Am I singing that Johnny Cash song?
We were involved in an automobile accident this evening. (Thursday)
The driver of the car that hit us couldn't even take one straight step.
First off, we were with Alberta, Bill's sister, and we all are okay.
We had been to her company's picnic and it was over early so we decided to drive out to see a new casino that has been built since we were here last.
Right at the entrance to the casino there is a left turn lane with a separate turn signal. Alberta was driving her car and while we were waiting for the light to turn, I started to take a photo of the gorgeous sunset.
The car shook violently, there was a huge bang, and then we settled back on all four tires again. Then a car zoomed around us on the driver's side and turned into the casino drive. We all scrabbled to find our glasses and put them on... and managed to get the license number. (All of us got our glasses either knocked off or askew!)
Bill was in the back seat and I think he got jerked around the most... his head hit the back seat rest. Alberta was clutching the steering wheel so hard her hands still hurt. What happened to me is kind of ridiculous... I was holding my little Canon up to my eye and when the car was hit, I guess I slammed the camera into my glasses and cheek bone. (now that it's over I can think of all kind of one-liners about the dangers of taking too many pictures).
A witness who was behind the "hit and run" car also got his license number and she called the sheriff as she was walking up to see if we were okay.
I have no idea how much damage was done... only that the force of the hit could have caused structural damage that doesn't show here. (I've obliterated license plate numbers for privacy)
We were told to pull into the casino drive and wait for the sheriff. As we're waiting for the law to arrive, this truck pulls up beside us.
After the guy hit us and drove into the casino area, he ran into this guys truck.
The man driving the truck said there didn't seem to be any damage to his truck and he had to take his wife to work... and he left. But he added that the hit and run driver was up at the casino entrance, passed out at the wheel and that security had taken the keys to the car.
We waited a long time for the police to arrive... this is on the Reservation and they had to drive from Shiprock. Once they did arrive, they went directly to the hit and run driver.
Apparently, the second crash deployed his seat bags.
Bill walked up to the casino and took this picture... the driver was sitting in his car, awake by then, and was talking to bystanders... and the police.
It took quite a while to get around to us.... We watched as the guy failed the "walk the line" test, as well as whatever else he was asked to do.
He kept complaining that the police were violating his rights.
They finally hauled him away.... cuffed. As the police were trying to get him to get into the cruiser, the guy kept saying he "seriously had to go to the restroom". Shiprock is about 30 miles away... I hope that cruiser has plastic seat covers.
The guys family was in the casino... they came out to "claim" the vehicle. I guess it was driveable, although there did appear to be antifreeze or water coming from under the hood.
When the police finally got around to Alberta, it took another half hour or so to get information... insurance (the other driver has no insurance), registration etc. He got statements from all three of us. And the young woman who was 2 cars behind us and had called the law stayed around and gave her statement.... including the fact that the driver had passed her on the berm just before ramming into Alberta at the traffic light.
I know cars can be fixed and I am thankful that we are all okay. I am also thankful that that young man didn't kill or maim anyone with his stupidity tonight.
I was not happy to learn that when driving on the Reservation, Native Americans (probably everyone?) are not required to have insurance.
Alberta will have to bear the cost of the whole thing... her insurance premium will no doubt go up. It will take time to get her car fixed.
I just remind myself again that we are all okay.
And, if you're really interested....
It really was a beautiful sunset this evening.
That's All For Today!