>Goodbye, Chevy Venture.

>

As most of you know already, my wife and kids were in an accident on Sunday morning. I was at work, and the day shift people coming in were telling us that the roads were really bad. I called Kim to tell her that the roads were bad, and we might even consider not going to church. She said she would try, and if it was too slick, she would go back home.

I went on doing what I do. Most of it involved a situation that developed at the end of my shift. I gave two pills to a 90-some year old patient at 6:30 AM. 30 minutes later (right before shift changeover started) she asked one of the other nurses, “Where’s my hearing aid?” I knew it was on her bedside table when I gave her the pills, but it was no longer there. We looked through all of her linens, clothing, table, etc, and couldn’t find it. The patient then mentioned that she had just swallowed a “big pill” a while ago. Both pills I gave to her were very small (baby aspirin size), so we said, “uh oh.” I paged the doctor, and the short version is that they did an emergency x-ray and found (guess what…) a hearing aid. The GI specialist elected to let the patient pass the hearing aid (along with the battery, which she swallowed separately). She passed it just under 24 hours later. Her question? “Can I still use it when it comes out?” Classic.

Anyway, this situation was almost resolved (I had ordered the x-ray and was now charting a note about what had happened) when the charge nurse called out, “Steve, come here now!” As I approached her, she held out the phone and said, “It’s your wife…she’s had an accident.”

My wife told me that the van went off the road and hit a tree, but that everybody was ok, no major injuries. I told her I would be home as soon as I could. I then finished my charting and left work. By the time I got there, the van had already been towed away and my family was home safe. The very kind lady who gave them a ride home passed me a block from my house (she was leaving as I was coming home), so they barely got home before me. I pulled in and Kim told me what happened.

She said that she had made it about a half mile up the road from our subdivision when she saw a car in the ditch on the opposite side of the road. She decided to slow down, and in so doing, the front of the van started to drift to the left. She swerved right to correct, and the van went off the road, hit a tree right on the front passenger corner of the van (at the headlight) and slid down the road another 20 yards. The airbags deployed, saving her and my son (who was in the passenger seat) from serious head trauma. They both banged their knees on the dash, which was pushed backwards due to the engine moving into the firewall. And that is the extent of the injuries: bruised knees, sore muscles, and soreness along the seatbelt lines on everybody but my youngest. She has no injuries whatsoever. Evidently we have to buy all new car seats, however, since these are no good now. I don’t quite understand that, since they have gotten worse beatings being transferred between vehicles, but I guess those are the rules. The insurance is paying for them anyway.

We drove out to the salvage place on Monday and collected all of our stuff (including the license plate, trailer hitch assembly with wiring, 15,643 crayons, a few cassette tapes, an mp3 player, and the rest of our stuff. I took a bunch of pictures as well.
The insurance company informed me today that the van is a “total loss.” I could have told them that Monday, but I’m not a professional insurance assessor. I guess we all need jobs, right? I’m sure it took a lot of know-how to look at my van and say, “Yep. It’s a goner.” Actually, they estimated that it would cost just over $9K to fix it. I don’t get that, since it would need an entirely new front end, structural realignment of the frame/chassis, probably a new front axle, extensive engine work, new airbags, and at least two new windows. I would have thought it would cost more along the lines of $15-20K to fix. Whatever.

So now we wait for the insurance company to get us the check so we can send it to the bank so they release the title. When that happens, we will be in the clear, with just a car loan on our Grand Am for the value of the Grand Am. Then we can trade in the Grand Am for a van. We are going to try to function with just the van and my motorcycle. Since we have a family that carpools with us for the kid’s school, Kim doesn’t need the vehicle in the mornings, so I could drive to work most days (especially if it’s too cold or snowy/icy).

Thank you, Lord, that my family is ok and that You are working out Your plan in our lives. God is truly good. This accident, though not what we would have chosen, has served to solve several problems in our lives: we were upside down on the van loan. We had gap insurance, so that is taken care of. The van needed about $2K worth of repairs that do not need to be done now. Problem solved.

This is a picture of our van before this accident (when it was only 5mos old):

Little did Nathan know that he was washing the very door that would protect him from a tree, six years later.
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About Steve Picray

I have been many things, but right now I am a registered nurse attempting to pay off my debt so that, God willing, I can be a pastor again someday. I have a wife and three kids. I am a conservative Christian (of the Baptist variety). This blog is about me: the things that happen to me, the things that interest me, and the things that bother me. If you have a question, just e-mail me at spicray AT gmail DOT com. God Bless!
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3 Responses to >Goodbye, Chevy Venture.

  1. Anonymous says:

    >Let’s see – new engine – $2knew front end – 2knew radiator – .5knew/repair sheet metal – 3knew airbags (x2) – 1.5kNEW TIRES – $350 (not covered since the old tires are still probably round)And they didn’t figure in the banker’s heart attack when what he probably figured was a troubled loan gets paid off. That’s not their problem. ;-DGlad to hear the troops are okay.Sooo…. how’s the tree doing? Are the enviro-freaks picketing you yet for assaulting the tree? Will you have to hold a public ceremony to apologize to it? Did you have to buy a HUGE band-aid and call a tree surgeon? Hummm….

  2. Picky says:

    >When we bought a new engine for the Mercury Sable, it cost $2500. When I hit a deer with my Grand Am and they had to replace the hood and one headlight, it cost $2500. The van repair is much more extensive. If you look at the pictures, you can see that the body of the van buckled upward at the top of the windshield. It needs not only a new headlight and hood, but a new bumper, two new quarter panels, a new passenger door, new window, new windshield, etc. That would come to a lot more than $2500. I guess it might cost less if they used junkyard parts, but it still would probably cost more than that. The tree is still there. Actually State Farm asked me who the tree belonged to. I said, “why?” and she said that they are going to try to figure out who owns the tree and offer to repair or replace the tree. So I don’t have to worry about it. I’m not apologizing to the tree until it apologizes to her for being there. Also the ice is culpable. Good luck getting the ice to apologize, since it has disappeared, nobody has seen it since.

  3. Anonymous says:

    >Yeah, but you were probably figuring the cost to replace the body parts with metal parts… paper maché is LOTS cheaper! And why use steel frame parts when a 2 X 4 will probably do just as well as long as you don’t hit anything with it (AGAIN!). And even if you DID hit something with it, it would just break again anyway, so it totally wouldn’t matter t6hat you’d replaced steel with white pine.The $9 Grand is probably the book value of the vehicle. By saying it would cost just over that, they can say “Yep – it’s totaled” without going through all the detailed number crunching – ie everybody likes a good short-cut when you are going to end up the same place anyway. As long as it’s a total, it doesn’t really matter how MUCH over value the cost would be – just that it’s cheaper to pay the wreck off.I think the ice moved North – you might want to look for it there. It’s really hard to tell where it went. It used to be you could pretty reliably count on finding it at the North pole, but that’s not ne cessari8ly true any more. I know you can find a lot of it in Antarctica, the depth of it is growing there and in Greenland, but in other places it’s an iffy thing. The “meteorologists” seem to be covering for it. They say “Ice will be here tomorrow,” and it never shows up. Or they say it will be “sunny and mild” and the ice sneaks in when no one’s looking for it. (And THESE are the people who are telling us what our weather will be fifty years from now? Uh huh. Sure.)

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