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Project Black — & Dented, Too! — #8

I went into Honolulu yesterday afternoon to join OC for a team potluck. It was raining when I left home — and pouring by the time I hit the freeway. Traffic was moving at about 35mph, and there were cars pulled to the side of the road. I was considering doing the same, for fear of being rear-ended by the jerks in the SUVs who were still driving 60 mph and weaving in and out of the rest of us, when I saw the storm line about a half-mile ahead. Clouds on one side, bright, shiny, blue sky on the other.

When I drove into blue sky and safe diving conditions, traffic stopped all but completely! The next 4 miles or so we moved at about seven miles an hour. This was the freeway, three lanes of traffic bumper-to-bumper, and behind me I heard sirens, then I saw flashing lights, then two police cars, a firetruck and the ambulance passed us using the grass meridian as their road. Finally I came to the scene of the accident. One vehicle — a dry van — was on it’s side and blocking all three lanes of traffic. We slowly rolled past on the shoulder of the road. I could see that the jaws of life were used to open the top of the cab. The ambulance screamed away from the wreck about three cars ahead of me. We were on open, dry freeway and moving again.

In another 10 miles traffic once again came to a stand-still as cars tried to leave the freeway in droves for local city streets. This is a common occurrence and happens daily at about this time. OC called to see where I was. It looked like we were probably going to miss the potluck I’d come to town to join him for. At this point my hands were permanently tension welded to the steering wheel. I was exhausted from an hour and a half of stop, go, stop, go, stop, go and the accompanying nastiness. NOBODY was moving, so what’s up with the people who were honking horns and waving fingers?

I finally drove out of the highest congestion area. Two more exits and I’d be off the freeway and safe. I moved right one lane. I moved right another lane — and I safely made my off ramp. Yay! Only a couple more blocks to the college. At the foot of the off-ramp a pedestrian waited to cross the street. A line of cars was coming from the left. I stopped at the merging traffic sign — and the guy behind me didn’t.

split seams
split seams

Pow! My car moved forward about two feet and my forehead almost bounced off the steering wheel. It took me a few moments to figure out how to unbuckle my seat belt and get out of the car. The guy who hit me was waving his arms frantically. I looked up and realized the exit ramp was full of cars and backing up onto the freeway. I got back in my car and drove around the corner.

There is nowhere to stop on University Avenue, so I turned right onto Dole Street. There is nowhere to park there, either, but the college parking lot is just a half block away. I looked in my rear view mirror. The guy who rear-ended me came around the corner behind me, but he switched lanes and was headed for a forced right turn onto a one-way street leading back downtown. He motioned to me that he was turning. I had passed the traffic divider and couldn’t. I got his license plate number and drove to the college campus. Once there I called OC, then I called the cops, then I called my insurance agent.

black scratches
black scratches

I am fine. I wasn’t so certain last night because my shoulders and back were tense and I had a screaming headache, but like I told OC — I had most of that from the stress of driving before the guy ever hit me! This afternoon my shoulders are still a bit tender, but I am not in any pain, I have complete mobility in my back, neck, and arms. My head doesn’t hurt — well, my sinuses do, but I didn’t remember to take my allergy pill last night (wonder why?).

My bumper looks like it has a few cosmetic problems, the trunk is sprung (it will latch but there is a gap where none used to be), but the biggest deal is that the tires rub when the car takes a sharp corner. we’re having a damage estimate done tomorrow. Afterward I would very much like to take it to Mike, my favorite mechanic at the Chevy dealership. I hope they will let me. He knows my car was in excellent condition before the accident.

bent out of shape

bent out of shape

When the police officer arrived to take my statement, he ran the license plate number I gave him and it turns out the guy who hit me only lives a couple of blocks down that street he turned on. I explained to the cop that I was NOT reporting the guy as hit and run. He had tried to signal me to take the corner, but it was too late for me to follow. The cop said that if the guy was waiting for them at his home, good and well, otherwise, he would be considered to have fled the scene.

So, we never made it to the potluck, and I can no longer tell people that my car is 5 years old and in almost perfect condition. However, I am uninjured. That’s the important part.

Anna, of Anna Carson’s Photography, hosts Project Black
check out her website for the links to other players.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. OH Quilly I am so sorry for the tension and frustrations of the day. I am grateful that nothing happened to you that would require drastic measures but al lthe same….it is a hassle. I pray for you and OC to have peace physically and mentally over the next few days as you work with insurance, estimates, and getting things back to normal.

