Wednesday, May 20, 2015


We bought Nettlevan in 2007, I named her after a dragon character in Dragon rider called 'Nettlebrand, the Golden One'.

She recently flipped to 200,000 miles, all but 23k of those, I put on her.

On Wednesday the 20th, I was driving the kids and the Lackey kids to the lake for the day.  We were on a 2 lane backroad, I needed to get gas and had decided to wait until the upcoming intersection to fill up.

Up ahead, WAY up ahead, was a Dish network van.  It was slowing down, so I took my foot off the gas. There was a driveway to the right and a longer driveway (turned out to be a single lane County Road) to the left, both gravel.  I saw what I THOUGHT was him signaling right and decided instead of stopping, I would just pull on around him while he turned.  It was a long flat section, dashed line, no one coming.

At the last second, he turned left, too.  I smacked into the side panel doing about 15-20.  Barely dented his vehicle on the side panel, crushed the front passenger crumple zone on Nettlevan.  Quarter panel, headlight, wheel well, hood, bumper.

No one was hurt.

It did not deploy the airbags, no windows broke, no doors were damaged, it runs, AC works, nothing leaking.  The hood was too bent on the front corner to look at the engine, but it has breakaway engine mounts that in an impact are designed to drop the engine so it does not get pushed back into your lap.  That was not activated.  The check engine light did not even come on.

Amanda came and got the kids, so they got to play at the lake.  Dy brought them back, that was really nice how that part worked out at least.  I found myself thankful for so many things-not being far from home being up there.

I am SO hopeful they will fix her, but I expect since she's got 200k and she's nearing 10 years old that they will total her instead.  I think new body parts will be more than the three or four thousand she's likely only worth.  We JUST got Matt a newer car, I needed her around 2 more years before I can think about undertaking another car payment.  I can't get a decent family van for $4k.

I also hope, since the damage was minimal to their van and no equipment was damaged, that the Dish network does not go after me for anything more and the guy is as nice as he seemed and doesn't develop some spinal injury all of a sudden. They made him go right to the doctor for drug testing, so hopefully that will quickly rule out anything else.

So what happened was that his left rear light was totally out.  What I had seen as a right signal was him hesitating, unsure if he was at the right place or not. He had tapped the brake a couple of times, lighting up the whole right light housing and since the left light was out, I thought it was the turn signal.

I should have just stopped, but we were off for an adventure and I needed gas and I thought I could just scoot around and go on with our day.  No problem.

The adjuster should be in touch Friday and the car shop was pretty cheerful about their ability to fix her.  So, fingers crossed...


It's so weird, both the lightbulbs from the turn signal were intact and on the ground.
I told the body shop guy to reuse them AND that headlight I could clearly see in there.  Those things are 20 bucks!

Pretty minimal damage, I hope.  One of those side panels could cost 10 million dollars for all I know.

It's just so ugly!  I scratched myself up pretty good digging out broken chunks so nothing would blow out going down the road.
Just yesterday I was looking at my hood and put 'having hood repainted' at number 500 on my list of things to get paid for somehow.  I guess the Universe wanted those 3 rusty nicks gone sooner.

The girls played and sang a song about the horrific event.
It was mostly about the rain that seemed to be coming our way, but still.

My artsy endeavor, Nettlevan Towed.  :(

I am so sad, I love my van and I am so bummed a momentary bad decision and some bad luck ended up so so crappy.    

But tomorrow a good friend goes in for a bone marrow biopsy.  She's looking at things like chemo options and possible outcomes-not for a 10 year old van but for her 40 year old body and her husband and children.  I know it's small potatoes, this wreck, and that we were all unharmed and are well is something I could spend a little more time being grateful for.

 The unknown has so much power. 

I will update when I know more. 

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.