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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.