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.
HER FREAKING FAULT! PERIOD!!!
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.

Abracos

Ray

22 comments:

Rachel said...

That blows!! I hope you guys stick it to her and bust her wallet open. That is where people like that feel it the most.

On a side note, I'm glad you are ok and that some pain (though super freaking annoying and painful) was your only injury.

Other side note, next time drive a volvo and her car will literally fold into the iron power of yours ;)

Jessica said...

That is AWFUL!!! I hate to hear about corruption. Why is it so prevalent? So sorry this happened.

SN said...

Oh my! I hate to hear stories like this and I am sooo sorry that this happened to you and your friend :(

Is there a no cell phone law where you were at? I really hope that everything turns out the way it should and that your back gets back to normal!!

What a crappy situation!

thetaoofme.com said...

Glad to hear you guys weren't seriously hurt. What a scary thing!

Keep us posted on how the law suit goes. I hope you hit her wallet hard, and I hope the cops get outed loud and clear.

Danielle said...

That probably gave you quite a fright! :( I hope everything works out and I hope that justice prevails. Good luck.

Tom Le Mesurier said...

Wow Ray! That's an amazing post - I'm really sorry to hear about your misfortune (and the stinky corruption), but it was a really interesting read.

I think it's really good to redress the balance regarding corruption. Sure it maybe more blatant and widespread here, but there are people cheating and lying all over the world. It's just that in some places they have to hide it better.

Hope that jet tub is working its magic! Melhorar!

Ray and Gil said...

Rachel,

We have already hired good lawyers, I hate to do it, but she gave us no choice.
Funny you mention the Volvo, Lisa's Volvo was in the shop for regular maintanance and the Dodge Avenger was a rental... :)
Yes, we know the power of the Volvo! Half the people in New England drive Volvo's ;)

Ray

Ray and Gil said...

Jessica,

We have noticed that corruption is more prevalent in some parts of the US.
Florida for example is really bad, it really fells like no man's land regarding law, rules and lack of control over abusive corrupted politicians and police. Not to mention the Bush family sophisticated operation with rigged voting machines that ended up electing a President "fraudulently". The voting system in Florida is under investigation now, there is widespread corruption and rigged voting machines all over the state, all done to favor the Republicans off course.
New England and the Northeast in general is also widespread, there are scandals on the news all the time, not to mention the mafia's business that are alive and well.
We lived in Texas and we didn't notice as much corruption scandals, same thing with Oklahoma. I am still not sure if these places don't have corruption or if the crooks just get away with it, so we never heard about it.
I lived in California but maybe didn't live there long enough to have any impression on this matter.

Thanks for your comment

Ray

Ray and Gil said...

Sara,

Yes, Rhode Island has a no talking on Cell phone law, it has had it for several years now.
People must use a "hands free" system, either a blue tooth on your ear like the one I have and most new cars now have cell phone blue tooth systems in the car's stereo.
Texting is also against the law and strictly enforced with huge fines.
Thank you, I am still going to doctors and physical therapy, my lower back is killing me and sometimes I feel like I am 90 years old. I hope this goes away!!

Abracos
Ray

Ray and Gil said...

Thetaoofme,

Thanks, I hope I feel better soon. It is scary to feel like a 90 year old man, I am just 40, now I don't know what's really from my age and what is from the accident. :(
I think there is a fat chance that anything would happen to the lying police officer. I have no doubt that he is backed by his superiors...

Ray

Ray and Gil said...

Danielle,

Yes, it was very scary.
I am thankful for being in a newer safer car. I think we would probably have been seriously hurt if we were in a Ford Escort or Pinto for example :)
I am more and more concious about the importance of a safe car, and now more than ever.

Ray

Ray and Gil said...

Tom,

The jetted tub was the best money invested in our house, besides the electric heater floors in the bathroom ;)
Yes, I think you hit the nail in the head. I am starting to think that some places, people get better at hiding it, so the impression is that there isn't as much corruption as in other places.
Brazil is under a real cruzade against corruption and I truly think Dilma is making real progress, but the effect of this war on corruption is that this is all we hear about it all the time, so in some way, it makes people more frustrated with all the scandals breaking up in the news. But I actually see it as a good thing. I would be much worse if we weren't hearing anything about it. It would mean those guys were getting away with it.

Abracos
Thank you for your comment

Ray

Ray and Gil said...

Thank you all for the kind words and well wishes for a quick recovery. :)

Abracos

Ray

Alex said...

NO! I'm mad I didn't read this earlier! This is horrible to read!!

I am so glad that you are ok! That's the most important thing, of course! And sue that b*tch for all shes got =).

I hope your pains go away soon!!!!!!!

Like Tom said, really great post btw.

Abracos!!!!!!!
Alex

Born Again Brazilian said...

OMG! I'm so glad you are OK!! (Despite the neck injuries - yoga is good for this.) That makes me so mad - keep at this - totally wrong. So sad to hear about small town corruption.

Ray and Gil said...

Alex,

Thank you, the pain now is only if I am sitting down for a long time and then when I get up my lower back hurts like hell...I hope this goes away too.
Yes, I hate law suits and courts, but we have no choice because the witch is getting ready to sue us!!

Ray

Ray and Gil said...

B.A.B,

I know, it's what infuriates me the most. Not only the witch was distracted on her cell phone while driving above the speed limit, she hits us, hurts us, and uses her influence in the community to persuade her corrupted cop-friend to add insult to injury to our situation.
I wish we could sue the police department as well for blunt corruption but we have been alerted by the lawyers to stay away from the Police department here in Rhode Island. ( it was insinuated to us they have connections with the mafia... )

Ray

Jim said...

Ray - sorry I'm late in posting my concern for your health and anger with the situation overall - since my computer was stolen I have been slowly reconstructing my favorites list and for some reason this post did not show up in my Google Reader list.

Anyway - I hope you are feeling better!

Ray and Gil said...

Dear Jim,

Thanks for your comment. Yes, getting better, slowly, one day at a time.

Abracos
Ray

Jennifer Souza said...

Whoa! What a story! I'm so sorry for the accident and that darn false police report. FWIW, I've -repeatedly- had reporters and police get things wrong, and there's no way it could have been malicious (b/c it benefitted no one.) But, truth be told, the way insurance is in the US, fault doesn't matter. It's incidents. In Maryland the police don't even come out if no one is injured.

One thing I've noticed about corruption in the US vs Brazil- in the US we still have the infrastructure (ie: roads) but in Brazil that is what is not done, so it is more noticeable by the general public. Corruption in the US is probably felt more by minorities (LAPD.)

California has plenty of corruption....but also addresses it better, IMO.

Ray and Gil said...

Jennifer,

I totally agree with you, corruption in the US happens, but I think there is more money to go around, so, the corruptors take their cut and there is still enough left to complete the infrastructure tasks.
In Brazil, in most cases of corruption, there is no much left to complete the tasks the money was designed for, with a few exceptions. In places like Sao Paulo, there is a better control over where the money goes and if tasks are actually being completed with the money they were intended.
Just to give you an idea of how bad corruption can harm a nation: Venezuela has received more money (adjuste by inflation) in the past 10 years, than all of Europe received on the Marshal Plan, used to reconstruct Europe after WWII. Look what Europe and Venezuela has to show for the money they got and how they used it...
I would like to point out that the mafia is alive and thriving in the Northeast/New England areas of the US, and police corruption goes hand in hand with that dirty business. :(

Ray

Robert said...

Oh My! Glad to hear you guys weren't seriously hurt. What a scary thing!

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