12/14/2007. Journal entry. First off, the missionaries are all right. :-)
After lunch, visiting investigators, gassing up the car, shopping and contacting, I almost
got the missionaries home when we spotted someone pushing a car along the side of the road while another was steering it.
I didn't think fast enough to pull over and help them, but the missarionaries throught it would be a good idea, so I turned around at the next light, and went back. It was a 4 lane divided street so I had to back a couple more lights to get to a place to turn around. While waiting to turn at that light, my car got rear ended pretty hard.
My first thought was to get the car off the road safely, and I saw that the median strip ahead of us was accessible since its edge was ramp-like, and not a sharp curb. I pulled forward, and could feel and hear that something was rubbing against the tires, but was able to make it.
The car that hit us immediately took off. I didn't even get a look at it, but one of the elders did, and there was a witness who gave me her business card. No one was able to get its license plate number.
Physically, we were all okay. I had some soreness in my neck, from the base of my skull to my shoulders, which lasted for a day or so, but is almost entirely gone now as I write this Sunday night. The one elder in the back seat had a little head ache from where his head hit the head rest. The elder in the front passenger seat was fine. I was edgy with adrenalin for a few minutes, but was able to settle down soon.
The back of my seat was broken, but mostly held up by the boxes of books in the back seat. My glasses came off my head and were in the back seat.
The rear bumper and trunk were crunched in, and the trunk lid would no longer close. Some of the groceries we bought were broken and leaked, like the ginger ale, and peanut butter. But most survived.
Literally within a minute of the accident, an off-duty police officer in a marked vehicle stopped and called in the accident. When he was assured that no one was hurt, and that my car was safely out of the way on the median, and that the engine was running so we could all stay warm, he took off.
Later, another police officer in a marked car stopped by, but he was not the one who was dispatched to the accident. He was either off duty or en route to something else. But he asked if we were all okay and could stay warm, and he also radio'ed in our situation.
I called the ward mission leader to see if he could get the missionaries home, and help me transfer all the books and personal effects out of my car back to my apartment. My first words to the mission leader on the phone were "First off, the missionaries are all right" which the missionaries found humorous. He was able to come over with a van, and fit all the stuff in.
While we were waiting, I called my insurance company phone number, and dealt with their claims service.
Then the officer who officially responded showed up, and did his thing, and then the tow truck driver showed up just as we got all the stuff out of the car.
On the down side, I forgot to offer the witness and the three officers and the tow truck driver any videos or pass-along cards.
On the good side, I needed a new car anyway. And with the winter storm this weekend, I'm glad the car got hit before the storm got here, while the police were not so busy. There was a few thousand dollars worth of pre-existing damage on the car anyway
, so even though the engine compartment is fine, the car might be totaled. And if the car is not officially totalled, I'm thinking of just cashing out by taking whatever money the insurance company gives, selling off the car, and buying another.