We are alive.  And so is the gal in the other car.

And sometimes that’s all that matters.

Today was certainly an adventure, and we haven’t seen the end of it yet.  We have more to get figured out tomorrow but I wanted to post this tonight while the details were still fresh.

A Normal Day

We had been on the road since 8:30 AM starting out in Georgia. Yesterday we left the trailer at a friend’s house in NE Georgia while we book home for the holidays. 

While the Atlanta news was making a big deal over the snow, temps, and wind the expressway was actually in good shape. It was about 2:30 PM and we had just been discussing MsBoyink taking over the wheel until our destination of Louisville, KY. 

The Accident - What I Remember

I happened to glance in the rear-view mirror and saw a car approaching behind at what looked like a pretty good clip. I was doing 60 MPH (we prefer to keep our speed down to save on fuel and not get so stressed while driving). 

At first I thought this car was being driven by a wanna-be racer, waiting until the last minute to dive into the other land and zip around.  Then I saw the car go violently left and narrowly missing our rear bumper. 

I knew immediately that it was an unplanned move.  I watched out my side window as the car went into the posts and cables that are in the meridian.  I knew what was going to happen - it was going to overcorrect and come back across the road towards us. 

I had two options; slam on my brakes and hope the car went in front of us or speed up and hope it went behind us.  I knew there was more traffic behind us so chose the second option, but it’s a truck and not a Ferrari and I wasn’t quick enough to get out of the way. 

The car hit our truck in front of the drivers side rear wheel behind the rear door where Miranda sits. 

What I Don’t Remember

At this point what happened is unclear and no one who saw the accident stuck around to tell us. 
We ended up heading into the ditch on the right side of the road at a 90 degree angle. What I don’t know (and none of us can remember for sure) is if the truck first swung to the passenger side, then I over-corrected and it swung back to the driver’s side and went into the ditch, or if somehow we went completely around before heading in.

I do know both MsBoyink and I had the same fear - and that was where the traffic behind us was going to go.  I somehow (even now it amazes me) had the presence of mind to gun it through the ditch and get the truck through it and over on the small hill next to the ditch.

The Aftermath

The next minutes were a blur of hugging my daughter, checking to see if everyone was OK, and becoming incredibly furious at this young gal who I think was both speeding and driving distracted. 

There was a lot of room for her to see us before her too-late reaction and now I have a wrecked truck, wrecked clothing, and a hassle to deal with right before the holidays.

MsBoyink really stepped up post-accident, collecting strewn goods from the bed of the truck (other motorists did stop long enough to check on people and gather some stuff), getting kids situated, and me taking care of.

The Greedy Tow Truck Driver

The police came, the ambulances came, the fire trucks came.  Everyone was great - with the exception of the tow truck driver. 

I couldn’t get the truck back through the ditch so needed a quick winch, and he insisted on $40 for the work - even though he would be getting paid to collect the other car.  I didn’t have cash and offered a card. 

He wanted to take that back to the previous exit to run it at the office. I was having none of it.  I really wanted to tell him to stuff his fee but he insisted on payment, and I was worried he’d cry foul to the Police if I refused. 

MsBoyink found enough cash between her wallet and the kids to pay him and get him out of our hair.  Then we found out that the police and ambulance staff thought he was being a crook as well - so I probably could have just refused payment.


After dealing with all the various people we gathered up clothes that had gotten caught under the other car and drenched in antifreeze and oil, got back in the truck, and headed down the road hoping things would hold together. 

We drove 30 miles up the road in order to find a hotel to check into and hopes of a decent, non-close-to-an-expressway mechanic/shop to inspect the truck tomorrow.  It runs and drives, but the alignment is off and it feels like the rear may be dog-tracking some. 

I’m still mad it happened, am fearful of the damage that’s not yet obvious, and not looking forward to dealing with it all. 

The Other Driver

But I feel bad for the other driver, she’s a young college student and probably not flush with cash to buy another car.  I’m betting she’ll also have some nightmares over what might have happened, if there weren’t cables to prevent her from going into the oncoming lane, if other cars (or semis) hadn’t been able to avoid the accident, if there had been injuries, or deaths. 

My only hope is that whatever was causing her to be distracted doesn’t happen again and she’s smarter about driving, having a taste of what the consequences might be.

Giving Thanks

As for us, we’re tucked in, warm, alive, with full bellies and just thanking God that we survived, and more cognizant of the gift that life is and ever more determined to try and enjoy every day we are gifted.

14 Comments Accident!

  1. Picture of Margie Lundy Margie Lundy December 13, 2010

    Wow, so glad you’re all okay. And really great that you weren’t towing the RV too!

