Saturday, November 28, 2009

Crash and burn

I am NOT a happy camper.

In my car on the way home from my in-laws' tonight, we were about to pull onto the 10 freeway (leaving in the local landmarks for my local readers). The light turned green, and Brent honked at the red Eclipse in front of us as he saw her white reverse lights come on. She ignored our warning and proceeded to -- presumably by accident -- slam on her gas pedal, thus slamming into us.

My brother-in-law Tyler was with us, and he was in the front passenger seat. I sat in the back with Em. I screamed out and threw my arm across Em.

After the impact, Brent honked and flashed my car's lights. We totally expected the woman to pull over. Instead she continued to pull onto the 10 West on-ramp and then onto the 405 South freeway with no sign that she was going to pull over. The worst part? She had no plates. No car dealership paper plates. Nothing.

Brent continued to honk and flash the lights while I grabbed the phone and called 911. Somehow it knew to connect me to Highway Patrol, and I explained to the dispatcher what had happened and that we were following the car.

Her immediate response?

"Ma'am, do NOT follow that car!" I relayed the message to Brent, who said, "Ok, tell her I'm not following the car...but I'm still going to." The operator overheard him and was not happy. Since the actual accident happened on a surface street, she transferred us to the Los Angeles Police Department. I explained to that operator what had happened and that we were still behind the car.

His first comment was, "Ma'am, PLEASE do not follow that car. If they get into an accident, they can say you were chasing them." I relayed the message to Brent, who finally agreed to get off the freeway.

The woman in the Eclipse changed lanes from the far right lane to the next lane over, and as we pulled off we were able to pull up next to her. She refused to look over at us, not surprisingly. Brent and Tyler were able to see that it was an Asian woman with black hair and bangs, probably in her early 20s. She was by herself. Brent also confirmed that there were no plates on the front of the car.

As we pulled off the freeway, the LAPD dispatcher said he'd send a car out so we could file a report. It was already past Em's bedtime, which was quite evident by her meltdown. Brent and Tyler got out to survey the damage, which was thankfully minor. Hopefully the part of the bumper that is a little loose can just be popped back into place at minimal cost. HOPEFULY. My license plate is also bent, but that's easy to remedy.

We waited a half an hour for the police before we called our insurance to find out if we even needed a police report if we decided to file a claim. They said it'd make no difference, so we went home. I called the non-emergency number to let them know we weren't waiting, but I couldn't hear the prompts over Em's wails. It was waaaay past her bedtime then. They called us shortly after we got home, and we explained why we had left.

Beyond Em's meltdown, she wasn't in any physical distress. I'm thankful we're following the AAP recommendations to keep Em rear-facing as long as her seat will allow. Brent, Tyler and I all have slightly stiff necks, but not anything that would require a hospital visit. (Hopefully that will still be the case in the a.m.) If Em had been facing forward, she might be in more discomfort than us. (More rear-facing info here. You can also check out YouTube for videos that demonstrate the difference in front- and rear-crashes.)

The thing about our collision is that it was overall quite minor. But the wench was so scared -- and stupid -- and made it a more stressful situation than it needed to be. We have no idea why she didn't have plates. Was the car stolen? Did she have no insurance? Expired tags? Whatever the case, it seems like no plates at all would attract police attention. I have faith that her karma is going to come back to her in a way that will make us happy. The Universe works in mysterious ways.

"If we are deprived of our just due, we naturally experience emotions of anger."
- Smiley Blanton

22 comments:

  1. :-/ Hit and runs are one of my greater pet peeves. It's like.. seriously, if she had just stopped and stuff, it might've been resolved without things going the way they did. Glad to hear everyone's okay!

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  2. GAH! I'm so sorry to hear about this, but I am SO HAPPY that everyone is OK.

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  3. how frustrating! so glad everyone is ok, though...the most important thing. my car is hurting for her twinsie right now.

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  4. Ugh. Well, if I see her, I'll kick her in the you-know-what like you asked. SO RELIEVED you guys are all okay. Shaken, I'm sure, but physically okay.

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  5. OMG!!! I'm so glad that you guys are all okay. WTH is up with that girl? She must have freaked our something to have her just keep on going. Crossing my fingers that karma is on your side. Again, so glad to hear that you are all okay.

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  6. Glad you guys are okay - but seriously, what is wrong with people? I've heard of a few hit and runs recently. It's absolutely ridiculous!

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  7. What a bitch - I hope she gets hers :shakesfist:

    Most importantly I'm glad you guys are all ok and that Em has a mama who knows about extended rear-facing :-)

    p.s. I didn't have to turn Max's seat around until he was almost 3.5!

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  8. Not fun AT ALL. So sorry this happened to you. Ohm. Karma. All that. ;)

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  9. I'm glad you guys are ok! I hope karma comes back and kicks her in the butt. :)

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  10. glad you are all okay!

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  11. Glad everyone is okay!! Like JT sings, "What goes around, goes around, goes around, goes around, comes back around..." :)

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  12. ugh, what a complete bummer! i'm so sorry you guys had to go through that... thank god everyone was OK. what a stupid woman.

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  13. I'm so glad everyone is okay.

    We're doing the rear-facing thing, too.

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  14. I'm so sorry to hear that this happened to you :( But luckily, nobody was hurt. Karma will definitely catch up to that bitch.

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  15. i am glad to her you and your family are okay and the driver will get her just due.

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  16. I'm so glad you're OK. You know the situation is good when you can complain about shitty drivers instead of hospital bills...or worse.

    But what a pain. I was hit by an uninsured driver before I even got license plates on my brand-new car (after college). It was the most annoying thing EVER. Further compounding the matter was that they were Asian, and had a very common name, and managed to disappear from the face of the Earth or say they didn't speak English (they sure seemed fluent at the scene of the crime) and hang up for nearly a year before I got my money. I'm sorry. I hope it gets better soon. :(

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  17. I am so sorry. Glad you are ok.

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  18. Random reader. But glad I did. Please know that you should check with your insurance about Em's carseat. Any impact to a car with a child in the carseat will typically protect it, but only one time. That leaves the carseat virtually useless to take further impacts in case (G-d Forbid) of other accidents. If your insurance says no, because they may not be so inclined to pay for a $300 seat, check with your pediatrician. If they write you a note, your insurance can't say no - even the CHP.
    Good luck.

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  19. Gerilyn - Thanks so much for your comment! I'm fairly certain our insurance covers a replacement carseat, so we should be all set there, thankfully! :)

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  20. Yikes!!! I'd be livid, too! I'm glad everyone is okay, though.

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  21. Ugh! That sucks!! I would be so pissed!! People who do stupid things and then don't own up to them are really incredibly lame.

    Glad to hear that everyone is okay for the most part. We kept Dahlia rear facing until she was 18 months old! (then she finally outgrew her car seat). I'm all for leaving them in their infant seats rear facing as long as possible! (but I will admit it's a lot more fun now that I can see her & she can look out the windows easier...)

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  22. Ack! That is scary! Glad that there was no serious damage or injuries.

    And ugh - another asian woman perpetuating the stereotype. My mom does that everyday. :-)

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