  2. I am very sorry about this but your final line says it all: you are uninjured and that’s the important part.
    Hope the bureaucratic hassle is quickly done…
    I will return to stay home this time 🙂

  3. Okay, so you proved me wrong. I rarely have a story like that to go with my photos though. I can barely muster up 2 or 3 lines. LOL!!

    I am so glad you weren’t injured. I hope you’re car can be fixed in a timely manner and that your own mechanic is on the list of people you can go to.

  4. Wow, bad luck with cars lately for both of us, huh…….

    One minute all is well, and then POW……well, at least you weren’t badly hurt….and that is good. Even minor damage to a car is expensive, I have to look into getting a new window to replace the one that got shattered while on my trip.

  5. I am glad you are mostly ok, but I know that kind of thing lingers for days as an annoying ache in mysterious places. Driving just isn’t much fun anymore. I hope your mechanic can restore the “pristinity” of your car. Was it your mood that qualifies for Project Black? ; D

  6. I’m glad you’re ok, too. I was prepared for the car damage to look worse but, of course, that much is a hugely exppensive repair nowadays, so I guess, in a way, said Linus, that’s the meaning of car insurance!

  7. Oh quilly, how horrible for you. I am never really much of a happy driver, but when I lived in London I found it a nightmare. Worse than the almost permanent gridlock were the frayed tempers and the every present hostile atmosphere. If some hapless soul had the temerity to accidentally join the wrong lane NO-ONE would let them out.

    I do hope your car will soon be repaired and as good as new again. Thank heavens no serious injury was sustained.

  8. I am glad that you were not seriously hurt. Tension goes away, believe it or not. I’m also pleased, although not surprised, that you tried to do right by the other driver. Take some Tylenol PMs, and let everything sort itself out.

  9. I am so glad that nothing serious happened to you and it is only the car. Of course it’s annoying when a car is damaged but it doesn’t look too bad at least on the pictures. Now that I am not working anymore I avoid rush hours as much as I can ! It took me sometimes 1 1/2 h for 13 km drive from Waterloo to Brussels !

  10. Very glad you are pretty much safe & sound… it’s true, most accidents happen right around the corner from home.

  11. Well… honestly… I’m a little relieved! From your note, I expected to find … crumpled! CRUNCHED! And I am glad NOT to find that!!! Often though, the actual damage is way more than what it appears to be — especially since you say the trunk is affected and the tires rub… it obviously took a pretty good hit. BUT… at least your AIR BAG didn’t go off! In this case THAT would have caused YOU more damage than the accident. So, we certainly do have things to be thankful for! I HOPE the repairs go to Mr. Mike. Our insurance company usually lets us use whoever we want. But I believe “whoever we want” is on their list! You’re prayed up kiddo!

  12. Jules — thank you! I learned yesterday that I am really freaked out about driving now. I was hyper attuned to every wobble of every car! My stomach spent so much time lurching I am amazed I didn’t throw up!

    Mar — thanks, and have fun!

    Karen — Geico says they will cut me a check, and I can take my car to whomever I please! Yay!

    Nea — I’m glad you weren’t hurt, either! It wasn’t a good car day, was it?

    Nessa — I do have a fem aches and pains, but they are really very minor. My calves and thigh muscles in my right leg hurt, but I think that is more from the constant application of break and accelerator and I drove through traffic.

    Doug — one photo just wouldn’t post. The damage doesn’t look bad at first glance, but when one sees the gap between the trunk and the fender one realizes the bumper is about a quarter inch lower than it used to be. And there is that ominous crunching squeal when we turn a sharp corner. Although OC says that could just be the whels out of alignment. (Let’s hope!)

    Shrinky — here folks will allow people to switch from lane to lane. A hand emerges from a car window and signals intent, the driver being queried slows down and allows the other car over — smooth and easy — which is what makes the few horn honkers, finger wavers and name callers so glaring and horrific.

    Brig — well, I doubt the other driver WANTED to rear-end me. When I looked in my rear-view mirror seconds after he hit me, he had a definite “Oh crap!” look on his face.

    Gattina — it took me 90 minutes to drive 30 miles. It was a horrid commute.

    JC — actually, I was 30 miles from home. I was right around the corner from OC’s office.

    Melli — yeah. The last time my airbag went off it embedded my wire framed glasses in my forehead (which was better than my eyes) and left me looking like I’d sustained a major head injury (blood!) instead of four relatively minor puncture wounds. It also split my lip. I looked rather ghastly.