  2. Picture of Dan Lovejoy Dan Lovejoy December 13, 2010

    So glad y’all are OK!

  3. Picture of salguod salguod December 13, 2010

    Yikes, not fun.  I was thinking the same as Margie - what would have happened if you had the trailer?  I imagine it would have been much worse.

    Hopefully getting the truck repaired won’t take you away from your adventure too long.  Bigger hope is that it doesn’t require a lot of work immediately just to get you home.

    Glad everyone involved is OK.

  4. Picture of Sue Sal Sue Sal December 13, 2010

    Wow!  What a scare you all had!  I’m so glad that it was not worse, that you are all ok.  Hopefully the repair will be quick and not expensive.  Thanking God that He had angels watching over you!!

  5. Picture of John Green John Green December 14, 2010

    So glad you’re all okay.  Hope things go well with the truck.  Y’all are on my daily prayers list as you have your great adventure.

  6. Picture of Ellen Tanis Ellen Tanis December 14, 2010

    Praying for your continued safety!  Thanking the Lord that you are all ok!

  7. Picture of Dean Dean December 14, 2010

    Also glad to hear you are okay! I really liked the perspective of the last senctance “...thanking God that we survived, and more cognizant of the gift that life is and ever more determined to try and enjoy every day we are gifted.”. Amen brotha. Amen.

  8. Picture of Renee Fogg Renee Fogg December 14, 2010

    Thrilled no one was hurt! Hard to be thankful about the truck - however praise the Lord you weren’t in a smart or economy car!!!

  9. Picture of Boyink Boyink December 15, 2010

    Thanks everyone for your concern.  We took the truck to a dealer in Elisabethtown, KY where they reset the rear axle (which had gotten pushed back on the driver’s side) and the front alignment.  We hit the road about 11:30 yesterday and the truck did fine for the remaining 6.5 hour drive back to W. MI. 

    We are currently at our in-laws, getting recovered and beginning to deal with the insurance folks on repairs.

    The kids lost a bunch of clothes because the one Rubbermaid tub that came out of the truck bed had their stuff in it.  The tub got caught under the car that cause the accident so the clothes were covered in Kentucky mud, oil and antifreeze. 

    Bummer is the truck contents would be covered under homeowners insurance which has a pretty high deductible, so we’ll be on the hook for all of that stuff.

    We have collision insurance on the truck - the first time we ever put that on one of our vehicles.  We’re still finding out what will happen there as the insurance talks about fault but KY is a no-fault state.

    We’re actually not even sure the gal got a ticket for causing the accident.  The trooper kept talking about how us Northerners should “know how to drive in this stuff” even though the roads were completely clear and dry.

  10. Picture of salguod salguod December 15, 2010

    I hate no fault insurance because you (or your insurance company) get to pay no matter what.  Supposed to keep rates low, but when we left MI (which is no fault too, right?) our rates dropped by about 50%. Yes, five-oh percent.

    In a no-no-fault state, wouldn’t she be liable for the contents of the tub too?  Certainly, it wouldn’t have been damaged if it weren’t for her actions.

    Good news is that it sounds like the truck is mechanically good now, so you can theoretically keep going as is, if you want.

  11. Picture of Tim Harris Tim Harris December 15, 2010

    Mike - just getting caught up on your adventure.  I’m glad to hear everyone is okay from the accident.  Hopefully the holidays will give you some time to relax and recharge for the next leg!

  12. Picture of Warren Westenbroek Warren Westenbroek December 15, 2010

    Hi guys WOW what an experience PRAISE GOD everyone is ok trucks and clothes can be replaced and fixed. This sure makes me realize how fast something can happen. We are so thankful you are all right and are praying for all the details you have ahead of you. Please let us know if we can help with anything we are not leaving until after Christmas. Warren

  13. Picture of Stephanie Stephanie January 03, 2011

    What a scary experience! I’m so glad that all four of you are okay.

    What ended up happening w/ your truck? Are you back on the road now?

  14. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink January 04, 2011

    We are not on the road yet.  We are back in W. MI house-sitting for my vacationing in-laws while the truck is in a local shop getting the necessary repairs done.  Our trailer is at a friends place in NE Georgia (where we dropped it before the holidays and accident).

    The plan is for the truck to be done on Friday, then we’ll head out Saturday morning.  We’ll be two days on the road getting back to Atlanta where I have a 4-day class to teach.  We’ll stay at a hotel during that time. Once the class is done we’ll get back to our trailer, spend a couple days with our friends, then (finally) hit the road again heading South by Southwest.

    We’re really praying the truck is done on time. If it isn’t things get ugly as the class still needs to go off as scheduled.

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