The first question I asked myself is "why me"? Then, I felt grateful that it was minor. No one was hurt, the car primarily has paint damage, and my life could be sucking a whole lot more than it does right now. Always need to look at the glass half full, no matter what the situation is.
I was driving to work this morning at about 8:15 a.m. when I stopped behind a garbage truck at the stoplight at Craycroft Road as I was heading east on Grant Road. I was in the left lane right at the point where two more lanes open to the far left for vehicles needing to make a left turn onto Craycroft.
I see in my rear view mirror a car driving around 20mph-ish about to make an attempt to squeeze between my car and the median. The vehicle hits mine. The contact point is his front bumper on the passenger side and the quarter panel on the rear driver's side of my car. He stops and I thought he was going to get out or was waiting for me to pull behind him so we can find a spot to exchange insurance and contact information. The Tucson Police Department will not come to an accident scene if the accident is minor, no one is injured, and the vehicles are moveable so it wasn't going to make sense to call 911.
Then, it got weird.
The driver pulls his car back into the lane that I had been in and heads east. I thought, "Okay, I'll follow him since he's obviously going to find a safe spot to pull over to exchange information". However, that is not what happened.
He continues driving east. I continue following him. We passed the cemetery on Grant and I started believing that he wasn't going to stop. I kept repeating his license plate number to myself over and over so I could remember it when I had a pen and paper handy to write it down.
He signals a left turn about half a mile east of where the accident originally happened. I follow him into the Old Farm Executive Park and he pulls up next to a guy who was detailing a car. I parked, got out to inspect my car, confirm that there was damage, and walked over to talk to the guy in the car that struck mine. I asked him if he realized he hit me at Grant and Craycroft. He looks at me and says "I didn't hit any car." I explained that he did and I just inspected the damage to my car to verify. He repeats "I didn't hit your car or any car. I have no idea what you are talking about."
He then backs up, turns his car around, and drives away. I realized I had a couple of choices. One was to call the police department who I estimated was not going to come anyway and I'd stand around for hours waiting for an officer even though I had just experienced a hit and run. The other choice was to head on in to the TV station, call the police department non-emergency line, file a police / accident report, and then call my insurance company and let them figure it out. Despite my frustration, I opted for the second option. My momentary dream of having a real life "Cops" episode play out over a minor traffic accident quickly faded.
I have to take the car to the Progressive Insurance adjustor's facility on Thursday evening to find out what they'll pay for getting the damage repaired. The Progressive folks were super nice on the phone today and I'm sure they'll do whatever they do in this kind of situation, and I'm also sure that whatever that is will likely be disappointing especially since I still pay $1,500 a year worth of insurance premiums on an eleven year old car and the chance is high I'll end up with about two dollars, a fake smile, and a pat on the head.
They have to deal with people who have accidents that are a whole lot uglier than mine on a daily basis. To their credit (on the phone) they were patient and helpful to me anyway. I was told that it'll fall under the collision portion of my policy and I'll have to pay a $500 deductible to get the car fixed. Then, they'll track down the guy's insurance because I have his license plate number and attempt to collect the $500 (plus what they'll end up paying me as the difference to cover the damage) from his insurance company. It'll be a miracle if it actually turns out that they are successful since he denied doing anything and drove away. I think it's likely I'll be screwed. I have no idea at this moment where I'll come up with that kind of money for the deductible. Maybe if I eat less for the next year I can save up for it or hold a bikini car wash or a bake sale.
In the meantime, the one thing I can do to make myself feel better is publicly shame the bastard who hit me by publishing his license plate number. Arizona license plate 435DNY, a early 2000's model silver Honda Accord and the man driving was an older dark skinned thin Asian. If you know him, feel free to let him know that he's a crappy human. All I can hope is that he somehow has a conscience and at the very least his guilt makes him sleep poorly at night. I don't wish anything hideous on the man, just some sleepless nights would be fine. And $500 for the deductible.
|Ken Carr car accident damage on 3/3/15|
|This is the damage caused by the driver|
who said he didn't hit any car.
Hey buddy, I drive an "any car"
and it looks like you hit it to me.