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Reno/Tahoe Non Trip Report (Accident Intervened)

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by marksind, Jan 29, 2017.

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  1. marksind

    marksind VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    We were supposed to fly to Reno yesterday (January 28th) for a week, staying at a condo we'd reserved. I was looking forward to trying out a Heavenly and Squaw Valley after all the snow they've had. I've never skied around Tahoe. Also of course we were going to make the rounds of the Reno casinos, which we actually prefer to Vegas. I had to cancel everything, non-refundable at this point, due to an auto accident last Sunday.

    The bottom line of this post is a plug for driving a modern car with the latest safety advances. In our case it was a 2016 Subaru Outback, our first new car in 14 years. One of the doctors who saw photos of the car said "Twenty years ago you wouldn't be alive." I've posted a picture(s) of our car post-accident, but I always seem to struggle with getting pictures to post correctly. One of the ambulance EMTs took them.

    My wife and I are both careful drivers. Haven't had a ticket or an at-fault accident that we can remember, and only one that was the other guy's fault about 10 or 12 years ago (minor). We were driving home to our Seattle suburb from a week-long stay on Lake Chelan in eastern Washington last Sunday. Around the town of Leavenworth, just on the east side of the Cascades, it started to snow. The Washington DOT site said only "traction tires advised" for U.S. 2, which s the lowest precautionary designation.
    IMG_0380.JPG IMG_0379.JPG
    It was still snowing about 10 miles west of Leavenworth, but there wasn't yet much accumulation on the road. We were well spaced going about 40 mph with a pickup ahead of us and a car behind. Approaching a curve, a van came around it heading eastbound, lost control, slid across the center lane (it is only a two lane road) and collided with us head-on (offset frontal collision on my side. I was driving). He was probably also going about 40, but we don't know. We were pushed off the road into an embankment and came to an abrupt stop. He pinballed off and slid to a stop in the middle of the road.

    It's so wonderful that so many people are good and helpful. We ended up spending until 1 am in two different hospitals, moved by ambulance. People on the scene made sure we were conscious and warm and didn't move until an ambulance arrived. The EMTs had to use the jaws to rip off my door, and my wife was taken out the back. I've got three fractured neck vertebra, a fractured lower back vertebra, and a fractured sternum. My wife has a fractured sternum and severe abdominal bruising and hematomas. I've got to wear a neck brace that supports itself by pressing on my fractured sternum 24/7 for at least 6 weeks.

    We're just thrilled to be here and have only injuries that with time should (hopefully) fully heal. I've got a bigger selection of prescription pills than I think I've had cumulatively my entire life (pain, muscle relaxant, anxiety, nausea). Though I'm very active these are the first broken bones I've ever had.

    The first hospital would not tell us the condition of the other driver (privacy laws), but from what we heard he needed an arm sling and was released in the afternoon. He has no insurance, an invalid driver's license, and has avoided contact with the police or our insurance company since the accident. His immigration status is unknown because Washington Troopers aren't allowed to ask or check (report just says 26 year old Hispanic male).

    As a result, we get to do battle with our own insurance company. Like most folks, I'd never bothered to read our policy. I found it interesting now that I have to see that I pay 2/3 as much for underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage as I do for my primary liability coverage. That's a 67% premium that responsible drivers pay to support those who ignore our "insurance required" laws.

    Getting back to my first sentence, I don't think I'd be writing this if we hadn't been driving our new car (just turned 4000 miles). Our older ones lack so many of its safety features. That's the most critical lesson of our experience. So, if you're on the fence about replacing your old car, consider that it's not your driving that makes the difference, it might be theirs.
     
  2. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Thank goodness you're alive to post this, marksind!
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery for you and your bride!

    RICHARD
     
  3. DESPERADO

    DESPERADO VIP Whale

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    :angel::angel::angel::angel::cry::cry::cry:glad u all are ok!:clap::clap::clap:
     
  4. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    You really hit the jackpot! Glad to hear you are alive and on the mend. The older I get the more I hate driving in snow.
     
  5. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Wow! I know that road well and I find it nerve wracking even in regular weather conditions. I've seen too much crazy on that section.

    So glad that you both made it. Sorry for the additional frustration and the cancelled plans. But heal up and feel blessed to be alive.
     
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  6. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    I am so glad that you and your wife is alive and on the mend. I've seen too many incidences where the people who caused the accidents are the ones with minimal injuries, no insurance, and the "victims" gets left holding the bag.

