Because we are all just about over doing the Full County Shuffle with only one vehicle, SweetPea went ahead and rented a car for the week the van would be in the shop. She got a Nissan Altima Hybrid. It was cute and fun. We drove it down to San Francisco for Exploratorium After Dark.
We drove it out to Folsom Friday night.
We got rear ended in it on our way back home.
It happened on a dark, twisty road, with a speed limit of 50. The Friday night traffic had come to a sudden halt. We managed to get stopped before the bumper of the truck in front of us and then I heard tired behind us screeching and saw the car behind us ditch out into the bike lane. He got almost door to door with us before coming to a complete stop.
Then that breathless moment, filled with relief, because that could have been so bad.
The car behind the car behind us hit us. From what I understand, he was going about 35 to 40 miles per hour. His front end is toast.
SweetPea grabbed her neck and, because traffic in front of us had cleared, started driving again. I had to tell her to pull over.
Only in my world would a "hit and run" involve the hit car being the one to take off.
The guy who ditched into the bike lane stayed with us because he didn't want us to be alone with a strange man on the side of the road.
About five minutes after we were hit there was a second accident right next to us.
The fire department and Folsom Police Department came out. SweetPea was taken out on a back board to the emergency room.
Statements were taken, information exchanged and, finally, I was released to drive that beaten little car home. I traded it for my van and drove back out to Folsom to meet SweetPea and her mother at the ER.
Grandfather & Sandygram
CT scans & x-rays showed no damage, so SweetPea was cleared to go home. She's still stiff & sore, but she's ok. I'm ok. The car's not ours.
I'm still haunted by that breathless moment, the impact, the panic in SweetPea's face and voice when she said "we've been hit!", the spectre of what could have been.
All in all, though, it was not as bad as it could have been.
And I am very grateful.
PS: The rental we have now is from Texas. It's a Mazda 5, which was described to us as a "mini mini van". It's the kind of pretty awesome that I wouldn't mind driving every day.