But, as of last weekend the forecast looked favorable for a fairly uneventful trip weather-wise. And, it was uneventful, at least for the trip up North. Sunny and warm, we got there in our usual four-and-a-half hours. We had heard rumblings of bad weather for our Monday return, so we decided to get on the road right after breakfast (and a quick visit to an old aunt). The conditions were snowy and slick, but we made our way driving carefully until the patch outside of Watertown (a notorious snow belt region). The slush and icy conditions were forcing many cars off the road, and as we moved along a white Ford spun uncontrollably in front of us until it left the road and came to a rest in the right-lane ditch. That's when the trouble started.
Mark was concerned about the couple inside the white car as he noticed they were a little older, so we pulled off the side so he could be sure they were okay - they were. But, they didn't have a cell phone so we offered to let the man, Chuck, use ours to call a tow truck (it turns out Chuck and his wife, Stephanie, were traveling from Ottawa to Florida for the winter). While Chuck was making his call, in my rear view mirror I spotted an out-of-control car veering directly toward us, and I told everyone to get ready for the impact. The hit was over quickly (complete with left-side airbag deployment) and everyone, though shaken, was okay. Chuck was in a little pain, saying his back and neck hurt, so we called an ambulance to get him checked out.
After a visit from the ambulance, the fire crew, and the State Police, all the information was exchanged and the tow truck hauled our car out of the bank. There was extensive damage to the back and a little along the side, but the car was driveable. By 1pm we were back on the road, and got home safe and sound. We all thanked our lucky stars that no one was standing outside the car when it was hit and that we were in the Pilot, our SUV, and not the little Civic compact.
Because we were hit, the liability for repairs and related expenses (towing, rental car) will all be billed to the insurance of the young man who hit us. Today we found out the Pilot has $13,000+ worth of damage, and it will be about 25 days until we get it back, during which time we've arranged for a rental car.
I guess our good fortune in the wake of the accident is just one more thing we have to be thankful for. And to my relatives in the North, see you in the spring! You won't be seeing the Baker's until the winter is officially over!