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2003 S500
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2,479 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Lynn (my beautiful bride of fifty-four years) and I were headed home from Sunday dinner with our son and daughter-in-law on a dark mountain road at about 55mph when something flashed into the left headlamp, and there was an immediate heavy thud, and the fully-grown deer disappeared over the right front fender as I tested the S430's brake system.

After we stopped on the right shoulder, we got out and found the deer at the bottom of the ravine on the right. The deer had evidently bounded down a very steep 40' bank on the left directly in front of the car. Fortunately, it was only quivering slightly as it lay in the ravine, and that stopped almost immediately, so the deer did not have to endure a long-suffering death. We could not see the head in the bushes, so have no idea whether it was a buck or a doe.

Damage to the car was surprisingly light. The grille was smashed and the upper edge of the hood bent back. We were very lucky in that the air bags did not deploy, and the deer went over the right fender rather than into the windshield. Air bag deployment and smashed windshield would have totaled the car and possibly injured Lynn.

We called 911, and the operator sent a city car about 1/2 mile outside of their jurisdiction to check on us and make sure that there was no danger to us or other drivers. The officer stayed and chatted until the State Trooper arrived five minutes or so later, along with a County Sheriff's Deputy. The Deputy directed traffic thru while the Trooper took care of the necessary paperwork (for the insurance company).

All told, a minor incident that could have been much more serious.
 

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2005 S600
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519 Posts
So glad that you and Lynn are OK !!
 

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W220 Moderator
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6,041 Posts
Yes, very sorry to hear that @wallyp ,glad you are both un scathed, the Car will fix up nice.

Up here, if we are in a van etc we pick the buggers up and they end up in the freezer ;)

Yummy 👿
 

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2003 S500
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2,479 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Several years ago, Lynn bumped a doe in the butt at low speed in her STS. The doe ran away , apparently unhurt. The Caddie suffered a broken grille and some other minor damage, and I decided to do the repairs myself, as the deductable would have been more than the cost for me to do the work. A few months later, I mentioned the incident to our insurance agent. He looked at me with pity in his eyes as he informed me that there was no deductable for a deer strike. DOH! So, yes, this time the insurance company will take care of the repairs. The husband of one of my nieces manages the large body shop for one of the local Toyota dealers, and they do good work.

The insurance companies continually lobby for longer hunting seasons - deer strikes are a very common thing nowadays. The fish and game people say that the US deer population is higher today than it has ever been - including before the Europeans arrived.

I asked the LEOs (Law Enforcement Officers) if any locals utilized road-kill deer, and their laughing response was, Yes, foxes, coyotes and bear very efficiently cleaned up the remains.

Many years ago, Lynn's parents were behind a car that hit a doe. Her back legs were broken, and she was trying to drag herself into the woods. Pop bailed out of the car, whipped his ever-sharp pocket knife out, wrestled the deer down and cut her throat. The deer was taken out of her agony, and went into their freezer.

This was my first-ever deer kill. Lynn is an avid huntress, with numerous deer taken.

My grand-kids (one young man and two little girls - my owners) consider venison to be much more tasty than beef, pork or chicken.
 

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W164 GL450, W221 S550, R230 SL600TT, R170 SLK230, W140 S500, More
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684 Posts
Wally, Congratulations on 54 Years!! Sorry to hear that your spaceship has hit a flying deermeat asteroid. What part of the country are you in? Are you putting this new one in the freezer? Very glad that you survived just fine.
 

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2005 SL65 plus 13 other non MB toys
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690 Posts
In my earlier years as a state trooper, I had many many many deer make it to my freezer! The motorists were given the option of taking the kill but I can't recall one ever taking it. I would also call my father-in-law to the scene to grab the deer since I rarely had one happen at the end of my shift.
 

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2000 S430, 2003 S430, 2000 S500, 2003 S600 TT, and 2005 E320 CDI
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4,492 Posts
The main thing is you and your wife are OK. A lesser car would have more damage. Long live the W220!

