the bad guys have won. The good guys are there seeing that they don't.

One Mom said...

Hope he's off the road for a long, long, long time. It is reassuring to have the caring support of strangers and wise of you to focus on that and the fact that you and Lillian were able to walk away unharmed. Despite the shock factor, aggravation and anger, there is still a lot to be thankful for here. Glad you're ok.

Michemily said...

I cannot believe he did not even face you. I just learned that if someone here in Switzerland gets in a crash within two years of getting a license, they lose it. That sounds pretty good to me.

chelle said...

Egads! So glad you guys are both ok!!!

Jennifer said...

Sorry you had to deal with that, but so glad you and Lily are okay.

I appreciate that you were able to look at the bright side of this too... too often people just want to rant about the wrong in the world and not pay attention to the nice things we experience.

cndymkr / jean said...

First, I'm glad to hear that you guys are ok. Being in an accident is one of the scariest things (I might have been in a few). I wonder if the guy was driving under the influence? That might explain the bad driving and the worse attitude. That fact that you were able to see that there were good people helping you says alot about your character. I hope you get back on the road soon.

Diane@kidoozy.com said...

Thank God you're ok, since it sounds like it could've been alot worse.
I've been hit twice in the past 3 years (with little ones in the car)by teen drivers and they both (a boy and a girl) were extremely concerned and apologetic. Sounds like you just experienced an unthoughtful kid.
But it sounds like you have lots of other wonderful people there in Alaska!

Jolanthe said...

Glad to hear you all are ok - sorry about the car!

Shelly said...

What a complete jerk and idiot! I'm so sorry this happened to you and glad that you are okay and able to look at the positive side of the situation.

Chele said...

WOW! I don't understand some people. Although I am so glad to hear everyone is okay! The vehicle can be replaced but lives cannot. I hope that this kid realizes what he has done and what could've happened. Goodness!

Amber said...

Wow, how scary! I am so glad you were both OK. I would have been frustrated/angry at him, too. But how wonderful you saw the good in the situation!

The Source said...

So glad that you and little Lillian are ok. That must have been so frightening for her! Sorry that the guy who hit you was such a creep, but I gues we never know how others are going to react...even to their own actions! I'm happy that there were people willing to stop and help.

Laura Moffitt said...

I am so sorry to hear that!!! I am glad you and Lily are ok. Is she nervous to drive now? How are you about driving? After any kind of collision it takes me a while to feel comfortable driving again.

Blog O' Beth said...

You are a better woman than I. I have often imagined myself beating any person senseless who ever has the misfortune of having a car accident with me while my children are in the car. I don't think I could have contained myself. However, I applaud your ability to focus on the generosity of others and not the selfishness of one.

Trixie said...

Oh my! So sorry you were in an accident, but am glad you are both okay. The good samaritans really make our world special!

Trixie

Stephanie said...

I am glad you and your daughter are ok. It is hard for me to understand people who are so unthoughtful.

Stephanie said...

I am glad you and your daughter are ok. It is hard for me to understand people who are so unthoughtful.

Maddy said...

Shaken not stirred. I'm so glad that you're both o.k. I'm also really glad that you were able to flip it = concentrate on all the warm people offering help and concern rather that the little ice-cube of indifference.
Best wishes

mannequin said...

ew... we had a similar experience a few years ago. After a man ran a stop sign and crashed my car (that had my child in it), he jumped out and started professing his innocence. There were witnesses that confronted him and he very quickly changed his tune.
Not once did he ask if my child was okay. Same response as you got, not even a glance. I tried to stress to my son that yes, that man was wrong but what about the witness that ran inside and got an ice cream cone for my son while we waited for assistance.

Carina said...

You're right, it's easy to get all caught up loathing the jerks and miss all the really cool people out there who are reaching out. Thanks for the reminder, and I'm sorry about your accident.

Jen R. (aaron-n-jen.com) said...

I'm glad you are okay!

Chasity said...

I'm glad that both you and your daughter were OK. And that in such a horrible situation, there were good people around to help you. When faced with someone self-centered and rude, I always try to remind myself that for every one of them there are at least 10 people with kind, giving spirits. Otherwise, I think my blood pressure might be permanently high.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Holy cow! Your perspective is admirable, and I'm so glad you're okay.

Beck said...

