OK, let me start this off by saying: Kelsey and I are both just fine.
Now: We were in a one-car accident this morning.
Road conditions around here have been fairly consistently treacherous for the last week or so, and this morning Terry told me there were black ice warnings. I told her I’d be fine – I’m a very careful driver anyway, and I figured that most of the roads I’d be traveling on between the house and the office would have been traveled enough to have warmed them up.
Problem is, that didn’t apply to the road right outside our neighborhood.
Kelsey and I got in the Jeep and headed off for school, turning left out of our neighborhood. Fifty yards later, I hit a slick of ice and started sliding. My first thought was “Hey, y’know, no big deal, I’ll stop sliding here in a second.” But I didn’t. I fishtailed back and forth for a few seconds before shooting off the right shoulder, into a drainage ditch and headfirst into an embankment – given that the mud we drove through probably slowed us down a little, I’m guessing we hit the embankment at around thirty miles per hour.
As soon as we were stopped, I turned around immediately to check on Kelsey (all I could think once it became obvious an accident was coming was “Kelsey Kelsey Kelsey Kelsey”)… who was perfectly fine, and only upset because the impact made her drop the fuzzy little frog she was playing with.
I called Terry as soon as I was sure both Kelsey and I were physically okay, but I had to cut the call short because of some unexpected help (Terry has her own version of events which describe that far too short phone call, so I’ll let her tell that part of the story). I complain sometimes about where we live and talk about missing Boston, but I’m fairly sure what happened next wouldn’t have happened had this accident occured up north: not sixty seconds after the accident, a guy pulled off the side of the road in his ginormous Chevy truck and helped drag me out of the ditch. And the state trooper who showed up to check on us was my neighbor – who thankfully didn’t write us up for having expired out-of-state tags (a situation which was fixed this afternoon). Terry called a tow truck (thank you again, Beth, for the AAA membership you got Terry for her birthday)… and we waited for quite awhile, since the tow trucks around here were quite busy this morning. Supposedly there were numerous accidents all around our area; the tow guy had trouble navigating the roads himself to come get us.
The truck wasn’t really damaged, surprisingly, outside of a blown right front tire, and even that we were able to get re-inflated. I was so, so, so lucky: there was no one else on the road at the time I started skidding, and where I went off the road I managed to split right between a row of mailboxes and a telephone pole. Where I hit the embankment, I was two feet to the right of a cement drainage pipe. Even the fact that I was driving the Jeep and not my Mazda – the Mazda would have been severely damaged by the crash, and quite possibly so would Kelsey and I. All in all, if I’ve got to be in a car accident – especially with my kid in the car – this was a good one to have.