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The insurance companies are going to busy on this one for a while.
Glad you're OK!
Mik - for all I know, maybe the step on the other side was damaged - like I said, I didn't think to walk around and look. I know the trucker told me his truck was actually on fire - he said he hopped out of the cab, heard the crash of the tank getting hit, but couldn't come check on us because had to get out his extinguisher and put out the fire that was under his truck. So I have no idea. I wish I would have looked - it's not like I didn't have plenty of time while standing around. (Though they did open one lane to traffic maybe 40 minutes in and it was the one immediately closest to where we were all pulled over -- I guess that was the least gasoline-y -- so at that point, there was no more walking around - we both kind of hunkered down in the grass to avoid adding getting run-over to our list of crappy-things-that-happened-this-year.) I never even thought to get the other drivers' names or insurance - I just trusted that the police were getting all that. The police didn't ask me too many questions - I got the sense that they didn't feel it was my fault at all - but I won't know til they finish the report, which they said could take up to 10 days.
So sorry your 2020 has been so eventful in this way.
Glad you are not hurt.
Hope it gets better for you soon.
Well because I have nothing else to do but obsess over this, I did find a sort-of-photo of the other side of the truck - this was way in the background of one of my other photos so I had to blow it up, and it's taken head on, so not the best angle, but it does look like the step might not be there? You can see an officer and the truck driver looking at the area where the tank should be. Anyhow, maybe the truck guy is on the up and up. Who knows.
The tank is right in front of yellow vest guy on the right.
HOLY COW! Glad you are ok!
My first thought was YIKES! I78? That is the WORST Hwy by far. The truck traffic is fast and loose and very scary. I had a very close call there about a year ago. Glad I don't have to use it anymore.
What a memorable birthday your son will never forget!
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All in all, I agree with you... my life will still be complete if I never again set foot in New Jersey.
Or even drive through it.
What a freak accident. WHOA. So glad that you are OK.
Inside though, I bet you just never want to drive again. Or trust a highway. I still haven't gotten over my freak 'car completely stopped working at 60 mph on a highway, and that was several years ago now.
Poor son...he won't forget his 16th either.
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What a terrible experience, Lisa! Car accidents are always traumatic and this one was especially so. Amazing you had the presence of mind to take photos. The stuff of nightmares.
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Wow. So glad you’re ok.
Wow! That kind of thing shakes one up. It is amazing how your vision of those things is so vivid and almost slow motion - then afterwards - a little shaky. Glad you're both almost OK. Sometimes it takes a couple of days for injuries to make themselves apparent - but hope you're good. Still, glad the mission was accomplished, husband got to be hero and your son had a memorable birthday.
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Lisa, how awful! You and your son are lucky to be alive! Truck traffic terrifies me to begin with. I hated driving in that part of the world.
So relieved it wasn't worse. Things will get better from here, I hope.
Let us know how the insurance sorts out. Could be a plus if they total a car you were ready to replace anyway. My 1983 toyota tercel got totalled in a fender bender when it was 20 years old. The other driver's insurance sent me a check AND I kept driving my car.
Kluurs - yeah, I was kind of expecting to be a lot more sore and banged up, but other than a pretty nasty bruise that appeared the next day on my forearm from the airbag, we are really, amazingly, fine. I guess if you think about the physics of it, the tank was a lot smaller in mass than my car and it was round and easily pushed aside when I hit it, so the overall force on our bodies from the crash was probably negligible. I don't even think my face touched the airbag and my son had his seat far enough back that I don't think any part of him touched the airbag. (We were both wearing seat belts, obviously!)
Pique - unfortunately, I was planning to keep that car til it died - my goal was to nurse it through the next 6 years of schlepping kids back and forth to college since I didn't want to invest in a new minivan (I am really pretty much OVER driving a minivan, LOL!). We just did the 100K mile service (changed the timing belt/water pump) which cost like $1000. And we have an extended warranty on the van to like 120K. For as old as it was, it ran beautifully - absolutely nothing wrong with it! Back in February, I bought a used Kia Soul to be my "daily driver" so I could stop putting so many miles on the van and make it last through the kids' college years. The only reason I chose the van over the Kia for this trip was that it had more room to fit the guitar.
Now I am trying to decide what to do if they total it -- I do have the Kia but we were planning on a road trip to NC this summer to deal with my father-in-laws beach house so we would need a replacement van by the beginning of July (2 adults, 2 teenagers and a dog are a definite no-go in a Kia Soul!). Kelly Blue Book lists my year/model as worth between 8-11K but the cheapest one I can find for sale near me is like $13K with more miles than mine had (and I'm guessing they didn't do the thousand-dollar 100K service or have the extended warranty). Used Odysseys hold their value like crazy, I guess, and while I was thinking I might upgrade a few years to like a 2016 or 2017 (mine was 2013), the prices of those are making me gag --for a couple thousand more, I could probably have a new one. I have a feeling I'm going to end up screwed.
Also, while I assumed this would be a pretty good time to car shop since dealers would be desperate due to the pandemic, that doesn't seem to be the case. In PA, all title services are closed and you cannot, under any circumstances, buy a car from a private seller. Dealers were allowed to open for online sales like 3 weeks ago -- right now, they're the only game in town and they know it. I suspect that's why the prices I'm seeing are so much higher than KBB.
This sucks. Part of me wants them to just fix my van, but part of me worries it won't ever be the same. And of course, I'll have a huge accident on the carfax when it comes time for me to sell it/trade it in (which I guess wouldn't matter if I drive it til it dies.)
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Very glad to hear this!!! But again, so so sorry about it all, esp. all the details that you now have figure out, what do about needing a larger car for trips etc. What a PITA.
Welp, I got the final determination from my insurance company today and they are finding me liable for the damages to my own car and to the truck that hit the tank after me. They say that since all evidence indicates that the tank was stationary in the roadway when I hit it, not in mid-air flying off the truck, it is not a "sudden emergency" and that I was not maintaining a safe following distance because if I was, I would have been able to swerve. I think this is complete and total bullcrap -- they don't have any witnesses and no way to prove how long the tank was in the road or how long it had been there -- but apparently that's the way it is. Just adding to the fun and joy that is the year 2020. Between this claim and the 2 hail claims I filed for damages to 2 of our cars during the mother of all storms last year, I wouldn't be surprised if Progressive drops me come renewal time.
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