Tuesday, January 04, 2005

All things come in threes?

Those who know me already know about my recent vehicle troubles...

August 29th
I was returning from San Dimas (visiting my older sister who teaches at Bonita High School in San Dimas, California - for those who don't know San Dimas, it was the town featured in Bill + Teds Excellent Adventure - or Bogus journey, I don't remember which "San Dimas High School football rules!", only she teaches @ Bonita hs, not San Dimas hs) on Interstate-5 back towards my parents' house in Bakersfield, CA. I was between Pyramid Lake and Fort Tejon in my 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis when some woman driving a vehicle similar to a Jeep Grand Cherokee (or it WAS a JGC) right next to me (her headlights were on my 9) when her headlights jerked back and forth a few times in her lane (crap I still get jittery just remembering it), slamming into my driver's side door, breaking the glass and slamming me up on the hill (I was in the slow lane, she was in the lane next to it). I had a hard time controlling my vehicle and slowing down to a stop, but was able to stop perpendicular to traffic (only covering the slow and next-to-the-slow lanes). I was wondering why it took so long to stop when I looked down and saw that my cd case (one of the 200+ cases) had fallen down between my foot and the brake pedal - it was originally on the seat next to me. I looked back and I noticed that her JGC was flipped upside down diagonally in the next-to-the slowest lane. Luckily, all the cars behind us were able to slow to a safe stop and a few even pulled over to the side to help us out. There were so many eyewitnesses that when the cops came and took statements, and helped out the poor man who was her passenger (he was STUCK in the vehicle) that they were able to collaberate with my statement that it was her fault. My car (1985 Mercury Grand Marquis) was totalled. The engine was shot, and the total damage definitely went over the value of the car.

October 29th

My friends and I from school signed up to take the Engineer-In-Training exam (aka Fundamentals of Engineering exam - its the precurser to the P.E. exam) on October 30th in Sacramento, CA. We were taking it at the CAL Expo. I called up my Aunt (youngest sister of my father, 16 years younger than him) who lives in Sacramento, and we stayed overnight at her place. That night right before the 30th, we decided to go check out old Sacramento, and while driving along some city street, stopped at some light rail tracks (basically a commuter train) when the red lights started blinking. Right as the crossing gaurd was coming down, this 1994 Ford Explorer rams right into me. Its really sad when your first thought is "Oh no, not again." The bumper of my car was shoved underneath the crossing guard, but luckily i was able to pull out and back to the side of the road in time. I was driving the 1996 Acura Integra then. The asshole (he was a 30something black male) jumped out of his vehicle before I was even off the side of the road and he was cussing up a storm, screaming that it was my fault, that I stopped in the middle of the intersection. I quote from him:
"I have my fucking kids in the car."
He was screaming that, cussing up a storm in front of his 4? children ranging in age from 4 to 10. I had called the Sacramento Police Department, and their response was: "If no one is hurt and both vehicles can still drive on their own, we don't need to send a policeman to take statements." I probably should have, just to get him to calm down.

Long story short, we exchanged phone #'s, and information. However:
My insurance company had a hard time getting a hold of him, and when they did, his story had ME backing into HIM. Turns out, he was even UNINSURED! @#%@#$%

January 3rd
Driving up to school (to take the Coast Guard exams starting the next day), I had been having some problems with my 1995 Ford Escort Station Wagon with the clutch slipping (I was in 5th gear the entire time, and I couldn't accelerate, because each time I depressed the gas pedal, the engine would 'rev' instead of the car accelerating). When I reached the junction of Interstate-580 West with Interstate 680 North, I couldn't accelerate out of the turn at all. I kept trying to, until eventually the clutch gave out completely. I was able to coast to the right lane (around Walnut Creek area), and I called my father. He was able to get a hold of a ford dealership in the area and they contacted a towing company, and its still there.
Update: The clutch was burnt out. Either my older sister (who owned it previously) rode the clutch the entire time, or it was a defective clutch. $1200 to replace the clutch, and to re-finish the flywheel. Meanwhile, I'm doin just fine in my Honda Civic Rental Car (Enterprise Rental).

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