Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Erradication of a Life That Had Just Begun

So, I almost decided to not write about my car accident, but it's the most exciting/least boring thing about me right now. Besides fulfilling going to the Planetarium on Saturday with my BFFs and seeing a 3D movie about the ocean, narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet.

Yes, it's true, I killed my car - almost less than a month after purchasing it. I haven't even started making payments on it - although those are coming all too soon.

I think I've told my story to almost everyone - I've become quite good at it since I've told it about 7 billion times. So, sorry if you've heard this one. It's weird - when people find out you've pretty much killed your car, they want to know how you did it.

Okay, so I was driving home from work, down Parley's Canyon (so, going east on I-80), in the right lane ('cause I like to kind of coast at about 60 or 65 and not use gas as much as I can) and I noticed a semi in the right lane with its lights flashing, showing that it was going slow.

I thought I could go around it, so although I did slow down a bit, I didn't seriously put on my brakes. I checked over my shoulder at the middle lane, noting its fullness, and by the time I brought my head back around to see what was happening, the semi was right in front of me - it was going a lot slower than I originally thought it was.

I slammed on my brakes and fishtailed out of the road into the ditch by the side of the freeway. My airbags deployed, giving me some nice burns and bruises, but besides that I wasn't hurt in any way.

The ambulance quickly came, checked me to make sure I was okay, and left. Then came the police - a Summit County policeman, then a Utah Highway Patrolman. They checked yet again to make sure I was okay, and I called my dad to let him know what happened. I filled out an accident report and waited for the tow truck.

My dad got there by that time, and he called the insurance agency and talked with the tow truck driver and the police officer - and gave me a big hug. That was helpful when I got ticketed for not staying within one lane. Kind of lame, in my opinion, but I guess I might've been going pretty fast - even though I've NEVER seen a semi going that slowly on I-80 before - even in the canyon.

We followed the tow truck back to an auto body shop my dad had used before, and paid the tow truck driver with cash I snagged from my savings account. We then went home, anticipating what would happen to Phil.

The next day, I got a call from my dad, telling me to call the insurance agency and tell them what my ticket was for. The insurance agent then told me my car was pretty much totaled, according to that auto body shop where we took my car. I was pretty bummed that I would have to buy another car so soon after I bought my first one, but I was happy, thinking my car was covered.

Then I got home from work.

My dad told me my car wasn't covered collision-wise - which seemed smart at the time I bought insurance, since all the books on insurance say to not cover cars 10 years or older with collision, since the premium is really high and if you total it you only get the worth of the car, which isn't much when the car is old.

To sum it up: a car I just bought was totaled and I had to buy another car, while still paying for the first one.

I cried, but my dad suggested we see if the shop could do a quick fix, sans cosmetic things like paint, for less than the worth of the car. I don't remember how much they said that would be, but it was still a lot. Then my dad had my neighbor look at it, and he estimated it would be about $1,900 all around - although he didn't look under the hood and was known for underestimating repair costs lately.

I wanted to just have him fix my car and get on with life, when my dad came up with an idea: my engine was fine - why couldn't we just take my good engine and put it in a better body? Right now, I'm willing to play his game, but when I told my boss my dad's idea, he said it would probably be a crapshoot - getting a car that would fit my engine, with a decent body for a low amount of money would be hard to find. I've been looking on and craigslist, as well as googling everything to do with a Honda Civic and a body, coming up with a few hits for late '80s/early 90s cars, but mostly nothing.

Everything in me wishes I could go back to that moment and do something different than what I did, but what happens happens and you have to deal with what you've done and what happens to you, I guess, which leaves me feeling fine and other people feeling disconcerted that I'm so calm.

So, I guess what I'm saying is: anybody have a crappy 1997 Honda Civic they want to sell me? Or know where I can find one?


Katie Phelps said...

oh.. I'm so sad for you. Its great that you are so calm about it though. Way to be calm and try to look for the positives. I do not have any '97 Civic, but I have a '98 Carolla... probably won't fit your engine though. I hope you find something awesome soon though!

Brandon said...

Tough times, Amy Lou. Hope everything works out okay.

Jessica :) said...

Amy, I think that is something I love about you: your ability to try the positive side of things. You are basically-pretty much amazing! I'm sorry about your car. I hope you can find something else soon and that it will work okay for you financially!

Jennifer said...

Uh...actually yeah. My friend's fiance is selling his crappy '97 (I think) black civic. I hear it's not in great shape and I think he's asking 2,000 but I'm not really sure. I'll look into it a little more though if you'd like. Sorry about your wreck. That's terrible. Adam's in the insurance biz and was discussing the two different kinds of coverage and how it sucks that they aren't just linked since you still pay a premium...Anyway...let me know?