One day last week, around midnight, an impaired driver came barreling down our street, crashed into our neighbor’s Prius parked across the street, and bounced into Hubster’s Lincoln Town Car parked outside our house. He hit it hard enough to dent the entire front bumper in, jam the hood, and move it into the street.
The car hit with an explosion-like sound, bringing out all the neighbors on the block. The driver rolled out of his vehicle to the ground, and EMS took him to a hospital. Police were on the scene gathering witness statements from my neighbors and taking photos. A tow truck came for the other vehicles and moved ours closer to the curb. Just about every neighbor on the block was outside for this impromptu summer gathering, except us – our entire household slept through it – INCLUDING THE DOG!!. This shows how truly sleep-deprived we all are. We woke up to fun text messages saying, “Your Lincoln was hit” and “Come outside!”
We now get to await police reports and insurance processes, and we will most likely say goodbye to another beloved family vehicle.
Bright sides: since I’m home for the summer we can live with one vehicle if we need to while we wait for insurance and save up any extra cash. And while the driver was injured, he will survive, so besides a lot of property damage no one was seriously hurt. Except maybe our pride, because it’s pretty embarrassing that not even the vicious guard dog noticed the car on our front lawn or neighbors pounding on our door.
If you have followed our marriage story, in real life or through this blog, you will also know we have REALLY bad luck with cars. This is actually the death of Car #5 since our marriage; we’ve owned 7 cars in six years, which is super embarrassing since my family generally drives the same vehicles for at least a decade. Hubster and I have gotten every penny worth from our USAA auto policy. Praise God none of our accidents have involved any serious injury, but it’s disturbing that we’ve lost one car for each year we’ve been married. Here’s a chronology of our vehicle ownership since 2011.
#1 Pontiac Sunbird Convertible 1993-2011
My first car, a 1993 Pontiac Sunbird, bit the dust six months into my marriage at Fort Benning, GA, when it needed a new engine. We ended up selling it to a local mechanic for parts. Faithful little car!
|2011 My BFF and me – we drove the moving truck to GA together|
#2 Eagle Vision 1995-2013In February 2013, I was driving to school in Texas when a deer ran across the highway (full story here). Miraculously I survived after hitting the him doing 70 mph at dawn. I stopped and tried to find the deer but couldn’t – if he lived through it, I imagine the coyotes got him not soon after. Probably in shock, I actually drove the vehicle the remaining distance to school and taught all day. I sold the car to a guy on Craigslist for $300, also for parts. This was my brother’s high school car – sorry, Ethan.
#3 Pontiac Firebird 1989-2013
LESS THAN TWO WEEKS LATER we were on our way to the battalion ball (which some bright soldier scheduled on Ash Wednesday) when a guy texting rammed us when we were parked at a stoplight (more pics here) One of the busiest stoplights in the city, in fact, at rush hour. He hit us so hard it bent the Firebird’s steel frame and made the stereo jump out of the dashboard. We hit the truck in front of us.
|Before – look how pretty it was!|
|After – that’s actually the frame touching the wheel|
|Before the accident – I saw so proud of my hair and makeup!|
I don’t know what I was more mad about – losing another car, or how good my hair looked for the ball we never made it to. Insurance claim for this – we put the money towards Hubster’s Mazda RX-8, a car that was perfect for our DINK lifestyle (Double income, no kids).
#4 Mazda RX-8 2003-2017
This one didn’t actually die, we traded it in, but since it’s another car we owned I felt it should be chronicled properly.
|See how sexy it was? And how young and carefree we were?|
Of course, six months later I was pregnant, so my next vehicle was more family-friendly.
#5 Mercury Mariner 2005-2014
A month before Spartacus was born in 2014 I was at the IKEA in Austin, TX, picking out his crib. As I went through the intersection getting onto the frontage road, a texting UT student going the perpendicular direction decided my light was hers. She T-boned me so hard my car spun 270 degrees and landed me on a median (all the details here).
|At purchase – so pretty!|
|My Mariner – Another ouch!|
|The car of the girl who hit me – hers was worse|
Oddly, because I knew I was okay and had been in so many scary accidents in the last year, I was the one standing on the side of the road comforting her when she went into tears of shock. I’ll never forget the look on her face when she saw how pregnant I was…I used my insurance check to buy my current vehicle –>
|THIS ONE I HAVEN’T BROKEN YET!!|
#6 Mercedes E-350 2001-present
I love it; it’s big, it’s comfortable, it’s paid for. My students are impressed by my ‘Benz, but they seem to forget it’s worth about $3000 now, way less than most of the cars they drive. Mercedes are like Macs; they don’t break often, but when they do it will be EXPENSIVE. It takes premium gas and 8 quarts of oil. It has room for two car seats and a (squished) dog in the back and needs the AC recharged every year, but for right now it is perfect – though my next car will be a minivan if I can help it.
After we moved home to Indiana for seminary, Hubster traded his ’03 Mazda RX-8 in for his current #7 Lincoln Town Car (2002-2017), a cushy boat that fits car seats a lot better than the suicide doors of his sports car. He put a new canvas top on it after purchase, and he really, really liked that car. I am very sad to lose it in such a violent manner, but so grateful to not have been in the car at the time. I don’t know what the insurance situation of the driver is, but I know USAA will take care of us yet again.
If you’ve read this to the end, the answer to the title question is five. Five cars have ended their lives with us in five years of marriage. If you’re looking to sell a family vehicle in the near future, we’d love to find something with under 100K miles for about $5000 that fits two car seats…and we’d work really hard not to kill it too. I promise. I’ll keep you posted on car #8.