!!!
I'm so glad you were both okay. And at least he's getting charged, I guess.

Heart2Heart said...

Michelle,

Sad but so true. Today's generation is in way too much of a hurry to care anymore. I could picture everything when you described it, down to the sagging pants.

Thought that phase would have passed by now, but that is for another day!

So glad that you and Lillian were ok, except for rattled nerves and stuck dealing with all the insurance paperwork. We just dealt with the same thing. A college student rear ended us, cause she wasn't paying attention. Her second accident this year, same thing. Never got out of the car once, just sat in there while me and the police officers handled things.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Rani said...

I can't imagine what I would feel if I was in an accident, let alone with my children.

I am thankful that you are all right and that no one was seriously injured.

The right and proper thing would have been for him to come to you and at least ask if you were all right. Ignorance and pride and immaturity seems to have clouded his judgment, and probably led him to the speeding in the first place.

We don't really know what he is thinking or feeling. Perhaps he relives the accident every night, too.

Forgiveness is the most difficult thing for me in situations like these. It sounds like you may have already done it. Good for you. I think forgiving him would be my biggest obstacle.

I hope that he learns from his mistake and loses a bit of his cocky attitude as he experiences the judicial system.

Oh, and don't you just love a good samaritan?

Glad you are home safe and able to write about it!

Kara said...

OH my gosh - I'm so glad everyone is okay!!

Amazed at your attitude towards him, though - I could learn a thing or two. And man, it's good to hear stories about how the good in almost all others comes out in those times - I've seen a few similar situations and almost want to send a thank you card to those who took the time out of their day to help us or others.

Laura said...

Wow nothing like putting a little perspective into your day huh. So glad you or your daughter weren't hurt. Scary!

fruitfulwords said...

It surprises me sometimes how quickly life tunrs from fine to "ouch." I'm glad you all are okay.

jubilee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jubilee said...

So glad that you and Lillian are OK.

It is so difficult to not feel rage and frustration when someone acts so completely idiotic. Seems humility and common courtesy is lost on him. And that is very, very sad. Wonder how he would have handled the situation had it been his daughter in the car with him?

Probably not as gracefully as you.

Amy said...

I'm sorry to hear about the car accident. I hope your daughter is not too traumatized. But I really appreciate your point about how a jerk like that is the exception, not the rule. Your good attitude will probably help Lillian to get over this. Still, take care and take it easy.

M said...

I'm so sorry! When G was about 3 weeks old we got hit by a hit-and-run and a whopping 0 people stopped to help us....I pulled over, hopped out of the car and got the driver's license number. I mean, it was the middle of the day! Did he think I was BLIND?

Of course, he had no insurance and happened to be in the country illegally so I didn't get a lot of redress. But I did have the smug satisfaction of good presence of mind. ;)

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Kudos to you for taking a terrible accident and looking for the good that was shown and done. Great example for us but more importantly for your children. Hopefully Lillian will recover from the emotional stress. Glad you were both kept safe!

Littlemummy said...

That's awful, people like that really wind me up. Problem is that the law isn't harsh enough on them.

Headless Mom said...

Glad you're both ok! It's also nice to know that you are able to see the positive side in this. I'm not sure I'd be so generous.

Although I'd love for someone to hit my car. Preferably when it was parked with no one in it.

Melanie J said...

I'm glad you're okay and that you have such a healthy, Christ-like perspective on this.

angie said...

It's those people who are willing to sacrifice a few hours to do the right thing that re-assure me that there really are lots of good people out there. :)

I'm so glad that you were not hurt. I'm sorry for the major inconvenience this has certainly been though.

Amanda @ www.kiddio.org said...

How infuriating! Something similar happened to me when I was in College--driving my '66 Mercedes coupe (her name is Bessie, she mostly lives in the garage now). Dude in his little street racer tried to pass me ON THE RIGHT in an INTERSECTION! The accident was unavoidable (by me anyway, his stupidity is another matter altogether), and he proceeded to get out of his car and yell at me about what I "did to his car!" WTF?!? Actual chrome and thick sixties sheet metal is a lot more precious than his crappy little honda. Argh, I still get mad about that!
Glad you're all okay!
xo, Amanda @ kiddio

Amanda @ www.kiddio.org said...

