Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rear-ended in a Hit 'n' Run

Friday night my wife & I, and our daughter had stopped at a convenience store on a highway sort-of in San Antonio. I was in line waiting to buy a Gatorade and smokes. In front of me was a short Mexican guy, who didn't speak English, buying a 6-pack of Corona. I waited a long time for being 2nd in line (maybe 5 minutes) for the clerk to find someone in the store to translate to him that his card could not be accepted.. Nor was he able to break the guy's $100 bill. Obviously intoxicated, he fumbled through a wad of Pesos, ones, and found a $50. (How many American citizens do you know who carry around Mexican money on a regular basis? I mean this isn't El Paso or Brownsville.) Anyway, I finished my purchase, and got back in the car ticked off at this country's policies on immigration.

Luckily my wife had observed that this dude walked with a limp, and also what was written on his t-shirt. We pulled back out onto aforementioned highway, and while we're doing so, my wife also noticed that this guy had pulled out behind us and was already attempting to pass us. (I had made no further observations once I sat back down into the car - that's how frustrated I was with the lengthy transaction!)

The first stop light isn't but about 1/4-mile away, so getting up to the road's speed limit of 60 isn't difficult, but not advisable - nor necessary, because of the stop light. As we approach that distance where you start preparing for ANY green light to change yellow, it did in just that instant. So my wife had to make a stop that was quicker than normal stops, although by no means was it a "quick stop" by the definition they teach you in driving school: "stopping as hard and as quickly as possible without allowing your car to skid".

ONE second goes by and BAM! I'm instantly "seeing a lot of the inside of the car," because my head is rolling around like a rag doll's. There were no tire screeches, no skidding, none of us saw it coming. I presume I had taken my wife's attention away from that guy just enough when I asked her if she wanted a drink of the Gatorade I just bought. No idea how fast the car was going, but it felt like 100. The way it sounded, the way it felt, and the way it looked - I can't get any of that out of my head after 48 hours now.

The momentum carried us - to my best calculations when consulting the Google Maps version of the area - probably 80-90 yards further down the highway. Almost a whole football field. We pulled to the side, and my wife & I jumped out.. My very first thought was "$%^&#*@$, how could he do this to our car - we don't have any money for something like this!" So I was already preparing go let whoever hit us know how pissed off I was. Teen-age daughter, who was behind me, was balling at the top of her lungs.. No idea what I was about to discover. I made sure she was ok (I put my hand on the back of her head, and there was no blood), and then all I could think about was that confrontation. This is when I suddenly realized just how far away that intersection was.. holy cow! I realized glass was not everywhere in the back seat, and she appeared OK enough for me to proceed with my 'rage'.

Next thing I know there's a car with no lights and a smashed-up hood coming at me on the side of the road, and that's when it hit me exactly what was happening here. There had been very recent construction on this highway, so tons of excess dirt had been piled up on the right side of the road - where he was trying to pass us. He must've misjudged it because either this guy was intentionally coming at me, or that elevation launched him back towards me. I was screaming profanities at the car as it passed ours, in the dirt, on the right, and then I started jogging after it. He was obviously having trouble, and thankfully he stopped about another 110-120 yards past our car. Several other drivers had apparently realized a few seconds prior to this moment what was going on, so a few of them slowed to a stop near where his car did, and I was thinking, "great! I have help!" My only goal at this point was to keep this asshole at the scene until the cops got there.

Nothing of the kind. The guy's motor died, so he got out of the car. But now that these "helpers," who have stopped, realize he isn't going anywhere, they pull away. So the next 30-45 seconds, which seemed like a half hour, it was just me and him on the side of the road in complete darkness.. but I knew instantly who it was. My mind was racing.. again, my goal was simply to keep him there until the cops got there. I kept my distance (30-40 feet?).. but what do I do? By his movements I saw that he was pacing around "panicky," but I couldn't see any facial expressions. I was still yelling obscenities at him - probably every one I could think of, since I knew he didn't understand English.. He didn't say a word. Finally I see red & blue lights from back up the road where we came from.. but it's an ambulance. Then the guy gets back in, unbelievably starts the car, and takes off with a jacked-up front end, no lights, and something non-rubber scraping the dirt & pavement.

I ran back to the car, and my wife was still on the phone with 9-1-1, but then again, it's only been a few minutes. More red & blue lights appeared, but this time, it's a fire engine. Finally, the cops showed up in another 2-3 minutes, and the rest is "usual post-accident" stuff: statements, insurance info, taking cell-phone pictures of the car, getting checked out by the paramedics, etc.

I wasn't wearing my seat belt, but probably would've had it on within the next mile. I was also wearing a cap, which I located flattened and inside-out in the back seat where daughter was sitting. Hmm... The car is probably totaled (with only about 11 payments left... sigh). Thankfully no one has any serious injuries (yet?) - a few cuts & bruises - but we're all very sore. Luckily the $3000 tenor saxophone in the trunk was ok. We still have no idea where our bumper is.

Yesterday my wife signed her full statement/affidavit thingy, since she was the driver. We learned the guy also had a passenger, and they're now facing 3rd-degree felonies. They have not been caught (YET), but they didn't make it more than a couple miles.. hit someone else.. and a pole, and police found the car - including the smashed 6-pack of Coronas, and other empties.

Moral of the story: If you see a drunk Mexican buying beer in front of you at a convenience store, break his knee on the way out. Sheeesh!


  1. Hey Dude, as you already said the main thing is that you all walked away with no serious injuries. Metal can be replaced, lives can't. Now lets hope the cops catch the drunken c**t.

  2. No joke buddy! That crumple bar really did its job, lemme tell ya'! Today at the body shop, the guy said he thinks it might even be fixable. I'll certainly post updates as the story unfolds..