Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Thanks for the Memories

First and foremost, let me say this:  No one was hurt. These photos are from the scene last night.
 Ben had just left for rugby practice and the rest of the family was sitting at the dinner table discussing our day when the phone rang.  Lily looked at the caller ID and quickly handed it to Brad, saying it looked "official and important"--a call from the Mesa Police Department.

I overheard snippets--"smashed" "Are you hurt?" and "On my way"

Brad and I jumped into the Suburban and headed less than two miles from our house to rescue Ben.
The smoke and stench from deployed airbags filled the cab.  Plastic and metal and engine fluid were strewn across the road.  Ben was a little shell-shocked and very serious and apologetic.
I don't know how much you can see from the above picture, but the white Explorer had been slowing down (without using his brakes yet) to turn right, but Ben didn't realize the vehicle was slowing down.  By the time the Explorer's driver applied the brakes, it was too late for Ben to stop, and Ben rear-ended him.

When the Explorer's driver hit the brakes, they failed and he could no longer stop his car, so he headed for the side of the road.
I can't believe how lucky the other driver was.  He managed to maneuver his vehicle between a telephone pole and a cement wall, finally coming to a stop when the car smashed into a small tree.

First question out of the officer's mouth:  "Was there a phone involved in this accident?"

To which Ben replied, "No sir.  My phone is at home."  That, at least was good.

I couldn't believe how much damage was done to the truck--1997 Ford F-150.  Only worth about $3000, and that's on a good day.  Now? Not worth salvaging. 
I have so many memories with this red truck.  We bought it when Heidi started driving almost seven years ago--her tiny body behind the wheel of that huge truck.  I knew she would be safe in there.  Two years later, the truck was Tucker's, and its windows still bore the remnants of a time someone had written words all over them. Tucker proposed to Karli on the tailgate of that truck. We hauled manure for the garden and trees for the yard in that truck.  We helped neighbors and family move with that truck.  We drove it to Lake Powell and took it on countless father/son, father/daughter campouts, where Dad and kids would often sleep in the bed instead of putting up a tent.

For the past few years, the truck had been Ben's, and it had become part of his identity (he used it as his locker at school, took friends all over the valley, drove to rugby and football games, even took it on a few dates). The truck is so unique that I could easily find it in any parking lot or driving down the road. Ironically, Ben had been on his way to rugby practice when the accident occurred, and two of his teammates passed the accident, saw the truck and said, "That looks like Ben's truck."  They pulled over to check on him and make sure everything was okay.  Good guys.

The only funny part of this story?

The tow truck arrived and the driver got the truck up on the bed, hooked the cable to the bumper and turned on the winch.  After only ten seconds or so, the cable SNAPPED (not kidding--see?) . . .
. . . and the truck started rolling back towards the police car.  That tow truck driver dashed down the bed and prevented our truck from causing any further damage that night.  I did have to chuckle a little under my breath.  It was funny.  I couldn't help it.

Everyone's fine.  Such a huge relief.  Now the reality of Ben's life with no car is settling on all of us. And it's not a pretty picture from where I stand.

Goodbye, red truck. 
Thank you for transporting and particularly for protecting my kids all these years.  

Thank you for the memories.  
We'll miss you.


  1. I saw your blog post on Facebook with the photo of the wrecked car and my heart stopped for a moment. I'm glad to hear no one was hurt. Car accidents are very scary especially when brake failure is involved. At least Ben is ok!

  2. "Was there a phone involved"? What the heck does that mean? I don't get it. One of my worst nightmares. I'm so happy to hear there were no injuries. Sorry about the truck, it looked like a nice one too.

  3. I'm glad everybody's okay. But I have to admit...I have fond memories with that truck as well.

  4. Glad everyone is ok, but my oh my no one wants that phone call and I cannot believe how much damage there is! Crazy!

  5. my brother in law is on the mesa motor department. hugs:)

  6. We lost a little blue honda that all our kids had driven (it was rear-ended and totaled) and it was a very sad day for all of us.

    You get attached!


    PS. So glad everyone was okay!!

  7. How scary!!! Glad that Ben is ok and that the airbags deployed! Funny how we can attribute so many memories to a vehicle! hugs, cathy

  8. I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand.
    lighthouseautomotivellccos |

  9. Pretty portion of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your weblog posts. Any way I will be subscribing on your augment or even I achievement you get admission to constantly quickly. |