Accidents will happen…

…especially on rainy roads in normally dry Southern California. Sometimes they involve a lot of cars. If you’re truly unfortunate, one of those cars is yours.

Guess who was truly unfortunate on Monday afternoon?

My family spent the President’s Day weekend at my mother-in-law’s, and started the drive home after lunch on Monday. The weather was iffy, so we wanted to allow extra time for traffic tie-ups. Even so, we weren’t doing too badly time-wise when we reached the San Fernando Valley. We drove through rainy patches, overcast areas, spots of sunshine, and some places that seemed to mix them all, like the stretch of the 101 Freeway through Calabasas.

Suddenly, cars were slowing down and switching lanes abruptly, and our attempt to take evasive action was unsuccessful. We rear-ended another car, the airbags deployed, and Tall Paul steered us off the road to the right-hand shoulder, where we came to a stop. The kids were scared and we were stunned, but none of us were seriously hurt – except for the car.

Tuesday was a recovery day at home. We are all nursing bruises. The Boy seems to have bounced back pretty well – it helps to be nine, I guess; Tall Paul, Tall Girl, and I are all still sore; and I seem to have injured my right-hand pinky finger, of all things.

We are expecting that the car will be given the last rites and we’ll have to replace it under less-than-ideal circumstances, but it’s in the insurance company’s hands right now.

The accident closed down the north 101 Freeway for nearly an hour at what would have been the afternoon rush hour if it hadn’t been President’s Day, and at least a dozen cars were involved. As far as we can tell, our car was one of the last in the chain, and was able to get out of the main crush; there were at least six or seven cars piled into each other in the #2 lane, and the rest were dispersed along the right-hand shoulder and the center median. If this link still works, you can see the local news report:

Look closely and you’ll see my husband on the shoulder, taking pictures of the damage to his car.

I’m glad we’re all OK, and especially glad our dog didn’t make this trip with us. With luck, in a few more days it won’t hurt to move our shoulders, and I’m hoping for much less excitement this coming weekend.

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  1. I’m sorry to hear that you were in an accident! I hope that everyone is feeling better soon. I was rear-ended last week (luckily while I was driving my school bus…those things are tanks!) and even though no one was hurt it was still a very unpleasant situation. Hang in there!!!

  2. o my goodness…I’m glad that you are ok and that you are merely dealing with a broken car and some bruises for the most part. how scary.

  3. Oh no! I’m glad you came away ok! My sister was 3 wrecks in one day right before Christmas and she didn’t ever want to get back in car.

  4. Glad you guys are okay but so, so sorry about this. I know how it goes post-accident so I’m hoping all of you recover soon and deal with the car with minimal trouble to you.

  5. Wow. That looks like it was a mess. Glad you guys are all okay, for the most part. It’s amazing how sore you get the day after an accident, isn’t it?

    I hope you get everything squared away with the insurance company quickly. And, like you said, have a MUCH more relaxing weekend coming up.

  6. Y’all, my husband wasn’t sure he wanted me to blog about this, but I think he understands that I needed to – and your supportive comments are making me glad I did. Thanks so much!

    Different things are sore today, but overall it’s not as bad as yesterday. Dessert for lunch will be more Advil, though :-). Tall Paul and I were able to go back to work today, although Tall Girl was off from school again.

    Since our car came to rest away from most of the others involved, we’re not even sure who we hit, or how fault is determined in this kind of situation. The repair shop intends to recommend that the car be totaled, but we have to wait for the verdict from the insurance company – and if they agree, hope that it doesn’t take too long to settle the claim, since we have to buy another car now. Insurance is paying for a rental, but we don’t want to keep it longer than necessary.

    Tanabata and Kathy (Bermudaonion) – I think it was scarier for the kids, especially Tall Girl, since I think she had a better view of what was going on.

    Jonita – Amazingly, out of the entire pileup, it seems that only one person was injured badly enough to be taken to the hospital.

    April and Anna – Thanks, ladies :-).

