On Thursday morning, I was installing some new electrical fixtures in the bathroom, when the telephone rang. Sarah had just left for school on her bike, and I didn’t really like talking to a telemarketer, so I let the phone ring. The answering machine picked up, and Sarah left a message asking me to call her as soon as I got the message. She sounded very upset.
I dropped what I was doing, grabbed my cell phone, and called her back. She asked me to come pick her up because she had been hit by a car. My first question, obviously, was if she was OK. She responded that she was a bit bruised, but other than that, she seemed to be healthy.
So, I grabbed my keys, got in the car, and headed to the corner of Kendall and Grand, where she was waiting.
Sarah had been biking to school, when an [expletive deleted] driving an 80’s vintage station wagon turned left directly in front of her. She did not have a stop sign, nor was traffic in her direction of travel required to yield to traffic from the moron automobile driver’s direction of travel.
Fortunately, I’d recently tuned up the brakes on her bike. New brake cables, housing, pads, and correct alignment of the same were all part of the tune-up. So, when she grabbed the brakes and pulled, the wheels on her bike grabbed hold of the pavement and held on tight. Unfortunately, the distance between her and the car was not great enough for her to stop and she crashed into the car’s right rear quarter panel. The impact threw her off the bike, broke the rim of her front wheel, shattered most of the lights on her bike, shattered the covering on her bike lock, sheared off her front brake cable, and forced the handlebar/fork alignment way out of whack.
The [expletive deleted] driving the car immediately got out of the car and accosted Sarah verbally. He blamed her completely for the accident. He started telling her how she had better have automobile insurance and how she was going to pay for the damage to his [expletive deleted] car. Unfortunately, neither of them called the police, so now we have to fill out an accident report form to get the police to assign blame for the accident. Simultaneously, we have to start persuing a claim through American Family Insurance (the [expletive deleted]’s insurance company).
Sarah escaped the accident with a few bruises and some bumps. Doctors checked her out and found no major injuries, so she is just watching what she is doing, and taking plenty of extra-strength tylenol.
Having said all of that, it is important to note that being loud does not make you right. The [expletive deleted] who hit her, essentially assumed that if he got out of his car and made a big scene, everyone would just assume that he was right. Fortunately, the world doesn’t always work that way. If it takes hitting this [expletive deleted] in the wallet to get his attention, and make him start looking for bicyclists on the road, I’ll make sure that hit is large.