Author Topic: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.  (Read 9226 times)

Offline Zeus

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Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« on: July 04, 2004, 09:49:09 PM »
This has been clipped from the Monday news at BensCustomCases.  I know that some of you view the forum instead of the regular page, so I thought I'd share with you too.


On Friday morning the wife and I decided to take off later that day and do some tourning and holiday. We headed over to the Cypress Hills on the Alberta - Sasketchewan border and had a good time. Our little boy enjoyed himself quite a bit, and we had a break from the farm. . . always a good time. . . almost. On the way home we came across a piece of driveshaft/u-joint that fell off a Semi truck. This was laying in right in our lane of the highway, just over the crest of a hill. With all the traffic, I could really swerve too far to the right or left, so I straddled the debris and hoped for the best. We didn't get the best, but it could've been a lot worse.

The junk clipped the bottom of our motor, and deflected up into the gastank where it remained lodged for about 400 yards. In that distance we lost nearly a quarter of a tank of fuel, all the while sparks spewing from underneath the van (according to witness). After the 400 yards, the object came loose, hitting our rear axle of our 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport, denting the axle, then cracking our rear bumber in two places before cartwheeling into the highway.

I pulled over immediately, shut the van off and assessed the situation. Crap. After the driver of the truck refused to give me insurance information saying "It won't do you no good. It's just the same as hitting a deer." I called the police. To make a long story short, I don't have a van, the guys has charges laid on him, and I'm talking to insurance companies tomorrow. I've tossed up some pics for your viewing pleasure. Keep in mind that while the driveshaft was stuck in our gastank, sparks were shooting from the other end stuck in the pavement. . . yeah, it could've been a lot worse.




To view large pics, please check out this link for the tank and this link for the bumper.

The whole in the gastank is about 2.5" - 3" long and if you look close, you'll notice that the filler hose is actually torn loose as well. The cracks in the bumper are about 2" long (left) and 1" long (right). All in all, some pretty hefty damage. It looks like the axle may be bent and the van sprung. If so, it'll likely be written off. . .
« Last Edit: July 04, 2004, 09:52:54 PM by Zeus »

Offline LobbDogg

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Re: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2004, 10:56:10 PM »
Oh man that sucks dude.  There is nothing that sucks more than having your vehicle written off due to some unforseen accident or someones else hitting you.  Especially since you never get the value out of your vehicle.  I know exactly what you mean.  Happened to me 3 times last year.  So I can't figure out what you are trying to say, is the driver of the semi getting charged at all?  I hope everything works out for your family and hopefully the issue can get resolved as fast as possible. 

It seems like there has been a string of bad luck going around on this forum lately.  (...Searching for Rabbit's foot)
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Offline Zeus

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Re: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2004, 05:37:41 AM »
Yeah, the driver/company of the truck is getting charged.  When the driveshaft flew off of his truck is butchered his air-lines.  His brakes on both trailer and truck should've locked up if they were working. . . they didn't at all.  His truck will no doubt fail the Department Of Transportation inspection, and he'll be fined heavily.  I'm just glad nothing happened with the fuel and the gas.  My pregnant wife, and 2 year old son were in the van.

Offline LobbDogg

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Re: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2004, 10:31:18 AM »
Yeah its good to hear everyone is ok and nothing more serious happened.  Glad to have you guys back in one piece.
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Offline VE6JHC

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Re: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2004, 02:00:00 PM »
Sounds like that truck was a real piece of crap....parts falling off of it and all. You should make out OK with your van as it is new enough that they will repair it rather than write it off. Take it to a decent body shop!
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Offline Seeker

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Re: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2004, 02:53:14 PM »
Well hope most of our trips are not like this....the wife might not want to go... Anyway glad your family in one piece not like the guy (semi) would have been if i had my way..He would have ate the drive shaft. Hope he gets what is planned for him. Just think that these units are on the highway everyday and somebody will get killed. Kinda sucks that the DOT dont go down the back roads and catch some of these ppl...     :( :( :(
Remember kids, if you happen to find yourself upside down and on fire, you've just discovered the meaning of "too fast".

