Hit and Run Down

So, I was involved in a car chase this morning.

I decided to drive in this morning, and was just about to enter the city while driving along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway when I got side-swiped.

I was driving along in the left-hand lane in pretty dense traffic. No one was going over 50 because it was pretty packed, when all of a sudden this large red Lincoln Navigator comes roaring down the center lane. I’m about to pass a white van that’s sort of lumbering along in the center lane, when she suddenly swerves into my lane!

I hit the horn and the brakes at the same time, but it’s too late. The rear of her Navigator smashes into the front of my Subaru Forester, sending bits of plastic and glass from the lights raining down on my windshield. The giant SUV swerves wildly at the force of the impact, then she regains control of the it. I sighed and put on my hazard lights and began slowing down, when all of a sudden, she hits the gas!

In that split second, I realized that A., I was in a hit and run, and B., if I didn’t get their information, that was it. I’d have a bashed up car and absolutely no way to get it fixed. The poor thing is an aging 2000 Forester, and our one and only method of transportation. You may recall similar feelings when nearly the exact same thing happened in January. So I did what any desperate maniac would do. I hit the gas and followed her.

I had my phone in the cupholder on the dash and put in my earphones and dialed 911. I caught up to her at about 85mph, and she’s weaving through traffic all over the place, cutting people off and trying to loose me. The 911 call center, after realizing what was going on, put me through directly to the Police car dispatcher.

Our engines roaring, people honking and tires squealing as she cut them off… It was like the movies.

I start describing the Navigator to the dispatcher as I am bobbing and weaving through traffic trying to keep up with her, and giving a play-by-play we pass landmarks and begin turning onto local roads.


It gets pretty congested at this split, just like the picture shows is what it was like today.


She veers off the 50 West split, with me hot on her tail. We get caught at the US1 light, and I figure at this point. But she crosses over 3 lanes while the light is still red, still trying to get away from me. The dispatcher starts calling cars while he still has me on the phone, directing cars to the area trying to cut this person off. At this point, I realize I have no idea who is in the SUV. The windows are tinted and dark, and I have no idea if they’re armed or not. The dispatcher advises me to continue following her, but to keep my distance.

She charges down some local roads, and I start hearing sirens. Finally, she pulls a U-Turn and pauses at a dingy, beat up looking auto-repair shop. I screech in, and box her in, putting the Subaru in park. I’m blocking a lane of traffic, but I don’t care.

This dispatcher asks me if I see any cop cars around me, and I wave one down who’s at the traffic light we had just past. Suddenly, lights flashing, 8 cop cars descend on us, blocking us in at all angles. I slump in my seat.

A 60-year old African American woman climbs out of the SUV, and starts screaming at the cops. One of the cops very gently approaches me and gets my side of the story, but then are interrupted as we both turn aghast towards the Navigator. The woman pops the back hatch, pulls out a stroller, and proceeds to take an infant out of the back set and pop his car carrier!

The cop informs me that they have to wait just a little bit while the Maryland cops arrive, since the incident technically happened in Maryland, right before we entered. Several of the officers come by and congratulate me on staying on her and running her down!

This woman is pretty angry. #crash #navigator #subaru

I finally calm down enough (and the officers gently bring the woman over to one side) that I’m able to get out of the car and go to snap some pictures.

The woman is hysterical, changing her story multiple times. She first tells the officer that I sped up, then that she didn’t see me, then that she didn’t know we had collided, then that she swears on her dead mother’s grave that she would never hit-and-run, then that she wasn’t sure why I was following her, then that the cops should just leave her alone because she’s minding her business, then that she never speeds, and then back to screaming at me.

Well, that stinks. #accident #Subaru #forest

What her car looked like. #crash #Lincoln #navigator

The Maryland officer gets on the scene, and goes and talkes to the woman first. He then starts talking to me, and getting my side of the story, and then says; “Well, it’s abundantly clear that she’s at fault here. Do you want to press charges for the hit-and-run?”

Leading me for 5 miles and cutting me off as many times as she could? Absolutely yes.

He takes my liscence and registration for bit, then comes back, hands me a case number card and her policy information. He tells me he’s only trading insurance policy numbers, because the woman is obviously unstable, and doesn’t feel comfortable giving my direct information to her. I didn’t even know that was possible!

He then tells me I’m free to go. I drive off to a secluded area and phone the insurance companies.

At this point, I’m back at work, but her insurance company has already claimed fault, so I’ll be bringing our car in to be fixed this evening.

I’m just glad I’m safe, but what an exciting ride!


Ruby Returns

Ruby Returns!

Isn’t she cute? 🙂
Tamika and I christened her  just now.

