I had a bit of an unexpected expense happen this year which wasn’t the most lekker of things. Back in June, after a good day behind the keyboard for Touchwork, I wrapped things up and headed off to pick the girls up from school aftercare – only to have a certain Umar Thomas in his big heavy Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV stupidly pull an illegal u-turn in front of me, floor the accelerator to get out of the way of the peak hour traffic turning our way, and then wildly careen into me, pushing me up against the sidewalk.
Seriously, he basically did a horseshoe and just took me out with him. His large Trailblazer struck me on the driver’s side, just behind the wheel arch, and shoved me up against the sidewalk wall. Luckily the accident didn’t happen at a higher speed, and luckily he didn’t hit me a few inches further past the wheel – had either of those been the case then I probably wouldn’t have walked out the car with nary a scratch like I did!
The traffic department (which is just down the road) didn’t show up, nor did the local police (they were short-staffed, I know because I phoned), but as always the amazing network of local security and emergency service companies stepped in and did their job for them.
I got Chantelle on the line (because although not hurt, the adrenaline/shock really wasn’t making me think 100% straight), asked her to phone the insurance and organize a tow truck to come out (and obviously race off to fetch the girls), swapped details with the now very remorseful Umar, and after a bit of a wait and then going through the process of actually having the car driven away by En Route Towing, drove to the police station (well obviously Chantelle did the actual driving) to fill out the necessary forms.
This was a little 2010 Hyundai Getz that I had the pleasure of driving new off the showroom floor, and so given its age, value, and extent of damage, it didn’t exactly come as a surprise when the insurance (DialDirect) came back with the decision to scrap.
Luckily it wasn’t all bad news though. With some unexpected monetary assistance from my boss added to the insultingly small insurance payout, I was able to replace the Getz with a very nice 2012 Hyundai i20 (sourced from Somerset Car Sales for R109,900) and so this entire misadventure ended up not putting us out of pocket (except for the natural jump in insurance premium) plus a slightly newer car out in front of the house.
That said, of the six cars that I have now owned, this is the fourth car that I’ve written off – not really a record that I’m particularly proud of!