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Just returning from the club tonight at about 11:30 when suddenly

Bang - "Christ I think, something's hit me in the nearside". Then I think "of for ****'s sake I've never had a smack and some **** has gone and ruined that for me." Then I think "**** that's a ****ing huge Chevy van parked on the side of the road".

Fortunately the hands and feet have decided that bypassing the brain is the best plan and my hands are rapidly applying opposite lock while I look at them and think "whose hands are they?". Feet stay off the pedals so I turn through 180 up the kerb. When I look around a white van (aren't they all...) has jumped a give way at a T-junction and is frantically back-pedalling in to the side street, I can't open the drivers door because there is a garden fence and the passenger door is staved in and won't open. Somehow the car has slid between the fence and the parked Chevy van and when I finally exit through the drivers window and fall into someones front garden it becomes clear that there is an air gap of about 1 1/2" between my rear wing and the Chevy's rear wing and the van has been missed. Later on it dawns that the instincts from years of RWD might have saved me from a nasty one, if I'd started sawing at the wheel and slamming the brake pedal down I might have gone straight on into the parked Chevy van and I think the instincts were trying to hold it sideways and drift away from it.

The van driver admits it is his fault - then after details are exchanged he changes his mind. Apparently I was doing about 65 in a 30. I point out that

A - if he saw this then why did he pull out regardless and
B - Since he clearly didn't see me until the big bang or he wouldn't have driven into me how does he know precisely what I was doing before he ****ed me over.

(And for the record I was doing 35 and following someone else)

So my beloved MR-2 is certainly written off. And I am really bloody annoyed. Really bloody annoyed because all the inconveience and expense is down to one ****s inability to follow the rules of the road.

The nearside wing is crumpled in, the door is staved in, the rear wing is destroyed, the sill welds have failed at the rear wheel end and the rear alloy is scratched beyond repair. There's a dent on the other front wing where I've hit a fence and broke some panels. Also when I limp home the nearside rear wheel really feels bad like a drive shaft is bent.

Fortuantely a couple of things happen in my favour. Firstly the couple who own the house and the Chevy come out and hear the van driver admit responsibility. Then when he changes his tune, two club members who were about 15 minutes behind me on the road pull up and the van driver starts looking at his feet. Then a police car on the way to a domestic stops and when he starts "he was doing about 75 mph" (yeah, strange how stories grow in the telling...) they put him right about it being his fault with a Give Way sign ignored.

THe club members follow me home since happily they only live around the corner.

I have the address and phone no. of the van driver and the householder but didn't exchange insurers at the time. So I ring the van driver since I now have my docs to hand and guess what

"Sorry mate, he doesn't live here".

To be fair the guy who answered the phone and probably got dragged out of bed didn't sound one bit like the van driver.

OK, time for a panic. He could have given totally false details, there might be mistake in the phone number or he might be stonewalling behind the phone. So it's off the local police station and at this point I really realise that Jezebel the Mister Two won't be making another trip under her own steam ever again. Fortunately it's only a 4 mile round trip and it's gone midnight so i can trot along at about 20mph.

I get stuck in the queue behind a bloke who wants to report his brother for threatening his parents for money but doesn't want to give either his name, brothers name, parents name or anybodies address in case it comes back to him. Despite this he can give the WPC on the desk about a 25 minutes account of his life and where it all went wrong for his unnamed brother. Then after refusing to answer any questions he declares that it will all be that WPCs fault if the brother murders them all tomorrow and storms out. And I'm thinking "I wouldn't do this job for all the tea in China"

I fill in a form and it turns out the name and reg no of the van are OK so maybe there is a mistake in the phone number or he's stonewalling. Fortunately the police are v helpful and it looks like he has nowhere to hide even if he is denying all knowledge. TOmorrow (well today now!) I'm trying to cadge some wheels and a few hours off work and go and search for his number plate in the gutter and do a quick sacn past the address and see if there is a smacked up Transit there.

Its like 2 in the morning and I can't go to bed because I'm just so hyper from all the stress and the hassle of running around to police station and facing the fact that at the worst I could have a £3000 car (which ain't a lot but I don't want to gut the life savings to replace it when it wasn't my fault) destroyed with no money back and it would be like the bloke just broke into my house and stole it in cash.

