The City Girl Farmer


Update on the Accident
December 30, 2008, 5:53 pm
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Minivan in the tow yard

Minivan in the tow yard

I spoke to the state trooper this afternoon and found out some things.  The driver who hit us was arrested in his home by two state patrol officers.  He was passed out on his couch when they found him and so seriously inebriated that they could not leave him alone when they were done.  They found open alcohol containers in his car and his home.  His car keys were in his pocket.  That was nice since he won’t be able to claim that some drunk person (not him) stole his car and ran into us.  He refused blood alcohol testing which apparently a person has a right to do in the state of Colorado, however it results in an automatic one year suspension of your driver’s license.  If he is caught driving without a license he will go straight to jail and have to post a $10, 000 bond.

He was driving a black jeep and his car was damaged in a way very similar to ours.  His airbag deployed which spared him facial injuries the officer believes he would have received without its protection.  Apparently he bumped his left knee on the dashboard and otherwise escaped with minor injuries, much as we did.  The driver of the car we were knocked into was unhurt and was able to drive his car home.

The driver who caused the accident was insured and did not have a Colorado license.  The officer found out that he had had his license suspended in another state.

Unfortunately, I’m still suffering mentally and that information combined with what I know about recitivism in drunk drivers does not contribute to my sense of safety on the road.  Am I too cynical in believing that he will do it again, without a license and without insurance next time?

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The Many Miracles of Christmas Eve
December 27, 2008, 4:20 pm
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The old fashioned name for Christmas Eve is the Vigil of the Nativity of  Our Lord.  Historically, it has been a day of fasting (who knew?) and abstinence.  I had been spending time thinking about the miracle that God would humble himself to take on human flesh and suffer Himself to be born in poverty in a nation which was in a state of political turmoil.  I did penance by cleaning the house. 🙂  There was a peaceful lull after I got done feeding the horses (note the plural:  there is a story about that that should have been told before this story.  I’ll tell it later.) where we were just enjoying the peace and anticipating picking up the kids and taking them to Midnight Mass.  Christmas Eve

We never made it.  We were heading out of town when a drunk driver crossed into our lane, both of us traveling 60-65 mph.  It was very dark and very cold.  It was clear and a bit windy but there was no moon and where we live, no street lights on the highway.  All we saw were the headlights coming at us and it was about 3-4 seconds between the time he crossed the line and impact.  Jon swerved to the right and we took the hit on the left front corner of our minivan.  The impact knocked us into the car on our right which we had just passed.  The impact knocked our left front wheel 90 degrees, from the vertical, rolling position to the horizontal, scraping position, with the tire being knocked completely off and dragging along.   At some point we became attached to the car on our right and instead of rolling over our left front wheel (or spinning around it, miracle #1), we skidded at a 45 degree angle to the left with the car next to us providing braking power and ballast, and came to rest on the opposite side of the highway, on the shoulder as if we intended to park there.  (There was a ditch there, which we mercifully did not continue into, miracle #2.)  The car that had been attached to us came loose and pulled in about two car lengths ahead of us.  Jon and I both sat there, somewhat stunned.  My purse had been opened on my lap so much of its contents had flown out and landed on the floor.  The interior lights were on (maybe because Jon’s door had been punched open?) and I was able to find my phone.

Front left wheel after accident

Front left wheel after accident

The driver of the car that we were knocked into offered us a blanket as all of a sudden we had two wide open windows and no heater.  Jon’s teeth were beginning to chatter from the cold and I was trying to warm him with my body heat.  The guy who offered us the blanket was apparently unhurt (miracle #3).  I never saw his car as the ambulance that responded first parked between us.   Did I mention that it was dark?  It turns out his wife and children were in the car ahead of him and saw it happen.  His wife was the one who called 911.  She was doing that while I tried to call Juliana to let her know we would not be able to pick her up.  She had turned her phone down since we were picking them up for church and she didn’t want her phone going off in the middle of the service.  She didn’t get the messages I left for her until she noticed that we were really late.  She turned on her phone and saw texts, voice messages, and a few missed calls, poor thing. 😦

We got out of the car and walked to the ambulance, both of us covered with shattered glass.  Anyone who’s been in an accident like this knows about the glass shower.   It’s amazing where you keep finding glass.  Jon had a nasty goose-egg bruise on his cheekbone and a half-inch laceration right on top of it and his shin was bruised.  He received the greatest injury of anyone involved.  We did not want to go to the Emergency Room where Jon might have received a stitch or two (miracle #3 and greatest of all).

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Jon's laceration/contusion 2 days after the accident

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Bruise on my right thigh after two days

Unfortunately, the minivan did not fare so well.  For some silly reason it’s really traumatic losing a car.   It’s just a car and it did it’s job.  The passenger compartment was mostly intact and we had just suffered a fairly high-speed collision.   But it was the car we have had since the kids were really little, the only car Thomas really remembers and it is sad to see it go.  He is particularly crushed about it.

Thomas and I went to the tow yard together yesterday to get the rest of our personal belongings out.  Here is what it looked like in the daylight.

Left side of minivan in the daylight

Left side of minivan in the daylight

Front left corner of van in the daylight

Front left corner of van in the daylight

Wondering about the driver that hit us?  He was drunk.  He tried to escape in his car but it came to rest about 1/4 mi down the road in a ditch near the cemetery, ironically enough.  When he couldn’t go in his car any more, he fled on foot.  Last I heard there were two state troopers and a sheriff’s deputy after him/her.  I heard the car was a Jeep or SUV, but I never saw it, only its headlights.  Did I mention that it was dark?

Since all our friends were either in bed or at church, we were offered a ride home by the volunteer fire dept. in Calhan.  The kids’ bio-Dad brought them home at their request and after we hugged each other and thanked God we could be together again, we opened some presents and then went to bed around 3:30 Christmas morning.

Our priest asked for prayers for us at the later Christmas masses and we have been the beneficiaries of much love and offers of help.  We are truly grateful and basking in the prayers.