Friday, December 9, 2011

Dodge Versus Lexus-Big Car Crash!

It was a beautiful sunny fall morning in southern Rhode Island and I was riding as a passenger in my friend's mid size Dodge Avenger, it looks like the one in the picture below:

Dodge Avenger, a very safe medium sized car to be in during an accident!
We were going to meet with an older friend and take her out to Breakfast in a great little restaurant by sea, in the town of Westerly, Rhode Island, right on the border with Connecticut, you can literally see Connecticut to your left and Long Island straigth ahead on the other side of the Long Island sound.
It's a beautiful place, if you are ever in the area, look for the "Cooked Goose" restaurant, super cozy, with a huge fireplace, friendly staff and great food and awesome ocean views.
As we approached our friends driveway, my friend Lisa slowed down to turn left. This always freaked me out about traffic rules in the US, cars have to stop in the middle of a highway, when wanting to turn left, and wait for their turn, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING ROAD!!!! Needless to say that if you do this in Brazil you will be most likely run over by coming traffic. You just don't stop in the middle of any road in Brazil, for any reason. In big cities, if you want to turn left, you have to go around the block, unless there is a very rare tri-phase traffic light. If you are in a highway in Brazil, you MUST pull over on the right shoulder and wait for an opportunity to cross into the left side of the highway.
Again, I have always been freaked out about this "absurd" ( to me ) traffic rule where cars just stop in the middle of a high way forcing all traffic behind you to stop while you wait your turn to take a left.
So, back to our beautiful sunny fall morning. As we approached Mrs. Kennedy's ( not our friends real name ) driveway, Lisa, my friend, who was driving, stopped right in the middle of the small two lane highway, waiting for a chance to turn left into Mrs.Kennedy's driveway.
Suddenly, we got hit ( REALLY HARD ) from the back.
Our little Dodge Avenger was propelled forward across the highway, we were literally airborne about 5 feet from the ground and 150 feet forward into the woods.
We hit a HUGE rock, which threw us further up into the air, we hit a 15 feet Cedar Tree, completely ripped the tree from the ground, with roots and all.
The car actually went over two small stone walls and sunk into the woods, which was filled with a thick layer of leaves. We landed right between two HUGE trees, which we missed by inches.
The airbags didn't even deploy, because we hit the large rock with the undercarriage of the car, the Cedar Tree was kind of soft and we ripped it right off the ground and we landed in a thick layer of leaves, so the airbags didn't deploy.
I didn't hit anything, but my arm had a "carpet burn" mark on my elbow, from rubbing against the door padding material.
We both had our beloved Dunkin Donuts coffees with us ( a given if you live in New England ), our coffees were trown all over inside the car. I had coffee dripping from what's left of my hair...
The Dodge quickly started to smoke from under the hood. A thick white smoke and before we could even walk out of the car, a fire erupted from under the hood. The combination of spilled lubricants on dry leaves and hot metal parts were enough to start the fire.
I always have a "hands free" blue tooth on my ear and my cell phone always clipped to my pants. So after the car finally came to a stop in the woods, I was dialing 911.
I think there must had been a fire truck somewhere near by because they arrived on the scene before we even got out of the car.
When I finally walked out of the burning car and climbed over the stone wall and got to the shoulder, there were several cars and people coming towards us.
I still had no idea what had hit us at that point.
When I saw this lady running across the highway, crying and screaming!!!
She was driving a LARGE Lexus, the largest Lexus there is, it looked like this:

