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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Crash! & The Kindness of Strangers

First things first - No One Was Hurt!
It had been a good day; lots of errands and “to dos” crossed off a long list. It had been unseasonably warm. Chuck and I were together (always good) and we had decided to get an early dinner at a great Mexican restaurant before heading home. Chuck was driving slowly in the right hand lane, about a block from where we were going to take a right at the light. Suddenly, a car crashed into the driver’s side door and front quarter of our car. A young college student’s car was perpendicular to us. I got out and was surprised to see how much damage we had sustained. Because while it felt like a big scary crash, there had also been a feeling of solidity in the way our Subaru wagon took the impact. We were able to limp the car a couple of car lengths into the Dunkin' Donuts parking lot, which turned out to be where the other driver had been heading when she hit us. None of us was injured. We had all been wearing our seatbelts. Her car would be drivable. Because of the wheel damage we sustained, ours would not be.

That was the crash. Now, onto the kindness of strangers.
- The young gal driving the other car was sweet and apologetic as we all made sure that everyone was alright and exchanged our information.
- The police dispatchers we called were swift and efficient.
- The two Fitchburg police officers who responded were polite, compassionate and reassuring.
- AAA was easy to deal with and got the ball rolling on a tow for our car. Later they called us back to give us an ETA on the flatbed.
- Our car dealership was close by, still open and could rent us a car to get home.
- The woman at our auto insurance company was kind, patient, asked all the right questions, walked us through exactly what we needed to do and in what order.
- The other driver offered to buy us coffee, before she got back on the road and headed off to class.
- While waiting in the Dunkin' Donuts parking lot for our tow truck, one of the employees came out on her dinner break to ask if we needed a ride or anything else.
- Our tow truck driver, John, had a sunny disposition, arrived right on time and got our car safely loaded in just a few minutes. Then we climbed into the cab with him and he drove us to the dealership.
- The folks at the dealership were ready for us and had us set up with a rental in no time.

We feel lucky. We feel fortunate. We are grateful. Grateful every single person we dealt with was well intentioned. Grateful for well engineered, safe vehicles, seat belts and cell phones. We know we have paperwork ahead of us and finances to sort out, and we wish we had never been in an accident tonight. But our spirits never fell and all that positive interaction with other folks left us reassured in the inherent goodness of people.
By the way, two and a half hours after we planned to have our early dinner, we had a delicious meal at Ixtapa. The service? Warm, friendly and courteous as always. After the events of today, how could it have been otherwise!

1 comment:

Bruce said...

Hey Lee,
I appreciate the positive take on a difficult situation in a common everyday challenge. I have the same car- same color with kayak rack on roof -'02 model. I love it too. The blog is fun and your journal approach reflective and calm, like a stream.

Thanks for sharing.

Bruce