Tag Archives: crash

Another Crash

I drove the S&M Motel through the narrow, often challenging streets of Europe for 9 months without a single traffic incident, so perhaps I was overdue.  In Alamogordo, New Mexico,  after spending the morning at the New Mexico Museum of Space History, it was my time.

Here is the statement I gave to the insurance company. Items [in square brackets] are comments that I added later.

I was driving our motorhome in the right hand lane.  I approached the intersection with my right turn signal on, and came to a complete stop at the stop sign.  There were three traffic lanes in my direction of travel, two lanes that went straight through and to the left of them, one left hand turn lane.  I was in the rightmost of these three lanes.  To the right of my vehicle was only a paved shoulder.   There were no other traffic lanes to my right.

A view down the street showing a car approaching in the rightmost lane and the paved shoulder beside the curb

A car approaching the intersection in the right lane beside the paved shoulder

When safe to do so, I proceeded to turn right and heard a noise to the rear of my vehicle.  I looked back in my right side mirror and saw a red car behind me.

A car turning right at an intersection

A car turning right where I did

I parked my motorhome as soon as it was safe to do so and the red car [a Volkswagen Jetta] stopped behind me.  There was damage to the right side of my motorhome towards the rear.  The single occupant of the red car [a young male] and I exchanged driving license and insurance information.  He said to me, “I thought you were going straight”.

A red Volkswagen Jetta with  with body damage to the front left corner and the legs of the other driver

The other guy and his damaged car

Two police officers soon arrived, after which I did not speak to the other driver.  The police officer asked me what had happened and I explained.  He told me that there had been two other witnesses to the accident, the occupants of an ambulance that had been traveling in the same direction as I had been, and that was behind both my vehicle and the red car at the time of the accident.

The front left corner of the red car with damage and a police car in the background

Damage to the red car with the police in attendance

He told me they said that the red car was being driven aggressively [actually he told me that the red car had cut them off], and that the red car had tried to drive [squeeze] through on the paved shoulder to the right of my vehicle, between my motorhome and the curb.   This is consistent with what the driver of the red car said to me. He thought that I was going straight (despite the fact my right turn signal was on), and tried to drive up the paved shoulder to pass me on the right and make his own right turn.  The police officer told me that the witnesses confirmed that my right turn signal was on.  The police officer told me that the other driver was at fault and that he had given the other driver a citation. [The police officer also told me that the other driver had signed the citation, which means that unless he fought it in court, he would be found guilty]

Yes, I know that the last part of my statement contained a lot of hearsay, but I thought it couldn’t hurt.  The accident report will be available soon (the Alamogordo Department of Public Safety puts them up for sale on a web site – can you believe that?).  I’m hoping that it is clear and accurate.  This is important because my ICBC insurance adjuster told me that the other driver is claiming that I hit him!

As for our motorhome, there is damage down the right side from about the mid-point back.

A view along the right side of our motorhome showing damage with a fender on the ground

Damage down the right, rear side of our motorhome

Our right rear fender was torn off, the fiberglass is scraped, and the outside compartment doors, hinges, and latches are damaged.  Hopefully there are no structural issues.

Damage to the compartments on the right side of our motorhome

Damage to the compartments on the right side of our motorhome

Damage to the compartments on the right side of our motorhome

Because our motorhome is still driveable and because RV collision repairs are notorious for taking a long time, we’ve decided to wait and have the damage repaired when we get home.  In the meantime, we hope that the police report jogs the other driver’s memory about what really happened.

Taking it on the chin — Mountain Biking in McDowell Mountain Park

Our friends Kevin and Annette flew from Vancouver to Phoenix to visit for a few days.  They’re active people, so we planned 3 full days of mostly outdoor activities.  On Day 1 we hiked Pinnacle Peak, the ‘Grouse Grind’ of Scottsdale, though it’s not as challenging.