    Serena – It definitely could have been much worse. The car did its job protecting us from injury. I just wish we weren’t having to replace it under these conditions.

    Lenore – Yikes! I’d probably feel the same way if I were your sister. My husband is afraid that The Boy will be scared about driving in the rain now…good thing we don’t get a lot of it, in that case.

    Avisannchild – I don’t think I realized how much I use my pinky finger until it hurt to do it! I’m definitely favoring it – I can type OK without it, but holding a pen is uncomfortable.

    Julie P – Thanks. So far, the insurance company has been good; in some ways, having the car totaled may be the easiest resolution.

    Mike – I take it the video link still works :-). And that’s so true; I actually didn’t feel too bad for the first few hours after, but I could barely move the next morning.

    I suspect the weekend will involve car shopping, which is typically not relaxing, but is now necessary.

  7. Bridget – Thanks! It’s financial unpleasantness, but fortunately, probably not catastrophe. I just hope it doesn’t drag out for too long, so we can just move on from it.

    Kori – I assume you saw that April was here already 🙂 – thanks for coming by!

  8. That sounds like it was really scary. I’ve been in a few accidents – both big and small – and they all left me feeling rather shell shocked. So glad to hear everyone is okay.

  9. Sounds like a very scary experience. Glad to hear you’re all okay – hope the car shopping goes as well as it can under such unfortunate circumstances. :/

  10. That is horrible! I am glad you all are okay. Those airbags scare me to death. If one blew up in my face, I’d scream. I am jumpy like that.

    I really hope the week gets better.

  11. Kate – I think this is the first accident I’ve been in when I wasn’t driving (which makes me sound like a terrible driver, but I swear they weren’t all my fault!), but yeah, it’s a little spooky anyway. Both of us are kind of hyper-cautious drivers right now.

    Megan – Thanks, me too. My husband’s already looking, but I’m not sure how fast things will move.

    J. Kaye – The kids screamed at the airbags more than I did, and they were in the back. I think I was too shocked to make any noise at first, which is how I usually react.

    And thanks – I hope the week gets better too. I’d hate to imagine it getting WORSE :-).

  12. B&B's Mommy – It’s now Thursday morning. It seems like every day there’s less general soreness, but something new hurts. I think we’re all improving, though.

    Jill (Softdrink) – Thanks – it still hurts, but the swelling’s gone down. It’s weird how much I miss using it :-).

    Wendy (Literary Feline) – I’m glad about that too :-).

  13. Oh, no! I’m so sorry that happened but glad to hear you’re all ok and not badly injured. Sorry about the pinky! Freeway driving in So Cal is always an adventure, and with the crazy weather it’s been extra wild lately. Better to stay home and read 🙂

  14. Lisa – The dumb part is that we don’t usually go that way. If we’d taken our regular route, we wouldn’t have even been there. Second-guessing is always SO much fun…

  15. I’m glad you weren’t in the worst of it, and hope your pinky is better. Once I went joyriding with other kids from my Star Trek club in Syracuse in bad weather, and returned to find that everyone’s parents were all worried. While we were out there was an 87-car pileup. Or was it 83? Be glad you guys don’t get snow!

  16. Karen – They get snow in the higher elevations within 50 miles or so from us, but yeah, it’s a good thing we don’t – obviously, rain causes enough driving trouble!

    And as a mom, I can imagine how the parents reacted to news of an 80+ car pileup(!) while their kids were riding around – and that was back before cell phones. Yikes.

  17. So glad you guys didn’t get seriously injured. What a headache to have to replace the car though. Now you can print out that list of suggestions for car salesmen that you featured in your Saturday Review and take it to the dealerships with you and hand it to anyone you feel is behaving badly as a salesman!

  18. Dreamybee – Ooh, thanks for reminding me about that! Since it was my husband’s car, he’s doing the heavy lifting on the replacement shopping (thank goodness), but I should at least have him read over that list before we go to the dealership tomorrow!