Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Untimely Demise of The Beast

From Sister Wendy Blog, she was the Sister driving Katelyn and her Companion


The Untimely Demise of The Beast

What a life it had. Abused and tortured by previous owners, slowly and painstakingly put back together with salvage parts, only to meet a tragic, violent end.

I had the opportunity Saturday to take a couple of cute missionaries from my church to an appointment. It has been raining more days than not for most of the month. Saturday morning it alternated between fine mist and rain. Thanks to previous damage around the passenger door, the Tracker leaks in the rain. But, we loaded everyone in the car, so glad to have a functioning back seat, and headed across town. The streets were wet, but nothing too bad. Many of the roads here do not have center turning lanes, just two lanes each direction, nothing in the middle, and not much on the sides. We signaled and stopped in the left lane, attempting to make a left turn off of the main road. Traffic was a little heavy, being lunch time on Saturday (not to mention a holiday weekend). While peacefully waiting for traffic to clear enough to safely make the left turn we heard a loud bang.

I've made it approximately half-way through my life without having anything more than a fender bender. So what happened next was definitely a new experience. After the bang, everything went into a dream-like slow motion. We started to move, turning a little to the left, and we started to tip towards the passenger side. In the confusion, I wondered if we were going to tip over. We quickly came to a stop and the two "girls" (they seem so young these days) started to ask if everyone was all right. I stopped, took a breath, assessed my physical situation, and determined that I was not injured. That's when I smelled the gas and moved into evacuation mode. I told the girls we needed to get out, but they couldn't get the passenger door open. I got the passenger door open from the outside, and got both girls safely out (though the one in the back had to climb over the seats because I couldn't get either one to slide forward). Thankfully, several fellow travelers had stopped to help the girls and provide witness statements. Both girls were transported to the hospital with minor injuries and released within a few hours. I'm sure their bodies will heal faster than their minds.

We always talk about the missionaries being protected by angels and I wondered why they didn't have more protection that day. Then we went to look at the Tracker.

She hit us on the rear passenger side of the car. It broke the rear window, ruptured the gas tank, and slashed the tire. She wasn't paying attention to the road and probably didn't brake before impact. The force of the collision pushed us halfway through the intended turn into on-coming traffic. I don't know how, but they must of seen the accident coming, because where I had seen no break to turn, there was space for us to stop and no one came close to hitting us. Some how the on-coming traffic all went around us or stopped five to ten feet in front of us. I don't even remember hearing any squealing tires.

Its hard to see from the full shot of the back end just how far things were smashed in, but when you look at the area around the filler cap for the gas tank, you can see that she did push the back end in pretty far.

This is where I started to get nervous. A year and a half ago we replaced the back floor pan and added a reinforcing bar to help support the seat. The force was enough that what was a straight seat is now bent. This would be on the left side of the rear passenger.
I'm sad this picture didn't turn out better. This is a shot in between the front and rear seats at the hump behind the center console. The brown line in the middle of the picture is where the metal has been ripped apart and you can see the ground below the tracker. So, my poor rear passenger had the car torn apart behind her, glass falling around her, torn apart beside her, resting above spilling gasoline and unknown damage, and torn metal at her feet. She was very shaken up, but walked away with a lot of sore muscles, a few cuts, and many bruises. I've decided that the angels protecting her must have been working over time. Its a good thing they all took Sunday off and spent most of their day in the apartment. I don't know, can angels get bruises?

This is what the offending car looked like.

I always suspected that the Tracker would go out with a final story, I just assumed that is would be due to a failing part. After all, a car with nicknames like The Black Cactus, The Rocking Squirrel, The Beast, Lucifer, FrankenTracker, and a few others has to have a story. And after the epic "brake" failure and other horrifying discovers, it just couldn't go quietly. Its a good reminder that cell phones and cars don't mix, and Heavenly Father will protect his children.

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