I have a new found respect for the safety aspect of LEXUS cars.
Her freaking LEXUS had a ridiculous dent on the drivers side where she hit our Dodge. How could it be?
I kept asking myself and going back to the LEXUS and checking out the hood, the front bumper, nothing out of place. This car is a freaking tank. Super sturdy. I will say if I am ever in a car accident again, I hope I am in a Lexus.
Well, poor little Dodge held very well too. Truth of the matter is that most newer cars in the US are super safe.
This year was actually the year with the lowest number of highway deaths since the Eisenhower administration. Because cars are safer than ever.
The LEXUS airbags weren't deployed either. The Lexus lady driver said she hit her head on the steering wheel, but she was apparently fine.
Poor Mrs. Kennedy almost had a heart attack. See, our friend, Mrs. Kennedy is 87 years old and she had been ready and waiting for us looking out her front window. So she watched the entire accident in real time.
My friend Lisa told me she saw the woman on her freaking CELL PHONE just before she hit us from behind, what else is new!!!
People distracted on Cell phones are becoming a real hazard.
This is a small town, so everybody knows everybody.
When the police arrived, the officer was talking to the Lexus lady driver about a house that he is buying and she is his realtor ( freaking small world, even smaller in Rhode Island!!! UGH!!! )
I was in shock, I didn't feel any pain, I don't think. But I was in real shock.
The ambulances came and we sent them away.
I was drenched in coffee and freezing alive. The sun wasn't helping. 8 o'clock in the morning in Rhode Island, in November, is still freaking freezing.
We waited and waited until the police did their thing. They interrogated both drivers and me.
This was a clean cut accident:
We stopped to wait for our turn, to turn left. The blind p#!%ta distracted on her cell phone hit us in the back.
Ha! Think again!!!
Her husband, is a popular doctor in town. She is a popular realtor. They are wealthy. Need I say more?
If you think corruption and shady, unethical moves are exclusive of places like Brazil and Italy, think again!
It happens here too, unfortunately ALL.THE.TIME. it's just not as advertised as it is in Brazil, things are conveniently trown under the rug.
The police officer at the scene took our descriptions of the accident and told my friend they were going to fax her the final "accident report" later.
The Dodge Avenger had less than 2000 miles on it. It was brand new, my friend had it for 3 weeks and it was totalled.
It had a very short life.
We got a new car from a car rental place, the whole thing took about 1 and a half hour.
Poor Mrs. Kennedy was starving and still waiting for us to take her to the "Cooked Goose".
Mrs. Kennedy is well known in this little town and everyone calls her by her name everywhere we go.
To say that Mrs. Kennedy is an interesting person is a absurd under statement.
She has had a great life experience and has wonderful stories to share.
Mrs. Kennedy was an English teacher for 50 some years at a very prestigious University, she was married with a lawyer for 30 years. He died about 25 years ago. She fell in love with another woman!!!
How cool is that!!
She lived with this lady for 18 years and she became a widow again just recently.
She is still very emotional about the losing the love of her life.
The lady she shared the last 18 years with was a very successful writer for TV shows. She wrote several TV shows and some of them are among the most popular TV shows in American Television.
Mrs. Kennedy inherited several million dollars from her partner. Several millions a year still coming in royalties from TV shows that are still being broad casted around the world.
Mrs. Kennedy is originally from New York city but has a house in Rhode Island where she spends her summers. Rhode Island is a little bit cooler than New York city in the summer, so many ( wealthy ) folks from the New York metro have summer homes up in New England.
Mrs. Kennedy loves history and so do I. So we enjoy hours and hours talking about History and politics. I know, call me nerd, who cares, I love history.
The last time we visited her, she showed me a real New York newspaper from April 15th, 1865, a day after President Lincoln was shot and killed. Her great grandmother bought the paper in New York city, on the morning after the President was shot.
I had chills when I saw and read the original paper, which is encased in a glass frame. Awesome!
Jeez, do you know anyone that sidetracks more than I do?
Ok, back to the accident.
I was starting to describe how the dirty police officer and the wife of the most popular doctor in town got together and re-wrote a new police report.
Yes, you heard me right. They wrote a new police "accident report" and the new lying report was saying that we were leaving Mrs. Kennedy's driveway and getting into the highway.
If this is what had happened, we would have been "at fault" and the distracted cell phone talking lady would be clean of any guilt!!
My friend Lisa received the fax with the completely altered "accident report" in the next morning and she had a real fit!!
Let me tell you a little secret about New England folks, they have a dirty, dirty mouth, they swear more than drunken sailors on a bad day. Yes, even the ladies, swear, swear, swear, with grace, trust me, they do it so much and so frequently, it's almost an art form.
I am not big on swearing and I confess I have to monitor myself or I would start throwing the F word all over the place, and the F word is a local favorite.
My friend Lisa is as typical as a New Englander could ever be.
She is direct, blunt, honest, swears a lot and drives really fast, but has a huge heart!! I love Lisa, she is great!
No southern manners around here. This is Yankee territory, we have a filthy, dirty mouth.
Lisa asked me to go with her to the police station to "demand" a correction of the "erroneous" police report.
I agreed because I thought she would need someone cool headed like me to help calm her down and avoid unwanted jail time.
Sure enough, we arrived at the small town police station and in less than 5 minutes the police officer was threatening to trow Lisa in jail, because he refused to correct the police report. He told her it had already been filed and it was now official and it couldn't be changed.
Lisa got really angry and loud very fast.
I had to use all my available physical force to drag her out of that police station. She called that policeman all sorts of names and he called her bad names right back, it was ugly.
Long story short. I was really impressed to see blunt corruption in the public system here.
I had heard it and read about it on the news but had never seen it first hand.
The Rhode Island police is infamous for being brutal and corrupted.
The mafia is still alive and present in Providence and the police all around the state is known for being corrupt. There are scandals breaking out on the news all the time about bribes, and all sorts of corruption.
The mayor of Providence, Buddy Cianci, was sent to a Federal prison in New Jersey for 3 years, for taking bribes from construction companies. People still love him around here, he left the New Jersey federal prison and had a TV show waiting for him in Rhode Island.
When you arrive at the airport in Providence you can buy "Cianci's famous" pasta sauce in souvenir shops at the Airport and all over the state. He is a legend and a loved crook around here.
Sidetrackng again...UGH!!!
Ok, It turns out I developed serious back, neck and shoulder pain a few days after the accident. I have been to several different doctors and physical therapy and have avoided vicodin, I don't want to get addicted.
I have been enjoying our jetted tub more than I ever thought I would.
It's has not been fun. A very disappointing experience to say the least.
We have been to 2 different law firms and we will be involved in a nasty law suit.
It helps that our friend Mrs. Kennedy watched the entire accident from her front window and she can back us up.
How could we be leaving her driveway at 7:50am if we were coming to pick her up to take her to breakfast?
Plus, Mrs. Kennedy is a known, and very respected member of the local community.
She is our star witness.
Corruption sucks! I hate it when I hear about it in Brazil and I hate it to see in my beloved adopted country.
More updates soon.



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

O Sonho Americano Parte 1 de 3

I will be writting personal posts soon.
For now, enjoy "O Sonho Americano" in English, with Portuguese subtitles.