Off to Kia Heaven

Do not think because an accident hasn’t happened to you that it can’t happen. ~Safety saying, circa early 1900s

Perhaps you’ve noticed I haven’t been around much these past few days. Perhaps you’ve wondered why.

Here’s the reason:


Yes, that was my Kia Optima.

I’d traveled 45 miles to take care of personal business and do a bit of shopping when the unexpected happened.

Heading north toward a big box store, I suddenly caught sight of something from my left eye and hit my brakes.

A woman was barreling through a Stop sign on a cross street, careened into the front of my car (driver’s side), and spun me 90 degrees to the right. She continued past me, climbing onto that graveled median, and only came to rest after her car had smashed into three parked cars.

You read that right — three.

My airbag deployed, filling the cabin with smoke and fumes and causing me to fear an explosion. I hopped out, ready to give her a tongue-lashing. A store employee on lunch break approached and was on her cell phone with 9-1-1. An ambulance, firetruck, and a couple of police cars arrived.

Eventually, I noticed my left forearm had a variety of scratches and was beginning to bruise. I refused transport to their hospital, preferring to return home to ours. (The verdict? No broken bones, no concussion; just abrasions and bruising).

The woman who caused this didn’t get a scratch … or a ticket (it occurred on private property), but as the ad says, There will still be pain. Try paying for damages to FIVE vehicles.

My insurance adjuster has been incredible. I met with him on Thursday, and together we went to the towing company to remove personal items from my car, which they’re totaling and sending to Kia Heaven. Sad, but as he reminded me, That car did its job; it sacrificed its life for yours.

A sobering thought.


So I’ve been dealing with insurance claims, rental cars, flashbacks, and various aches and pains. I’ve tried to lie low and recuperate.

And yes, avoid driving whenever possible.

Until my confidence returns.

We never really know how safe our vehicles are until we’re in an accident. We never really know how good our insurance companies are until we have a problem. I’ve been blessed, on both counts. This could have been so much worse.

Be careful out there, my friends!

32 thoughts on “Off to Kia Heaven

  1. Oh Debbie! I’m so glad you’ve come out of it relatively undamaged, but what a frightening experience for you! I’ve never been in a real crash but I know how scary I found even the couple of very minor bumps I’ve had while driving. I hope it doesn’t dent your confidence too much and you’ll soon be back enjoying driving again. I’m glad your insurance company has come up trumps – as you say, we only find out how good they are when we need them. Do take care and give yourself some serious TLC – you deserve it!

    • Thanks so much, FF! I’ve been in minor bumps before — never my fault, thankfully! — but totaling one’s car is practically devastating. Kind of like losing one’s friend, you know? Anyway, I, too, am surprised at how such a collision lingers in one’s mind, days afterward. I’m calling for chocolate…LOTS of it!!

    • Oh, Cindy, how frightening for you — and I imagine the elk scampered off without so much as a scratch, right?? A whole year with this fear? I don’t know if I can stand that. I’ve GOT to drive — and be comfortable doing it. I’m glad you, too, survived your big ordeal!

  2. Wow! How fortunate that you caught a glimpse of the culprit and instinctively reacted or your injuries may have been even worse. Did the woman give any defense for her recklessness?

    • Mo, would you believe she said her brakes “haven’t been working.” Seriously? I wanted to remind her that no brakes work unless you press the brake pedal — which I’d bet my last $10 that she never even thought of!!

        • Yeah, we know what Illinois laws are like, right? Still, I don’t think she ever touched her brake pedal, and my insurance adjuster said she was going FAST to do that kind of damage.

  3. “I’ve been blessed, on both counts. This could have been so much worse.”

    You are soooooooo right, my friend.

    OH MY GOD, Debbie…when I first saw this post with the picture of your car and began to read about the accident, I got a bit freaked because it looked bad. Whew…I am sooooooooooooo glad to hear that you are okay and nothing serious happened to you physically, which is a huge blessing because by the look of that car, it seems a miracle. You’re guardian angels were definitely watching over you that day. But I’m sure you were quite shaken up regardless. A car accident is a very scary thing to go through. I’ve been in minor accidents, but nothing very serious happened to me or my car.