How infuriating! Something similar happened to me when I was in College--driving my '66 Mercedes coupe (her name is Bessie, she mostly lives in the garage now). Dude in his little street racer tried to pass me ON THE RIGHT in an INTERSECTION! The accident was unavoidable (by me anyway, his stupidity is another matter altogether), and he proceeded to get out of his car and yell at me about what I "did to his car!" WTF?!? Actual chrome and thick sixties sheet metal is a lot more precious than his crappy little honda. Argh, I still get mad about that!
Glad you're all okay!
xo, Amanda @ kiddio

Scribbit said...

I didn't put a few details in but if it makes you guys feel better (and it made me feel better) he works for USAF. Yup, he's living on base and works for the Air Force. Too bad for him because I think those military guys are slightly less forgiving than I am.

At least it also means that it'll be easier to collect on this whole thing too.

Then also I'm less irritated because we have good insurance :) We'll have to pay a slight deductible (though they don't call it that) but then State Farm will pay for all the repairs and go after this guy for reinbursement. The first dollars they collect will go to us to repay the "deductible" we had to pay.

We had an uninsured motorist rear end us several years ago and it was remarkably smooth thanks to the insurance company.

Gosh I sound like a commercial.

Patricia Linehan said...

How scary! Glad you and your daughter are okay.

Carrie said...

Oh, wow, I'm so glad you weren't hurt! And that's a great perspective- focusing on all the people who waited & stayed to help instead of the one selfish, irresponsible jerk who caused your accident. :)

Naomi said...

Not to make light of the situation- I am certainly glad no one was injured- but I read the name of the car "Hyundai Accident" initially and thought you were being ironic. I am such a dork.

The only accident I have ever been in (thankfully!), I was hit by an elderly man with Coke bottle glasses who berated me for having the audacity to turn in front of him. Some people are not very nice. But there are plenty who are. I saw a man fall out of his electric wheelchair onto the sidewalk a few months ago and stopped to help. He was too big for me to lift myself but a couple of young teen boys came out of nowhere and helped me to right him and get him going again. Several other people stopped to ask if they could help. It really made my day knowing that people take the time to help others. I would like to think that most people would. Of course, I would also like to think that most people would take responsibility and have insurance if they are driving. Grrr.

Kacie said...

Yuck! I'm so sorry you had to deal with that and I'm glad you and your daughter are ok.

Take the jerk to small claims court and sue for your deductible (at least!). Shame on him for driving without insurance! And shame on him for his terrible attitude.

Mirien said...

How scary! I'm glad you and Lily are fine and that you have a good attitude. Sorry that you have a lot of work ahead of you because of that kid's carelessness. Hope you can straighten everything out soon. So, he can afford a cell phone, but not insurance???

Melissa said...

What a good perspective! I probably would've stayed mad way too long! I am glad that you all were okay, and that you were able to focus on the "good" around you instead of the bad.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

So so glad you are both OK...what a jerk!

Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

Lucy said...

May something really rotten happen to him someday. Yikes...did I say that? Good Christian person that I am? Well, yes.

Jennifer said...

So glad that you guys are okay!!

Rachel C. said...

You're great to see so much good in so much bad! I'm impressed. And you know, even though he didn't show any remorse at the time, I'm sure his actions will weigh on him in the future. But what a rotten guy! I'm glad that you and your daughter are alright and that your insurance will get you fixed up again!

Janel said...

I'm glad to hear that you weren't hurt. Accidents like that can be physically devistating as well as just being a pain. ;)

The guy that hit my friend and I last July, while he had insurance, had been in another accident 2 days before! His insurance company hasn't been all that gracious and, thanks to him, I've lost siginificant portions of the last 10+ months.

The good news is that because of this, my older kids learned to cook and clean better - so I have less to do! It works, I guess.

Neas Nuttiness said...

I'm so glad that you neither you or Lilly were injured!

Leisa Hammett said...

Wow. Glad you are safe. I found it took a few weeks to recover from an impact several years ago. Go easy. And, thank you for sharing this perspective. This is how I've chosen to live in the face of the challenges of job loss (once upon a time,) a child with autism and a divorce. It's all about attitude and choice in my book. Still digesting your ebook (over lunches and snacks between work. Slowly. Only just now read your advice about email contacts...after you got to my blog and didn't find one. Soon! Also, I'm looking up everyone you mention and leaving comments, usually, and noting you were my source to their blog.

gretchen from lifenut said...