Really really gutted because I loved that car and I was proud of an unblemished record which has gone and not my bloody fault! You know if I was to blame and going too fast or something I could look at myself and say "learn from this" but I was following the end of a line of cars through a residental street at night and get hit by the bullet I didn't see.

Well fed up - had to vent that, cheers

Coop

 

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hey, Coop
tough break...I hope you can find the guy, and he has money to pay you. The worst of course is losing your "baby" in such an undeserved and premature way. I had a similar situation. I had a 1991 Miata, totally loaded...the only car I ever bought new. After about 5 years of breaking it in...some clown in a massive station wagon changed lanes without looking and ran me across 4 lanes and off the road, in 65 mph rush hour traffic. I was totally boxed in, watching this guy nail my car and total it. And yeah, first he admitted it...then later I was speeding, I was changing lanes not him, blah blah blah. The long and short of it...I lost $7k on the car, had my back permanently injured, lost a gall bladder. The only good news...after a few years, I found a nice little Miata again, which I still drive daily.

wishing you all the best
John
 

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Really sorry to hear all that, Coop, but I have to say- it made a great read!
I'll be looking out for you on 'Extreme Police Camera Most Outrageous Drivers Accident Excuses Action Videos' on channel 5.
Now have a nice glass of brandy and relax. I'm sure it will all work out. Maybe you'll be your insurance company's 'One Millionth Claim' surprise prize winner and come home with a Lotus Elise after all. You never know.
 

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Coop, be happy that you've not been heavily injured! Accidents are always "unconvenient" - especially if it's not been your fault. These things happen - and you're always loosing time and money - but this is part of travelling on public roads - the risk of an accident. Had a couple of them, never my fault - but my scars.. - but when you're driving a lot, it just happens - at the end I'm happy for you that it's just the car which has been damaged. Head up mate!
 

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Hi Coop,

Sorry to read about your misfortune. It sounds promising that the reg. no. has checked out, its only a matter of time now until the guy is tracked down. Your insurance company will be onto him soon enough I'm sure.

Try to take it easy.

 

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Jim Moyes
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Got to agree with Thomas there, Coop! YOU are far more important than the car!

I've had many years in the recovery business and had to deal with bereaved relatives from time to time! Not nice!

It's a horrible thought, but imagine if the van had come out of the right hand side of the road. Or you had somebody you love in the passenger seat.

Call Helphire, the non-fault accident people. I was rear-ended in the queue for Goodwood last month and, like you, was driving an old £3000 Toyota which I knew straight away was a write-off , but when I phoned Mrs.M she got all wobbly bottom-lipped about losing her favourite car. So I agreed with the Helphire bodyshop to use secondhand parts, which I got, and made a handsome profit on, and 10 days later we got our car back! And they gave us a brand new Focus to drive around in while ours was being sorted.

Oh! And you've got a stiff neck! Right?

Mr.M
 

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Sorry to hear that Coop, but you are the prority here. Like Mr M said, imagine what may have been if you had a loved one in the passenger seat.

Go and get yourself checked over cos I should imagine that you are really stiff this morning especially your neck from the sideways snap!!!

fortunately cars can be replaced, people cant. Chin up mate, every cloud has a silver lining somewhere
 

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John Roche
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Hi Owen,

Sorry to hear about your car, I know how I'd feel if it was one of my bikes. Still I'm glad you're OK.

See you at the next Cubman round.



John
 

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Hey Coop, sorry about the loss mate, it's just been the one year anniversary of loosing my first car
. That wasn't my fault either, but did I get any money? Originally, the guy admitted to pulling out but then guess what... all of a sudden, I was doing 60mph twenty metres after a 90 degree left hand bend....

Thomas is right about you not being hurt, but he's wrong about having to accept that this is life. People should not be allowed to have a license if they are this incompitent. Even if they were given a license, they should have been pulled over by the police by now, or banned from driving. And if they were driving without a license then it's further proof that this country's government is going to pot.

It'd be nice for once if the police responded to these kinds of accidents where no-one is hurt, but they couldn't give a carp. I'm sure they are much more busy hasseling one of us when driving 31mph in a 30....

And the most annoying thing is that you don't loose £3k in money, you loose £3k in car. I'm damn sure that I couldn't find another car in the same nick as my Nova with the money that I should have got from the insurance company. And in the end, I'd rather have a decent car than the money that I paid for it (or even worse, it's current market value).