  13. I hope you are feeling better now. Your description of traffic there is just your average day around here! No one pays attention, too many vehicles, and what ever else…

  14. Glad you’re safe! Bizarre, we must be on the same wave length. I stopped for a pedestrian yesterday and some guy dang near smacked into me….I was oblivious but the pedestrian was pretty freaked out.

  15. I’m so glad to hear you are ok…I’d worried about you last night. What a nightmare drive and to think the wreck happened when you got out of the rain. Sorry about your car and I’m hoping the guy who hit you is a stand up guy.

  16. Quilly ~ Glad you are OK, I’d still go to the doctor though as there can be a delay to Whiplash, this is what my doctor told me when I got rear ended a couple of three years ago. Glad to read your Insurance Company will let you take your car to your mechanic of your choice.

  17. Looks like nothing a little shrink wrap won’t fix. Or, just duct tape the entire vehicle…you’ll never notice. Good to hear you are ok!

  18. been there, done that – a year ago. only my car (one year old) had to be towed away and eventually replaced by a new one – the repairs alone would almost cost more.
    i drove 100 miles two days after the accident…

    but i’m glad nobody’s hurt… the rest will be taken care of

  19. Oh, my goodness gracious. Sorry all that happened. Glad you are ok and that your car is basically ok too. I’m impressed by how level headed you were through the whole thing. Sorry you didn’t get to the pot luck. All that stress and no reward at the end. Of course you did get a unique theme for Project Black. Not a total waste…

  20. Now for the first time I’m glad I’m not in Hawaii. I don’t think I could take riding in traffic like that. Sorry about your accident but I am glad you weren’t hurt.

  21. Jill — this is a tiny, over-populated island with far too many SUVs! Driving here is crazier than driving in Vegas — and I didn’t think much of anything could be crazier than that!

    Shelly — I wish I’d been a “dang near!”; and the pedestrian at my corner, didn’t even look back at the sound of the impact. HAd headphones on and likely no clue ….

    Amber — well, the money is coming to me deductible free, so I am assuming that he is, indeed, a “stand-up” guy.

    Bill — I suffered whiplash after my last accident. Believe me, I am aware of the possible long term damages to my physical health. I still have to do exercises to keep my right arm fully mobile.

    VE — well, we’ll know how to spot you on the road, won’t we?

    Juliana — I remember! Something about pulling out of a parking lot, and you weren’t at fault but they treated you like a criminal?

    Jientje — thanks — turns out (as I suspected) it is mostly cosmetic. I’ll probably buy a bottle of touch up paint and call it good. The tire squealing problem is an alignment issue and they won’t cover it as part of the accident, because there is no way to prove I don’t chronically run over curbs and such …..

    Raven — funny — at the time I felt very scattered and yesterday morning I dissolved in tears for about an hour. Now I’m fine again, though just a tad nervous to drive.

    Dr. John — thank you — and thanks be to God.

  22. Quilly,
    I’m so glad you liked the picture of my yard. About the only time we can be out there, unless we are in the pool, right now is very early in the morning, because the temperature is so high. Today it is 96F and the heat index probably puts it near 100F. Better than last week when it was over 100F with heat index of 102F. This is the time of year it is a gardener’s challenge to keep anything green….at least we don’t have to have a watering ban this year.

    Come visit me in the fall or spring, but summer and winter are pretty harsh here.

  23. Oh man, I’m so glad you weren’t hurt !!! You were very lucky that you didn’t have anymore damage to yourself or to your car!

    Thank you for visiting me!!!

  24. Quilly, One fine and dandy shot for skywatch, great capture.

    The Team thanks you for posting your skies and making this new venture a success.

  25. Oh no! I hope it’s good as new again soon!

    I do remember the traffic in Hawaii! We were mostly in Maui– it was crazy. There needs to be more roads/lanes of traffic, and public transportation.

  26. Amber — after 10 years in Vegas, if there is shade I’d probably servive outside in 100 degree heat — though it would definaitely depend on the humidity factor.

    Yellow Rose — thank God.

    iMac — you’re on the wrong post, dude — but thanks just the same.

    Kila — there isn’t a lot of room on these islands for roads. Here they are argueing about putting in a commuter train. I think it is an excellent idea.

  27. Wow Quilly, that’s quite an adventure you had trying to get to a potluck. So sorry to hear about the accident but am so glad you are ok. Cars can be fixed more easily than you.

  28. Your last line is th clinch – that IS what is important. Although the damage and hassle is annoying.

    Hope you feel much better than you did when you wrote this.
    Take care of yourself.

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