Bumper Cars

October 7th, 2011 . by Melissa

In the sixth grade I was in a car accident with my friend and her mom. We were t-boned while crossing the busiest road in our tiny, little town of 7000. I remember as I watched my friend, in slow motion, fly across the van and finally land at my feet, that it felt a lot like bumper cars. I blamed that juvenile association on my age, since I was only 12 at the time. But last Monday as I saw the other car hurdling toward me, no sign of stopping, and felt it hit; I thought the same thing, “this feels like bumper cars.”

I was on my way to work, on Purdue campus, taking the route I always do. I left that day a little earlier than usual because I had an 8 a.m. Monday morning meeting. I know, right…a meeting at 8 a.m. on a Monday?! Well, it was with my boss’s boss and I did not want to be late, so I left early with plenty of time to spare. I was about 1 minute away from my office, I could practically see my building, when I arrived at a four way stop. I watched the car to my right go through the intersection. After he went I began to go, since it was my turn. It wasn’t until I was halfway through the intersection that I realized the car that was behind the guy that just went, was not stopping to wait her turn and was barreling right for me. I kept thinking she was going to notice me and slam on her breaks at any moment…but she didn’t slow down until the impact of my car forced her to. There was a deafening “POP!” as my side curtain airbags exploded. (Luckily, she hit me on the passenger side and I was passengerless.) My car was knocked so hard it spun 90 degrees until I reached a final screeching halt, leaving me face to face with my day-ruiner. I looked down at my snacks and lunch that was once contained in a plastic bag, strewn throughout the front seat of my car. I quickly sprang out of my seat…too many action movies have taught me that cars always blow up after they’ve been hit. Two students who had witnessed the whole thing called from the corner, “Should we call 9-1-1?!” I choked out a “Yes” and asked them to tell whomever that I was pregnant. The girl who hit me, who we shall call “day-ruiner” for the remainder of this blog post, also got out of her car…she was STILL on her cell phone. A lady a pulled over and offered to let me wait in her car until the ambulance and police came. I had left my coat in the car and it was chilly, so I agreed to have a seat. Up until then I was just fine, emotionally. But, there’s something about the kindness of strangers that makes me weepy…especially when I’m the one on the receiving end. So, this is when I broke down. The ambulance came a minute later. The paramedic insisted on taking my vitals though I felt fine, because I was pregnant. I checked out okay but when I refused to be taken to the hospital he insisted I have my husband take me straight to the OBGYN. After I gave the investigating officer my statement we headed to see Dr. Wallace. I started to get really worried because this little kiddo is super active and kicks me about every 5 minutes. However, I had not felt her move once since the accident and it had been over 30 minutes. On the way to the doctor’s she kicked me once, and I felt immediate relief, but it wasn’t until we heard her little heart beat pumping just fine that I was finally able to relax.

A few days later, we were able to obtain a copy of the police report. It was reassuring to see that the investigating officer deemed the accident completely the “day-ruiner’s” fault. This I already knew, but I was glad to see it  as official and in writing.

This morning, we learned that my car was assessed  as utterly and completely “totaled.” In fact, the damages were already adding up so quickly, he didn’t even complete the whole evaluation. There was no need. During my lunch break I made my way out to the collision center where my car was being stored to remove all of our final belongings. I was so emotional! Which is just silly, I know, but I really loved that car. It was the first big purchase Jason and I ever made as a married couple. It was the car we drove we across the country when we moved everything we owned from Utah to Indiana. It was the car we took Jack home from the hospital in. Goodness, imagine how much of a wreck I’m going to be when we sell our house!! Anyway, time to move on and find a new car. We have to decide if we are ready to become minivan owners or not…oh boy. But, I think no matter what, I’m going to have to go with a Mazda. For old time’s sake.