I'm sure most people on here know what it's like to have loved and lost (a car), and I really feel for you Coop. I hope you can get a rent-a-car sorted soon, and charge it to the banker in the white van.

McLaren
 

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McLaren - if you don't accept the risk that there are a lot of idiots on the roads you should not drive on public roads!

I've lost a couple of frieds due to other peoples mistake within the last 25 years - and that hurts!

After a couple of accidents I spent all together more than one year in hospitals and still have some problems with the joints - and this destroyed my motorsports-career. But I'm alife and that counts!

To lose a car / motorcycle you love is not easy as these vehicles tend to develop a personality
- but they might be replaced!
Maybe not with the same vehicle, but with an other one...
 

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I do accept the risk, but you must agree that the driving license system was developed so that we didn't have to take that risk.

Might just add that some old geezer drove into me the other day. Absolutely minor just a bit of paint swapping, but it really pissed me off that someone with clearly no sight left at all was allowed on the road.

Funny that, now I think about it, both the guys who drove into me were older than me.... What was it that you guys were saying about younger drivers a while back?
 

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Nearly everyones older than you ya young pup!


Thomas is right I reckon but so are you. Reckon it would help if the guilty person in any crash was made to sit the test again?
 
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Coop, First I glad to here you were not hurt

First get a doctor to have a look at you, because after a lot of these kind of accidents you may find that you will stiffen up after a couple of days and it is very helpful when your are dealing with this guys insurance company.

As soon as you get his insurance details tell his insurance company that you will be claim all your uninsured losses against them, as well the cost of your repairs and possible personel injury which included things like shock.

This is a situation were you should not loss anything.

Get hold of a company like Mr M said who will give you a hire car and will pursue this guy's insurance company someone like Colgate.

Jeff
 

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Myself, I'm a great supporter of the idea of driving test retakes at regular intervals for us old codgers- in theory, but secretly happy in the knowledge that no government would be able to push it through. We're far too tied to our cars to see legislation like that as anything but a threat to our personal liberty.

Toot toot. Now which pair of glasses do I need for driving?

Relax Coop- Didn't mean to scare you again.
 

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QUOTE Reckon it would help if the guilty person in any crash was made to sit the test again?
Or maybe we could braek both of their ankles and wrists? With the possibility of a labotomy for those who cause personal injury?

But that's just my stance...

QUOTE I'm a great supporter of the idea of driving test retakes at regular intervals for us old codgers
I completely agree, 100%. Those who fail will not gain premission to drive... ever again.

Oh, and another thing. If you fail your test, that's it. Tough shite, you should have been ready for it the first time... What do you think?

McLaren

PS. Hmmm.... that all sounds a bit controversial actually...
 

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I think people have to accept that it is human nature to make mistakes... We all do it and most try to learn from them - and most people will try to sort out issues reasonably and in an amicable way. What is totally unacceptable is when idiots try to wriggle out of any responsibility for there actions - just like that van driving ****. It really annoys me!
 

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Spot on there mate


I`m seeing Andy in a Judge Dread outfit...anyone else get that image? About in line with how I feel and just to add...

was tootling around in me Landy on way to open up the club and turned right at top of my road. I look and it`s clear so pull out, screaming up my back eye is a chap of mature enough years to know better. Sounds his horn in a way over the top display of hysteria, shaking his fist and screaming, so ...I pulled up, 4 ways on and walked up to his car and managed to look cool and menacing at same time and explained that I had seen the junction clear at the time I pulled out and did he want to exit his comfortable car and debate the issue with me? Of course not. People sit in cars and get carried away, think they are indesructable and behave liken morons at times.

To keep this slot related (ish...paddling faster now..) you see this behaviour in club racing sometimes, people just get carried away with cars and the old road rage appears. What is it about cars that makes peole like this?
 

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There's nothing wrong with a bit of in-car roadrage, so long as it doens't leave the car or shouting matches. It's when it comes down to tailgaiting (my pet peave), or just agressive twatish driving....

Even though we all loose it every now and then with an idiot driving around us, I'm sure most would restrict themselves to a quiet swear word or pointing at them with your central finger.... It's not acceptable to endanger other people on the road just because you believe you were cut up at the last junction.

McLaren
 
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