    Please continue to take care of yourself, okay? And again, I’m so glad that you’re okay.

    (((((((((((( You ))))))))))


    • Thank you, Ron. Yes, I KNOW my guardian angel was right there protecting and serving. In fact, I typically do a good amount of praying while I’m driving, especially if I don’t feel like listening to music. It calms me. Perhaps that’s one reason this crash wasn’t any worse.

      I’ve been in minor accidents before (it seems other drivers make a bee-line right for me!), but nothing ever this bad. “Totaling” a car is just not something I ever expected to say about something I owned. Healing on the outside is coming along nicely; it’s the “inside” (mind, spirit, emotions) that’s taking a while. Can’t rush either, though, can we?

      Hugs to you, too, my friend, and hope this is a good week for you! xx

  4. Wow. I am so sorry that happened and so glad that the car took the hit and not you. I am betting you have a St. Christopher’s medal, perhaps just put you faith in him and the big guy when you take off again…obviously you are loved and protected!

    • Aw, you know me too well, Kb! I do have a St. Christopher, as well as a guardian angel and a beaded cross. I’m sure all my favorite saints and angels were watching over me. You know, we really place a lot of faith and trust in others when we get behind the wheel. We “expect” them to obey the rules, to not do anything stupid, to have vehicles in good mechanical order, to be alert and responsive. Sadly, we just can’t be too careful. And I’m not at all sure driverless cars is going to be a viable solution!

  5. How absolutely frightening! So glad you’re okay. So I assume the insurance is replacing the car for you–at her expense?? Something similar happened to me about one month after buying my brand-new car (five years ago). A woman barreled through a stop sign. She was on her cell phone!! My car suffered $13,000 in damages and may i remind you that it was only one month old at the time? I had to go two months without a car, until mine was repaired. So, needless to say, I feel your pain!

    • She and her insurance company accepted full blame, thankfully. Of course, the police would have ticketed her, so they knew she was at fault. So, yes, Monica, she’s replacing my car. I just really didn’t want to replace it this fast.

      I’m soooo sorry something similar happened to you, and I trust you didn’t suffer too much because of it?? Thirteen thousand dollars is a LOT of damage. You must have been heart-broken. I imagine accidents like yours convinced lawmakers to pass measures forbidding cell phone use while driving. In my case, I have no way of knowing if this woman was on her cell — she certainly never admitted to it!

    • Thank you, DD. You’re absolutely right. Driving can be very scary. Funny, but I’ve always loved to drive. My late dad taught me (on a stick shift), and I equate it with freedom. This accident has thrown me for a loop, though. I’ve turned into a Chihuahua behind the wheel! Now, I need to buck up and find my courage again.

  6. Just remember — when your horse throws you, the best thing you can do is get back on.

    Back in 1981, I had the same experience. I was rear-ended on a freeway. I was going 65 or so, and the police said the guy who hit me (and kept on going) probably was going about 100 or even more. I’ll spare you the whole story, but will mention that I found my teeth when I went back to the impound lot. 🙂

    Just remember — that was 1981, and thirty-five years ago. I’ve had another car totaled since then, but it was at 2 a.m. I was asleep and the car was in its parking spot when the drunk in the truck t-boned it. So, the likelihood of anything happening again is pretty slim. The worst I’ve experienced is a cracked windshield because of a rock, and a critter chewing up the rocker panels. Go get ’em, girl!

    • I love the saying about the horse…and it’s so true. I suppose that’s why I’m forcing myself to continue driving. It’s still a scary proposition, but there’s no way I can just hang up my keys. One day (soon, I hope) I’ll get my “sea legs” back and be okay behind the wheel again.

      Linda, I’m sorry to hear about your crash. That must have been frightening — sounds as if you, too, were under a guardian angel’s protection!

      I suppose the worst (and best!) was the deployment of the airbag. I had no idea those things inflated, then deflated, in milliseconds. And the smoke and stench such a process leaves behind really makes you think the entire car is going to catch fire and explode. I’m awfully glad I was able to hop out!

    • Thanks so much! Yes, it’s amazing how much something like that takes from a person…as well as how much time it takes to handle all the details.

  7. Pingback: Farewell (of sorts) – Musings by an ND Domer's Mom

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