I hope he's riding the bus!

I am so sorry that happened to you, but I'm glad you are okay. I hope your repairs go smoothly and your daughter doesn't have any lasting anxiety regarding what happened. Poor kiddo.

emily said...

My family and I were the first on the scene of a horrible crash as we headed up to Hatcher's Pass last week for a memorial day hike. This, too, was caused by some extremely careless young pants-saggers who were RACING down the windy mountain pass and lost control, plunging head-on into the car ahead of us. It's hard to put into words the kind of anger that wells up for such careless disrespect for the sanctity of life.

http://palenskepod.blogspot.com/2009/05/picture-day-may-25.html

ewe are here said...

Ugh. Something similar happened to me over 10 years ago, except the idiot kids that hit me actually took off! Luckily, witnesses chased them down and the police caught up to them; their parents coughed up to fix everything (they weren't insured, of course so I wouldn't press criminal charges.

Glad you're both ok -- that's the most important thing.

Teaching Kids Yoga said...

Thank God you're okay, hope you have a chance to take care of yourself after a shocker like that.

Summer said...

I'm afraid I would have approached him about his disgusting behavior. I'm sort of confrontational toward people who almost kill me or my children. :P

Glad you're okay.

Janet said...

I'm glad you're OK and that other people stayed so the police had evidence to arrest that idiot. You have to wonder too if he had prior offenses. They should probably take away his phone - that would hurt him worse than losing the car.

jacjewelry said...

Ah so glad you and your daughter are OK! Can't believe the driver who hit you.

Organizing Mommy said...

So glad you are O.K. hugs.

Pmom@ChocolateandGarlic.com said...

Scribbit--this was a wonderful post. Thank you! I think we have all felt that kind of anger. It is easy to get caught up in it and have it sour your whole mood, your whole day, week, even life. I loved the second part of your post where you discussed the second part of your observation. The people quiety doing good. How wonderful to see that they outnumbered the two thoughtless ones. May it always be so.

I don't remember how old Lillian is. Is she little? Over or under 8? I hope you are both okay emotionally and physically. Even when you feel find it can take a while to get over these things.

I have had an irrational fear/hatred of Cadillac Escalades ever since being backed into by one. Writing that now and thinking over your post, I realize that I need to work on getting over that.

jeanie said...

Oh goodness!! I am so glad you and your little one are okay - and that so many good people gave you the faith to not be severely bent by the other driver's attitude.

Amber M. said...

Holy.Cow.

I'm so glad you are both okay.

miriama said...

I am sorry you were in this accident. I know how hard it is on the kids even if they are not hurt. And I am so glad the people stopped to help. In this day and age it isn't that often you can count on that.

As for the offenders, I still believe the best punishment is paying for what they do. You choose to rip sinks out of a rest area park then you get to help fix them. You drive uninsured then you are given a payment plan to pay for it. I don't care if it is five dollars a month for the rest of your life. Only then will people take responsibility for their actions.

Again, I am sorry for your accident.

Jen at Semantically driven said...

I'm so glad you're both ok. But that driver - what a tosser.

Paula said...

I am glad that you are okay. And it was good the way the good samaritans helped you....hopefully that driver will not kill someone but will grow up and learn from this. But I doubt it

Flea said...

I'm so glad y'all aren't hurt. Hopefully he'll be sitting in a jail cell for a few days. Or months. I don't know how these things work.

illahee said...

how frightening!! i'm glad you and lillian are not seriously hurt.

Mandy said...

Well I am happy to hear it was not anymore serious than that. Car accidents definitely shake one up for awhile, very scary.

I totally agree, have to see the good when bad things happen. Last week I was driving the kids to a baseball game, stopped at a stop sign and my car jerked. I thought I was rear ended and looked around and saw I was NOT hit but confused. Then I step on the gas to go and my car starts to rolls down the decline of the hill I was on. We were on one of the busiest intersections in town and cars were lined up behind me so I try and roll my window down to tell them to go around and my window won't work! Long story long now, hahaha! The guy behind me comes over and says let me take a look, climbs in and says, "yeah its bad, we will push you to the side" so him and his wife try and push me off the side of the road and then 4 other men stop and help them! I was VERY grateful! (It was my transmission, ugh.)

