Sunday, September 20, 2009

Okay, so I was told I was the one who needed to write about it because I was the one involved. For those who didn't know, our wonderful 2006 Toyota Tundra was involved in an accident on Sept 8, 2009 on my way home from work. So here is the story:

I'm headed home from my first shift back after going and doing the fireworks at Flaming Gorge (great fun BTW). We had a good shift that day, we actually made a difference and helped a guy who really needed our services. I'm just a few minutes from home and the light at 6200 S and 5600 W turns red ahead of me. I stop (teach me to do THAT again!!) short of the 2005 convertible beetle in front of me, the next thing I know there is total chaos inside my truck, there's a horrible sound from the back as I am moving forward beyond my control. I was able to figure out I had just been hit quick enough to get back on my brakes so I didn't monster truck the little car in front of me.

When all the violence of EVERYTHING flying around my head settled down I quickly made sure nothing was inside me that shouldn't be and all my insides were still inside me, my very next thought was: where are my glasses (I am nearly blind without them), they had gone and hidden during the wreck. Eventually I found them nearly under my seat. Once I made sure I had all my insides and outsides figured out and my glasses back, I turned my attention to the car and driver behind me. As I was getting out, he was walking up to my door to see if I was okay. He apologized profusely and said it was completely his fault. A quick look up and down at him and he was mostly okay, he got a face full of airbag in the wreck and was bleeding a little from his nose. The driver of the beetle in front of us was also out of his vehicle at this point, walking back to make sure we were both okay.

Up until this point I wasn't sure if anyone had called the police so I called while the driver of the beetle called his wife and told her he had been involved in a wreck (I did hit him, just not hard enough to even set my own airbags off) and to tell her he was okay he was just going to be later than normal. Next I called Nicole to let her know I had been in a wreck, that I was fine but the truck was not. I still hadn't had a chance to really look at it but I knew it wasn't going to be good. Before I could convince her I was okay, she was already out the door on her way over. Since I have started doing all the pyro, EMS, and more recently amateur radio, I have a lot of personal stuff in the truck that costs a lot of money and I wanted to make sure it stayed mine so I called a buddy of mine and he called another one and they both came out to help gut the truck. In addition to my friends and Nicole with me, my in-laws came out as well (I had my own little support party there on scene).

In between my call to JJ and everyone showing up, the police started showing up. The first one looked like he was on his way home from work, like the beetle driver and myself. Then there was a bunch more SLC SO officers there all at once. It wasn't until I saw them doing field sobriety testing that it even crossed my mind, he had at least 2 open beer cans in his car and failed every single sobriety test with flying colors.

Before a person can be accepted by the jail after an accident they have to be checked over by a Dr or EMS (ambulance). The fire station for the area is just on the south side of 6200 S right on 5600 W so it took them all of 35 seconds to get there. I haven't seen a look of confusion like that for a while. I was still in uniform from work (I am a Paramedic for anyone who might not know) and they were looking for my partner and the ambulance. It wasn't until I explained to them my truck was the one in the middle they realized I was involved. My evaluation went something like this:

UFA: you alright?

Me: yeah, pretty sure.

UFA: Good enough for me. Anything changes, you know to call us back.

Me: I know.

UFA: I know you know but we gotta cover our butt. How was your day?

Me: Good, until now.

UFA: Okay, well, hope it gets better for ya.

While I was talking to the FD and various police officers, Nicole tells me later, the driver of the car in front of me came up to her and asks her to tell me later as he knows now is not the right time "sorry about your truck, but thank you at the same time. Thanks for being there to save my life and making it so I can go home tonight and be with my wife." That's cool.

About this time my in-laws show up. The police officers had been talking about my driving my truck home. My father-in-law (Who has been a mechanic his whole "adult" life) said there is absolutely no way he is driving that home, the frame is bent on both sides of the truck and the bed is all crunched up. You will be contacting a tow truck and this is who you will contact for the tow. Nicole had been half joking when she said we should call her cousins friend who drives a tow for a living to see if he could come and take it. Well he did, he came out for the Nissan that hit me. The trucks were so embedded at the bumpers, he was only going about 60 mph and I was at a stop, I had to go stand on the brakes when he went to load the Titan on his flat bed as they both tried to go at the same time. We almost ended up waiting for the second tow to do it but the metal started popping and they finally came apart I ran around to the back and yelled at Mikey "You scratched my truck!!" good thing he figured out real fast I was kidding, he was holding his shovel to clean up some of the mess the trucks had made. It gave everyone a good laugh, the cops were looking at me like I was crazy until they figured out I was kidding.

That night we got 90% of the stuff out of the truck we needed to and then it was towed. I called work and they gave me the next day off for obvious reasons and told me to get feeling better. Then at Nicole and my in-laws request I went to the ER to be seen by a DR. My exam there was almost as brief as the one by the FD medics. The Dr felt my back, had me make some faces at him and look into a bright light. Told me I was fine and the attending would be in just a few minutes. He did even less, said he would have the nurse bring in my discharge instructions and they would get me out of there. The only real "advice" they gave me was to take 800mg Ibuprofen a couple times a day till the pain is gone. My real care began the next day in the office of Dr. Grant, my chiropractor. He did a more in depth eval than either of the medical Dr's, and genuinely cares I get better. He wanted to know why we hadn't called him when it happened instead of the next morning when Nicole called to cancel her appt. that afternoon. I was in his office at 10 am for my evaluation and to begin treatment.

We went by the body shop where the truck had been towed later the next day to get some good pictures while the sun was up (which will be posted soon as I figure out how!). We noted both frame rails were bent, the bed was destroyed and was also being pushed up by the now bent frame. The bed had also been pushed up into the cab and the whole tailgate had been destroyed. The drivers seat had also been broken in the accident (I got hit that hard, and didn't even see him coming!!). It took them a few days but we got a piece of junk rental, 2010 Ford Edge, and then they totalled the truck and told us we had 3 more days in the rental before we would have to pay for it. The good news is our insurance took possession so we got high blue book for the truck and $2500 to put down on the 2007 tundra we have now (again pix when I get a chance). So everyone walked away from the accident, one in handcuffs, and two trucks died. BTW if you know anyone you care about thinking of getting a Nissan titan, tell them they shouldn't do it. The whole front end of his truck was completely destroyed and what was left of his engine was sitting in his front passenger seat. I was not one bit impressed with how it fared in this accident. That is all.

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