It happened. I was awakened from a deep sleep in the middle of this morning’s wee hours to the sound of a telephone’s ring that I had just missed. Disoriented, I finally found the phone and fumbled with Caller ID only to see Youngest’s number mere seconds before the handset rang again in my hand.
“Mommy, you have to come up here. They said I had to call you.”
Her voice wasn’t anxious as I’d have expected if she was hurt. Her voice was more of a mewling melancholy. With a sigh she repeated the command over my questioning as she told me a little about what had happened.
“Mommy just come up here. Some drunk just wiped out the whole yard, and the three vehicles that were in it.”
Youngest had intended to spend the night at a friend’s house just up the road. The night was interrupted by sounds that I’m told resembled what could only be a train wreck in the front yard.
At 2:00 a.m.
I rushed to pull on a pair of pants and two shoes. I can’t swear that the shoes matched each other, but my feet were covered. I bounced off the hill and turned up the road toward my daughter and her mewling voice.
I could only get within the equivalent of a couple of blocks before I had to park and walk the rest of the way. The whole area was filled with two fire trucks, two or three police cars, an ambulance or two, and several sleepy neighbors in various stages of dress.
Much like me, I suppose.
Of course I arrived too late to witness the events of the morning, but I quickly learned that a drunk driver, speeding down a road that required much more caution, lost control and caused a ton of property damage. He first hit a telephone pole and then two large rocks before proceeding to take out an entire length of fence, at the end of which was a huge pickup truck and one of those brick columns that people use to house their mailboxes.
This one was nice, too. It was part of a matching set, one on each side of the driveway. They had electric lights on top that made the place look pretty at night.
One of them is completely destroyed, fallen over and off its concrete slab base. The other has lost its top, and I think it may be several inches out of place, but mostly it’s still standing.
That first pretty post was close to where the huge pickup truck had been parked. When the drunk driver slammed into the square brick posting, he also slammed into the side of the big truck at the same time. The same force that knocked the pretty brick column off its concrete slab base caused the big truck to spin around sideways. When the truck spun around sideways, it smacked into Youngest’s car that had been parked beside it. The force was still such that it caused Youngest’s car to spin sideways and slam into the boat that had been parked in front of her. The boat was hit so hard that it swiveled around and smacked into the house.
After that, there apparently were no more slams and bangs. Since everyone had been sleeping in the house at the time, no one but the driver was hurt. His girlfriend told us that she had just kicked him out for being drunk and abusive, but the Breathalyzer the paramedics used showed no signs of any substantial inebriation. Three tries later and he was still under the legal limit. They said it must’ve been the adrenaline that sobered him up.
The homeowner has quite a headache in front of him. Two vehicles were totaled. I’m not sure what damage the boat sustained, but I know there’s at least a dent in the garage door where it slammed into the house at just the right angle and impact to avoid structural damage.
The driver’s car may have once been a four-seater, but now there’s only room for two. All the glass that had once been in the driver’s windows got swept up while we stood there in the damp air and watched.
Three vehicles were towed away, at least two insurance companies received wee hour calls, and all claims have been initiated. Luckily, the driver was insured. Also, fortunately for him, and despite first impressions, he lived.
Youngest is using a rental car until we can get some things sorted out.
I learned a few things throughout the course of today:
- Whatever your emergency stash, it’s not enough.
- Lectures on life will be forthcoming, even if the accident was not your fault.
- A Shop Vac will suck glass off a lawn.
- It is possible to ram one vehicle into another with such force that parts fall off from underneath.
- Drunks walk away from the accidents of their own creation.
- The insurance company will only pay for the value of the damaged car, not what it will cost to replace it.
- Some guys who work for Enterprise Rent-A-Car are assholes.
- Youngest is growing up.
- Drama doesn’t necessarily leave our lives when we leave high school.
- And it’s almost never nothing when the phone rings in the middle of the night while the kids are out.