Offline Howdy Duty

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Re: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2004, 05:22:29 PM »
When the drive shaft hit the engine, did it take the engine out as well or just dent the oil pan?

The damage really shouldn't be too hard to repair.  A new gas tank, rear axle and oil pan and you're set.  Oh, and a new bumper.  Shouldn't be that much.  Bumpers are made so cheaply now I wouldn't bother replacing it unless it's hanging in two pieces.  Any other damage?

And I know there are DOT inspectors on the highway.  If you ever see a suspicious truck that just doesn't look fit for the road don't hesistate to phone the police.  They'll send out a DOT inspector and nail him for everything they can.  That's what they're there for.  I've heard lots of stories about truckers that cheap out on repairs only to get pulled over 2 miles from the mechanics shop because the mechanic felt the truck wasn't road worthy and called DOT.  And another thing!  Hitting debris that fell off a truck is NOT the same as hitting a deer.  If anything it's the drivers fault for neglecting to perform a proper daily safety inspection.  It's no different if I were carrying something on a flat deck truck that fell off.  It's my fault because I didn't tie it down properly.

Glad to hear your family is safe and sound.  That could have been a real disaster with that hole in the tank and sparks flying.

-HD 

Offline Zeus

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Re: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2004, 05:59:05 PM »
Being that his insurance is going to pay for stuff, I'm going to get everything fixed that got busted.  I don't think it hit the engine at all, just deflected off a cross-member and fired up into the tank.  Still waiting on adjuster to come out and appraise it.  Then we can talk about getting it fixed.

Offline Fujitsu

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Re: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2004, 08:17:17 PM »
sorta sucks for you having your vehicle out of commission because of some cheap trucker

first time I read the article I thought it said you got charges laid against you (it was early), and I was sorta puzzled how you could hit a piece of driveshaft and get charged for it, thought maybe you beat the tar out of him with is own driveshaft

anyhoo, glad to hear everyones alright and the damage wasn't worse

Offline Zeus

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Re: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2004, 04:28:23 AM »
The irritating thing is, my wife's family is coming up from Montanna this weekend, and we need a vehicle to move us all around. . . I don't thing 7 of us can fit in the front seat of the bosses pickup.

Offline Fujitsu

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Re: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2004, 06:01:40 AM »
guess you'll have to haul the family around in the bed of the truck, redneck style

Offline Seeker

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Re: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2004, 06:44:37 PM »
Hey at the last LAN party didnt i see a old hay wagon at the place you at ?? might be slow but scenic just dont get into a spot that you have to back it up lol!! Its good to know that things didnt really get ugly sparks, fuel you know... Now all this has happend, do you think that this guy will be a better driver?? Prob. not thats the bad thing.
Remember kids, if you happen to find yourself upside down and on fire, you've just discovered the meaning of "too fast".

Offline Zeus

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Re: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2004, 09:11:01 PM »
I had the insurance appraiser come out and take a look today.  They have to replace the tank, front stabilizer pan (where the thing hit and caused it to deflect into the gas tank), as well as a muffler, rear stabilizer and possibly axle.  They've also quoted in a 4 wheel alignment to be sure.  We'll have to see when they can get parts in and how soon it can get fixed.

Offline VE6JHC

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Re: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2004, 09:48:15 PM »
You should call his insurance company and ask for a free rental...
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Offline Zeus

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Re: Holiday goes bad. . . could've been worse.
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2004, 04:28:59 AM »
His insurance company, ING Insurance, refused to respond or comment on the claim.  My insurance company had to send a notice of demand for them to respond.  I'm not sure if they even have yet.  They're stalling as long as they can so my vehicle will be fixed by the time things get sorted out.  Stupid insurance companies.  I'll know more by noon today for sure.