My Mercedes accident story - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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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...

...but this...

...feels...

...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.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 12:10 AM
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It's amazing how you've managed to recall every bit of it. I truly am glad to read your story. I hope your sister recovers fully, and that neither you or your dad suffered anything more than a bit of shock.

May I know which TE this is? W123 or W124?

Stay safe!

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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hi mate,

it was this generation Benz (same colour, too!)

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/39/75...g?v=1176624199

The accident happened some 15 years ago. I remember it well because it seemed to happen in slow motion; the Scorpio spearing toward us, the driver's face, the dull thud of the impact, the cabin shaking, the panic and concern of the other drivers, the Police arriving...but more than that, leaving the house that morning, and finding that through sheer good luck, my mum had left the Mercedes on the drive for us.

Related to that collision, but slightly off-topic...Does anyone here know much about variables and probabilities and randomness? The reason i ask is this (sorry if this is a thick question). That morning, my mum took the Renault Turbo. So we were left with the Merc. She changed a pattern, and forced a circumstance. The next event/variable was the accident. Could it be, or is there an argument that suggests that had she taken the Merc, we wouldn't have had the crash? Because if you think about it, there are so many vulnerable variables that occur on the drive from home to school. One of which was the change in cars. One of which was the crash. Therefore, is it an automatic given, that had we taken the Renault, we still would have had the crash?

Let me give you another example. I walk to the post office to buy a scratch card. As I arrive at the post office, so do you. Being polite, I open the door and let you in ahead of me in the queue. You're in front of me, and you buy a scratch card, and you win £xx,xxxx. Is it an absolute given then, that had I NOT let you in first, I would have won that money? Something in my not very logical head, says it isn't. Me letting you in was a random event, thus other random events could have also occurred that day that prevent me from winning.

Apols, I'm meandering now :-)
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 04:35 PM
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I suppose that's why it's an accident, because we'll never really know.

My, if it's a w123 then I know I'll be fine. I saw this in a junkyard recently, taken with my camera phone. I'm pretty sure the occupants were fine, just a bit banged up:



And it was just like yours, only a diesel variant.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 11:03 PM
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I suppose that's why it's an accident, because we'll never really know.

My, if it's a w123 then I know I'll be fine. I saw this in a junkyard recently, taken with my camera phone. I'm pretty sure the occupants were fine, just a bit banged up:


And it was just like yours, only a diesel variant.
Holy Crap!
I wonder if that car came to grief because the driver could not stop due to worn out brakes? Did you notice how thin the front rotors are? Also I see that they were solid rotors as well. I thought they were supposed to be vented rotors?

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-28-2009, 08:50 PM
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Holy Crap!
I wonder if that car came to grief because the driver could not stop due to worn out brakes? Did you notice how thin the front rotors are? Also I see that they were solid rotors as well. I thought they were supposed to be vented rotors?
Front w123 rotors were solid discs. Same with the rear. But the fronts had bigger calipers of course, and larger surface area disc rotors.

Don't know what happened but the steering wheel top half was bent forwards, roof buckled slightly and windshield definitely cracked. Dashboard intruded only slightly but survivable I suppose.

Still not a place I'd want to be in!

I'm really glad the S123 of the thread starter held up really well, I'm not sure if they already had side impact beams for the European version (I believe the thread starter is from the UK) but I do know the US versions had side impact beams inside the doors.

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