    Gets depressing and I'm just glad you and your wife will eventually be o.k.
     
  7. win4me

    win4me High-Roller

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    Thank you for sharing your horrible accident experience. I am so glad that you and your wife are healing. I have a car that will be 14 years old this year, low mileage & running great. I am considering a new vehicle for the new safety features.
     
  8. Geogran

    Geogran Whooo. Whooo.

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    Despite the serious injuries so glad to hear you both are on the mend. Frustrating and so wrong that some folks skirt the insurance 'laws' - way too common these days. Seeing those pics of your car, I'd say you were indeed lucky. That had to be a really harrowing experience and fortunate there were people present to assist until EMS arrived.
     
  9. Drewm1972

    Drewm1972 VIP Whale

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    First really glad to hear you and mrs. are alive!!! Hooray!!! :wave: wow, judging by the picture of your car I could only imagine ..... I'm speechless I wish you guys best and quick recovery.

    One thing....I don't know why his "immgration status" came into play?? Because of him being young Hispanic? I'm sure if he didn't had valid driver license... police would had to detained him! And should have gotten proper information. Yes, it's really sad and police should REMOVE drivers who doesn't have license or insurance. But when we start going down the route where police start asking immigration status on Hispanics....where do we stop?

    I live in mid west where we have huge Poor Eastern White European immigrants (immigrantion exploded within last 10 years here) where lots these type of cases happen as well. So with that in mind, should police ask immigrant status to everyone?? Or should we trust and keep encourage our governments to come up with better procedures/policies and implement them THEN police can prevent and perhaps have correct answers when we have unfortunate accidents like this...

    obviously I don't have right answer.... but to live in any structured society, people should be held accountable for their actions for sure..

    I do sincerely hope you resolve this case in speedy and most painless way.

     
  10. Chump

    Chump Low-Roller

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    Wow! The pictures tell it all. I’m so sorry to read of this awful accident but thank goodness you’re alive. I fear that your neck and back injuries will be with you for the rest of your life and what happens at this time will affect you for many years to come. If your insurance carrier does not freely offer your policy limits on your UM, I would secure an attorney immediately. Do you have two or more autos? If so, does your State allow stacking of the limits from each car? You will need as much as possible for your future medical expenses and there will probably be nothing recovered from the other driver. Haplessly, this happens every day to folks. Driving an automobile is the most dangerous thing we do. Best wishes.
     
  11. booker

    booker VIP Whale

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    Yikers! I know that road. Glad you made it. You've got a great attitude. I know that I would be whining more about my injuries, wife's injuries, car, insurance, etc. Good photos. Who took them?
     
  12. marksind

    marksind VIP Whale

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    booker,

    One of the ambulance EMTs took the photos. He sent them to me later. I was taken out on a back board with a neck brace and never saw what the car looked like outside at the scene. The accident actually caused me to lose all vision for a brief time. Came back fully, thank goodness. Each day we're just happier and happier to be around to (hopefully) recover.

    Thanks to all for your well-wishes. I plan to add to our insurance claim all the winnings we would have had in Reno. We'll see how far that gets!
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. TrewBrew

    TrewBrew I may be right, I may be Crazy.

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    Wow those pictures are incredible. Happy to hear your are safe, if i just saw the photos I would assume the worse.
     
    Fall Spectacular...
  14. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    I am so glad you survived the accident. Looking at the photos, I am surprised you're not much worse. Here's hoping your recovery time is not too painful and leaves minimal problems for you later on.

    I was considering getting a new car next year, I might look into it a bit sooner.
     
  15. Rush

    Rush MIA

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    Amazing Story. Get back on your feet soon!
     
  16. rdwy29

    rdwy29 Low-Roller

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    Glad to hear you're ok!

    I too have a new Subaru. Love it, and nice to know it holds up well!
     
  17. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Wow...I'm glad it's not much worse. Sure looks like it could have been. Hope you have a nice Valentine's Day with your wife and hope both of your recoveries are going well.

    My first accident was also caused by someone with no auto insurance. It was minor fortunately because I surely didn't get a dime from the white American military scum.
     
  18. FABismonte

    FABismonte Tell my wife I am "about even."

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    In light of the mudslides on I-80 and Hwy 50 near Tahoe, I would say it can be dicey driving to Tahoe lately. Glad you were not even more greatly injured. But sometimes injuries are latent so monitor your health.

    FAB
     
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