My Mercedes accident story
And so it was just another commute to school, this time a few days before the Christmas break. Dad driving, my sister in the front passenger seat, me sat behind her at the rear of the car. We approached the busy crossroads. A quick look left, a quick look right, and we pulled away, half way across the junction...
...wrong! To the left! The left!!
A Ford Scorpio (Euro-land large Ford saloon) is steaming toward the passenger side. My mouth drops. I can see the driver. His face is a grimace, and he's sawing at the wheel. Oddly, I remember his beard (no idea why; it's Christmas, so maybe it's an ironic Santa joke; car crash - the Christmas gift that keeps on giving, ho-ho-ho).
The impact is quietly deafening. It's not a screech, or a scream of torn metal. Instead, it's a deep, dull thud of high speed impact, pierced only by my sister's ongoing scream. Either my eyes are broken, or the impact is severe; I can see the passenger seat in front of me - the one my sister is sitting in - shaking violently from side to side; the headrest looks like it's attached to nothing more substantial than a bouncy castle, given its wobble.
Then there's another loud thunk - the side impact has pushed our Mercedes wagon into the path of an oncoming car, and it has hit us head on. All I recall is a white flash at the front of us. Then...
"Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God".
It's the man from the Scorpio. He's now banging in the Merc's roof, grabbing the TE-Wagon's roof rail, shaking it and the car, fearfully peering into the passenger compartment. His arm is bleeding, and he's shouting "Oh my God! Are you ok? Are you ok? Oh my God!"
His panic scares me more than the impact.
And now there's a blond lady, the driver we hit head on, and she is at my dad's window and she's saying 'hello? hello?' like she's making some long distance call.
And my dad is OK, and I'm ok but my sister is crying through shock. She didn't (!) have her safety belt on; just before the point of impact, she lept from her seat, toward my dad. In doing so, her right side hit the (lowered) centre arm rest, bruising her right ribs and pelvis, and throwing her back in her seat, a target for impending impact.
Upon side impact, our Merc yielded, but the passenger compartment held. The A-pillar kinked, cracking the windscreen, the B-pillar creased but put up a fight (phew!), while the doors and sills absorbed the colossal side impact; it looked like a car that had taken a huge side hit...and survived. The front impact with the smaller Astra/Kadett car gently collapsed the front end.
Dad got out ok; his door opened as easily as the day our car left the factory. Mine, too. We wrenched my sister's door open, and soon her tears were bigger than her injuries.
This is not a tale of safety. It's a tale of luck.
At the time, my parents had three cars; an Alfa Romeo GTV6 (dad's toy), a hot Renault Turbo (mum's car, but dad's other toy) and the Merc - our family wagon. Typically, my dad took us to school in the Renault, leaving my mum with the Merc. But that morning, maybe, just maybe, the stars and the angels aligned, because my Mum snatched the keys to that hot Renault...leaving my dad with the Merc for the school run.
And had we been in the Renault that day, i wouldn't be here today to tell you this story.
Last edited by Scudetto; 01-23-2009 at 06:32 PM.