The Day That Changed My Life
I had just picked Jerielle up from her house. Were on our way to dinner, which has been postponed for 3 weeks because of schedule conflicts, or school. We were about half-way to Macaroni Grill from her house, at the intersection of Tualatin-Sherwood Road, and Martinazzi Avenue, driving with the windows down. I heard my GPS say "Turn Left on Martinazzi Avenue" So, instinctively, I started making the turn. The last light I had seen was Green, but that was for the center lane, not the left turn lane. I glanced at my GPS for a split second, and ran the Red light in the left turn lane. Jerielle said "YOU HAVE A RED LIGHT!!!!" but by this time, I was past the point of no return, I saw the Toyota coming towards me with his wheels locked up, skidding, and all I could think to do is push the gas pedal through the floor and hope for the best.
If I had not hit the gas, the Toyota would have hit Jerielles door, but because I stepped on the pedal, the Toyota hit the bed right behind the passenger side suicide door. It snapped my right rear axle-shaft, and spun me sideways.
This part I'm not sure of. I know that at some point, I hit a Mercedes, and at some point I rolled. But I am not sure what order.
After we got sideways, I turned my steering wheel to try to get back straight, but nothing happened. I remember being at an angle, then on my side, then upside down. Jerielle had her hands on the roof holding herself up in the seat. I let my seatbelt hold me up and reached over and touched her leg and said
"Are you ok? don't un-buckle yourself! Is your neck ok?"
She said "I'm fine, I'm holding myself up right now."
"Ok, be careful when you un-buckle yourself, there is Glass everywhere. I am so sorry!" I replied.
I carefully unbuckled my seatbelt, and carefully laid with my back against the roof of the cab. I started to pull myself out, but didn't want to cut myself on the glass or sharp metal. Someone had run over and asked if we were ok. I said "We are both fine, help me out of here." I reached up and grabbed his hand and he pulled me up. I ran around to the other side of the truck and embraced Jerielle, and thanked the person that helped her out. I went over to the sidewalk and sat down.
Nobody was seriously injured in this wreck, just sore, and a couple bruises.
Now on to the damaged property:
Toyota: crushed front right nose, not sure if the P/S IFS system is messed up.
Mercedes: Damaged left front nose, hood crushed down, radiator or radiator hose damaged.
2001 Ford Ranger XLT 4x4: Flipped. Damage on all panels, driver side axle shaft snapped off, leaf springs twisted up, shocks destroyed, rear axle 45* from what it should be, driveshaft pulled apart, toolbox fell off, stuff dumped everywhere, windshield broken, not sure what else.
Just to prove that I did everything right when I modded it, all of my mods stayed in place, secured where they were supposed to be. The speaker that I had mounted next to my head for my Ham radio acted as a cushion for my head keeping it from bending too far (and probably why I don't have whiplash), and kept me from slamming my head into the door-jam. the speaker face has a nice head shaped dent in it though... but that's OK, cause it saved me.
I must also say, that having that seatbelt hit my shoulder, and tighten down on my lap, has NEVER felt better. I'm glad we were both wearing them.
So, that one is done. Time to start saving the pennies again, and eventually, get an FX4 Level II. I am definitely buying another Ranger, because "These things are TANKS" and I know that between the engineering, and my driving skill, it saved Jerielle and my life.
There will be pictures online after I get them. I'll send out a link to them. (assuming I remember to.)