NGS said...

Eeek!! I'm glad you and Lily are okay.

Last January someone with a suspended license and no insurance hit me in my car. Five months later, I'm still getting mail from chiropractors and massage therapists claiming that if I feel any pain, it might still be from that accident! I feel like it just follows me around.

Abby said...

I'm so glad you and your daughter are safe and sound! What a great way of looking at a bad situation. Why or why and how do so many get away with no car insurance?

Serena said...

I'm so glad you and Lillian are okay! You are more than gracious. It would have taken me at least six months to focus on the good instead of that idiot.

Heather said...

Wow. People like that jerk that hit you make my blood boil. You're a stronger woman than I.

stacief said...

I am so glad you both are okay! What a weekend!

karen said...

So glad to hear you and Lily weren't hurt! Awful to have to deal with, though, and I'm sorry you need to. The rotten guy will get his own...I have faith in karma.

Lisa said...

So glad you guys are okay!!

The whole thing bugs me to death! I kept wondering when you were going to mention him checking on you. And no insurance?! Being arrested won't change that.

Several years ago just a couple of blocks from our home, someone came around a corner and ran my husband off the road. He ended up going through trees that could have been really bad for him. Instead it just totaled his car. Luckily someone stopped to give another statement that matched Don's because the person who ran him off the road actually hit him, but kept on going.

The suckish thing about that is that you still get to cover your own deductible. :(

Good luck with all the mess you will go through to get things back to normal.

Poor Lily!!

Melissa-Mc said...

I am SO glad you and Lily are okay. How scary.

Terresa said...

I'm glad you & your daughter are OK. That's one of my nightmares, to be in a car accident. but a much worse one would be to come out terribly injured or...worse.

You are blessed and lucky.

Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) said...

I'm soooooo sorry!!!! How frustrating... but sooooo happy to hear you're okay.

Robin said...

Holy smokes, thank goodness you and Lillian are alright.

You have an amazing attitude, to be able to not only find but then focus on the good in such a negative experience.

Be gentle with yourself today, give both your body and your mind a chance to rest and regroup.

Chris said...

Glad you guys weren't hurt. What a jerk!

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I'm so glad you're both OK! Watch out for aches and pains that creep on in the next few days...I was in an accident once and felt fine right after, but in about a week, started having HORRIBLE headaches that necessitated physical therapy. Whiplash, I guess.

Was this the new car? Or the one I saw when I was there all that time ago? (Feb 08)

Brillig said...

Oh my goodness. What a nightmare! I love your attitude about the whole thing. I think I'd still be stuck on hating the guy. But I'm so glad that there were so many good people to help out.

I'm glad everyone's okay. I hope that the whole event doesn't cause too much trauma to the soul, for you or Lillian!

Leisa Hammett said...

Michelle, I have cited this post twice, on a social media site I moderate and in my blog post today: http://leisahammett.typepad.com/the_journey_with_grace/2009/06/disability-deficit-or-abundance.html Thank you!

Lori said...

Poor you! Poor Lily! I think your anger left a lot faster than mine would have, but I need to work on having a more positive outlook, like yours!

I once was in an accident that was completely my fault, though I think the light may have been messing with me to this day, and my car was totalled and driven off by a tow truck. The officer drove off and the couple who I had hit drove away (they drove over my car and had to reverse off of it, but had the monster truck to make that fine, we paid $50 for having a scratch buffed out on their bumper--I was lucky). So I'm alone on the side of the rural highway, crying, and the witness who stuck around for thirty minutes drove me home. People can be so amazing.

Hairline Fracture said...

So glad you're okay.

Hazel said...

T'other person had a problem with the Good Samaritan story? So did those who beat-up and robbed the original Samaritan in Christ's story about whom we hear nothing more than that they left the man to die.

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

Catching up and, forgive me, I can't help but be irritated and downright PISSED with this kid. Real funny, until he finally does kill someone. You are a much better person than I am, my friend. Glad all is well. How' the poor Kia?

Michele said...

So glad you are okay. My husband was in an accident today. Lady pulled out in front of him. No one saw it and she denies it and calls him a liar. Sigh. What a pain. But at least everyone is okay. Yes, there are jerks in this world, but there are a lot of good people, too.