Back when I had the wreck, we had gotten the news that she might not be coming back to us, and I was genuinely sad that she had been so reliable and such a part of our family, that I had lamented that we hadn’t named her.

And so Ruby seems like an appropriate name for a red Subaru.

The collision centre replaced the entire front end, very nearly. The only thing left untouched was the right headlight and blinker. Everything else, the grill, the (very expensive) hood, the bumper, even the fog lights, are all shiny and new. The poor thing has never looked better.

The grill was actually surprising, they replaced it with a chrome one from a luxury model (our old one had just been plastic).

She’s still got some problems (need’s a new catalytic converter, needs an engine guard, and has a rust spot near her gas tank that needs help) but she’s ours and we love her, and we’re glad to have her back. God is good.

Christmas Presents, McDonalds, AntiFreeze and Split/Second

Split Second: Velocity
Image via Wikipedia

Tamika drove me to work yesterday.

The kids got so many presents at the Pinkney Christmas that we needed to take a second trip. Our car had already been full from 3 weeks of travel in Canada, so there wasn’t much room at all. Miss Apit (our neighbor) let the kids stay overnight with her. After dropping me off at work, she headed north, and met her Dad in Delaware, and loaded up the Subaru with the gifts. It took her most of the day to get there and back, sadly, traffic was completely miserable, and she was late picking me up.

We caved and picked up McDonalds, too tired to figure out anything else. We stopped to get gas on the way home, and I realized the coolant was empty. The gas station attendant let us use his hose to fill it up, and I hopped a fence and borrowed a cup from a Chinese carryout next door to mix the anti-freeze. That stuff weirds me out! Whatever chemicals are in it make it practically glow under any light.

We put the kids right to bed when we got home, and then watched another couple episodes of Caprica. Still like it, though it’s got a couple vulgar scenes. Tamika and I have also been playing Split/Second (which is oddly made by Disney?) against each other. I’m still in the lead, but she’s catching up… 🙂

God is Good, He fixes our car

Yes, the blog is still broken. I’m still working on it. So none of you are going to get this by email. My apologies! I may just make the jump to Feedburner…

Anyways; on Monday we had a huge snowstorm. Being the Young Savage that I am, I drove to work. Two lanes of the four on I-95 were completely whited, and the two that remained were very narrow black strips. No salt, no plows.

The Subaru did famously; deftly picking it’s way through foot-high ruts and rounding corners like a champ. At one point, I was driving in the right hand lane and a Saturn passes me while we go around a wide curve. Suddenly, the Saturn looses traction, slips out of it’s lane, spins across all four lanes, narrowly misses the guardrail on the opposite side, guns his engine, zips across all four lanes of traffic AGAIN, and comes to a skidding stop in front of me. I slammed on my brakes (thank God for ABS) and came to a stop about a foot away from him.
He guy wipes his window, waves, does a K turn, and drives off.

The rest of the ride was uneventful. Then I get off on my exit, and I hit the curb.
I didn’t see it coming; the edge of the offramp was hidden by pounds of fluffy white snow, and I smacked my right front wheel into the 6 inch high concrete edge.

I kept going, and arrived at work, but noticed a slight wobble in the steering.
Having owned a Passat and a Saturn that were plagued with alignment, ball joint and rim problems, I knew this was not good.

I drove home. The wobble was worse. I couldn’t go above 50mph without it shaking all over the road.

The next day, we pile into the car to drive me to work. And the car won’t shift into Drive. Even after warming the thing up for close to half an hour, the Subaru only will go in reverse. Finally, after adding transmission fluid and straining on the shifter; I popped it into Drive. Gears 3, 2 & 1 were still locked up.
And the wobble got worse. At 35-40mph, the steering wheel shook violently. And in addition to all that, I could feel the transmissions thumping ever so slightly.

I called work and told them I was going to take the day off.

Tamika and I remembered that at church last Sunday, someone had pointed out that one of the guys, Tom Walker, was a mechanic. Just out of the blue. Just, “Hey, that’s Tom. He’s a mechanic”. So I pulled open the church directory Trish Barrett had given me and called him.

He was in the hospital, his wife had just come out of surgery. He said his “garage” was on wheels, and that he could come by on Thursday morning.

Tamika and I prayed for the car, and for Tom’s wife.

On Wednesday, I had to get to work, so we drove the car. The wobble was still there, but less. The problem with shifting was gone.

By Wednesday night, the wobble was completely gone. And the car was still shifting normally. We decided to still have Tom check it, just in case.

This morning, Tom came by. And the car is absolutely fine. When I hit the curb, snow and ice got lodged in the wheel, and threw off the balance. Also, the bottom of the car was coated with ice, including the transmission. So, when the weather got warmer, all our problems just melted away.

Praise God.