John


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Agreed, and that (emphasis mine) looks like something @Dave2302 would say! :D That's why my bride also rolls a W220.

Glad you two are all right, @wallyp.
 

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2003 S500
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2,479 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Well, Allstate just totaled the 2003 S430.

According to the shop, the fatal factor was that the impact broke both headlight bodies.

Rats! Now I have to try to find a good W220 somewhere within a reasonable distance from Atlanta...
 

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S500 4Matic 2005
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885 Posts
Well, Allstate just totaled the 2003 S430.

According to the shop, the fatal factor was that the impact broke both headlight bodies.

Rats! Now I have to try to find a good W220 somewhere within a reasonable distance from Atlanta...
Hi Wally,
I hope you got some decent money from it that you can use on purchasing a new ride!
 

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2003 S500
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2,479 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
No idea what Allstate will offer, but it won't be much.
Book values for a 2003 S430, about 250k miles, good condition:
Kelly Blue Book - $3200
Edmund - $1400
NADA - $3155
:cry:

We paid $6800 for it twelve years ago. I guess that $3800 in depreciation over twelve years isn't too bad for a Mercedes...
 

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2000 S430, 2003 S430, 2000 S500, 2003 S600 TT, and 2005 E320 CDI
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$3800 for 12 years? Yeah, not bad at all.

Depending on what the insurance company offers you, if the damage really isn't too bad, you might consider just replacing that hood and grille with junkyard parts, getting some new Depo headlight assemblies, and keeping the car. I'm assuming that you have taken excellent care of this car of yours, i. e. everything that's needed doing has been done, and getting another W220 would very likely mean another front suspension rebuild, flex disc replacement, etc. that goes with a car of this age. Just a thought. My E320 CDI is a salvage/rebuilt title having had similar damage to yours, and not only does it drive very well, my annual automobile taxes on it are shockingly low!
 

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It is very easy to find a matching color hood in junk yard or eBay shipped to your door , if all it needs is a hood and headlights you can buy the salvage car from the insurer and fix yourself cheaply
 

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W220 Moderator
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6,041 Posts
Hi @wallyp

I agree, get a buy back ;)

Shame you aren't nearer I have a good Hood, (Bonnet), Grille and Standard Xenon Headlamps
 

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2005 S600
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519 Posts
IF you don't get saddled with a salvage title (or, if you don't care), then I would fix it yourself. You have a car that you know and is sorted, so, fixing it makes sense to me...

By the way, bought Depo parts for my Volvo. Very nice quality. I would recommend those as a replacement.
 

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2000 S430, 2003 S430, 2000 S500, 2003 S600 TT, and 2005 E320 CDI
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A salvage title isn't the end of the world. Far from it. Indeed, for a car of this value which is not likely to be resold, it can be a benefit.

Here in Virginia, if your car is worth less than US $1,000, then your annual automobile tax is...ZERO. That's right, I pay no tax on my E320 CDI, and it's exactly because of the salvage/rebuilt title. Since the car is all sorted, by yours truly here, I know it's good (why would I ever willingly let it go?). Matter of fact, the wife and I are going to be taking it on a road trip this Christmas.

The damage was as follows.

1.) cracked front bumper cover, lower left
2.) crushed-in left front fender
3.) slightly bent hood
4.) crushed front grille

Fixing this cost me under US $1,000. I sorted everything else (brakes, fluids, flex discs) for about $500 more. So I'm riding around in a rebuilt-title Mercedes-Benz. Awwwww...life's rough..... :-D
 

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2010 S500
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46 Posts
Glad to hear that you and Missus went unharmed.

I fully agree on the fixing. Come on man! it´s YOUR car, you KNOW its condition. If you buy another one, who knows?

And last, I read you have "game people" over there. I hope those are the people who look after the game. Or are they just...? hahaha.
 

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S500 4Matic 2005
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885 Posts
^^I agree with the guys. Go with the buy back option and fix it. It is your car at the end and you know it in and out ;)
 
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