Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Week of Jeep Smash-Ups

Ever had one of those weeks? Last month, my Jeep was rear-ended twice (both times while stopped at an intersection) within 72 hours. There were no major injuries, but the damage ranged from a totaled Ford Taurus to a full-on seven car pileup!

My Jeep got hit the first time as I was stopped with a car in front of me at a busy intersection, within a block or so from my home. Even with my Jeep's soft top down, I never heard the Taurus approach my rear bumper. Rather than hit her brakes, the driver was most likely speeding up to make a yellow light. She must have been going at least 35 MPH when she slammed into my rear bumper, spraying antifreeze and small pieces of her Taurus all over the intersection. IMG_2086_edited-1.JPG
The picture above was taken at a later time, after the biggest shards of her car were removed from the intersection. Her Taurus had just enough life left in the engine to sputter around the corner and roll onto a side street to find its final resting place (in truth, she had it towed away the next week).
I thanked the Lord that the lady's small daughter was unharmed, and also that my Jeep only had a couple of scratches and tiny perforation on the rear bumper. Not wanting to leave the nice woman stranded in her slowly flowing river of antifreeze, I waited with her until her sister showed up to drive them both to her child daycare workplace.
The steam eventually stopped billowing out of her Taurus' engine, causing the outside of her car to look slightly less trashed. And although we were unable to pry her hood open, we could both peek inside to see her mangled radiator, hoses, etc. I later made a follow-up phone call to check up on her, and she had already planned to total out her Taurus. I felt so bad for her!

Two days later, a few blocks away from the Nike World Campus, a U-Haul driver lost control of his moving van and rear-ended a Ford Mustang. The chain reaction that ensued involved the Mustang, which rear-ended the U-Haul driver's girlfriend, who finally hit a string of three more cars (with my Jeep trapped in the middle). I braced for impact as the succession of crashing sounds drew closer to the rear of my Jeep. The car behind me inevitably hit my bumper and pushed my Jeep from a stopped, braked position into the van stopped in front of me.
IMAG0027_edited-1 copy.jpg
For the climax, the van in front of me appeared to knock the leading car up to the edge of the crosswalk. Rather than waiting to collect myself, I uncharacteristically screamed (my apologies to Kathy's sensitive eardrums) into my hands-free cell device, "I gotta call you back. Someone just rear-ended my Jeep AGAIN!!"

As a police officer took our statements, most of the drivers surveyed the string of our seven cars, most of which were now smashed together, and just had to laugh. There was no major damage, and only the U-Haul driver's girlfriend had minor injuries. My Jeep being rear-ended a couple days earlier only made this accident seem more hilarious.

My conversations with the other drivers led me to conclude that none of them were followers of Christ just yet. But we all shared a thankfulness that everyone was okay… and we all agreed that Someone must have been watching over us.


Anonymous said...

Oh good grief... look at that lineup! Glad no one was seriously hurt (and that your jeep is okay too) - what a ludicrous way to spend an afternoon. Yay for bumpers that do their job - here's hoping that's all of your fair share of being bashed for some time.

Elaine said...

Our minivan was just rear-ended for the second time...but a year apart. Sorry to hear that about your jeep, but glad the damages weren't bad. :)

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The Jeep has been widely imitated around the world, including in France by Delahaye and by Hotchkiss et Cie (after 1954, Hotchkiss manufactured Jeeps under license from Willys), and in Japan by Mitsubishi Motors and Toyota. The utilitarian good looks of the original Jeep have been hailed by industrial designers and museum curators alike. The Museum of Modern Art described the Jeep as a masterpiece of functionalist design, and has periodically exhibited the Jeep as part of its collection. Ernie Pyle called the Jeep, along with the Coleman G.I. Pocket Stove, "the two most important pieces of noncombat equipment ever developed." Jeeps became even more famous following the war, as they became available on the surplus market. Some ads claimed to offer "Jeeps still in the factory crate." This legend persisted for decades, despite the fact that Jeeps were never shipped from the factory in crates.
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