A rocky double peak with desert leading up to it and a dirt trail in the foreground

Pinnacle Peak viewed from the back side trail

That afternoon we enjoyed the Fountain Hills Festival of Arts and Crafts, a twice annual outdoor show, where we consumed a giant bag of kettle corn (OK, it was mostly Kevin and me).

On the morning of Day 2 we headed out to McDowell Mountain Regional Park, a popular place for mountain biking in the Phoenix Area.  With the addition of 2 borrowed mountain bikes (thanks!), we had enough for 4.  We had a few hours to ride and so we headed north on some trails that I had explored a few days earlier named Wagner, Granite, Bluff, a short section of Pemberton, and Rock Knob.

Everything was going great.  It was sunny and the temperature was perfect for cycling, a lot warmer than Vancouver!  The trails were good and the terrain moderate.

A desert landscape with small mountains in the background and a sign post intersection in the foreground

Great mountain bike trails!

We climbed gradually as we pedaled further and further away from the campground where we began our ride.

A trail in the desert with Diane riding her mountain bike on the left side and small rocky mountains in the background

Diane riding

We turned around at the park boundary, aware that we had to get back in time for our planned afternoon activity.

Patrick riding his mountain bike on a dirt trail with a large Saguaro cactus behind

Patrick cruising

The return trip was mostly downhill.  Easier and faster.  Aside from a small section as we crossed a little valley, it was not difficult.

Kiving riding his bike down a short dirt hill with desert in the background

Kevin coasting

Everyone was having a great time, stopping to pose for pictures along the way.

Kevin and Annette posing with their bikes

Annette and Kevin posing

Diane was having a good time too, enjoying her first mountain bike experience.

Diane stradding her bike and holding another

Diane smiling

Then, with less than a mile to go, things took a turn for the worst.  While making a left-hand, off camber turn, Diane drove off the trail.  Her front tire slide in the loose gravel and she fell forward and to the left.  Luckily she avoided serious injury to her hands and body by catching herself with her face.

Picture of Diane's face after her crash, bloody chin, lip, and nose

Diane bleeding

Diane was a great sport about the whole thing, despite the sand embedded in her chin and the blood running down her neck

Diane standing with blood on her face

Diane bleeding AND smiling

She was very concerned though about bleeding on her precious Blacka Chicken jersey.  She splashed some water on her face and cautiously rode back to the car where she changed and cleaned up a bit in the campground restroom.  Kevin had a large bandage in his backpack which she put over her chin.  Her top lip started to swell as we drove back to Scottsdale.

We arrived in Old Scottsdale just before game time.

Green Scottsdale stadium sign showing names of teams play

First game of the non season

We had tickets to see the ‘World Champion’ San Francisco Giants play the Los Angeles Angels in the opening game of the Cactus League, the series of baseball games that take place in Arizona during spring training.

Diane with a bandage on her chin and Annette talking to the park staff

Annette and a bandaged Diane entering the stadium

We had great seats about 10 rows back on the 1st baseline.

Wide shot of baseball stadium taken from 1/2 way down 1st base line

Take me out to the ball game

At the end of the 3rd inning, Diane and I went to the ball park’s first aid room.  They used distilled water to clean her wounds, but didn’t have a good replacement bandage.

First aid attendant cleaning wounds on Diane's face

Diane’s new dermatologist?

Instead they used a giant gauze pad and some white tape, creating a small Santa Claus beard.

Diane's new and not improved bandage

Diane’s new and not improved bandage

Remarkably unphased by the whole thing, Diane bought a hotdog afterward to take back to her seat.  Eating that hotdog with the ‘chin sling’ in place was quite a feat.

Kevin, Anette, and Diane with new chin bandage standing in the stadium bleachers

Still having a good time!

Except for the bike crash, it was another great day with our friends.  I was very impressed with how Diane handled with whole thing.  She even went out to a honky-tonk, greasy-spoon for dinner that evening!

Patrick, Diane, and Annette seated at a table with other tables and a country western band in the background

Still going sans bandage

———————

Thanks to Kevin and Annette for joining us, and to Kevin for allowing me to use some of his great photos in this post.