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1978 car accident Empty 1978 car accident

Post  roddie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:32 am

I just came across this pic. I was the front seat passenger in this wreck.. (might explain why I'm the way I am) My buddy was driving.. I had just graduated from High School.. as my buddy had, a year earlier. We were coming back from the store after supper one night.. the roads were snow covered from a storm that day. Being a VW Beetle, the car was good in the snow... and my buddy was crazy. We were doing probably 35-40 mph when we hit a snow-covered white Oldsmobile 98 that was parked on the side of the road, while it's owner was shoveling their driveway.  I vaguely remember right afterward; it was eerie... there were a big group of people standing around the car... in a 1/2 circle, in the glow of headlights.. and it seemed very quiet. This was a "side-swipe" by classification.. but we were lucky not to have hit even a fraction of an inch more to the left.

I would have been more seriously injured.. but since birth; I have only clear sight in my right eye. Because of this, if someone is to my left.. I usually turn my body toward them.. rather than turning just my head. I was seated in the car with my legs toward the center. If I had been sitting straight, I would have smashed my right leg. Luckily.. I ended up with a cut and bruise on my thigh, a gash on my right arm and a bump/cut on my forehead. My buddy hit his head too. The windshield; someone found down the road a bit...

Probably 5 years later I was driving a car (1977 Olds Cutlass Salon w/T-tops) that I smashed on the left side.. when I side-swiped a BIG tree.. same type of crash damage.. only I bit the steering wheel and chipped my 2 front teeth. I've got a photo somewhere, pre and post-crash.

My buddy's Sister sent this... in a pack of photos, a few years ago.. when my buddy "John" passed away. John was crazy in those years... He used to drive people down this dark windy road at night, as fast as he dared.... with only the "hazard" lights flashing. He called it.. (like a question) "The Ride?"

It's a wonder I'm still alive, when I think of all the crazy things I did.. and the crazy people I hung around with.

the lucky Roddie


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Post  Kim on Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:29 am

Yeah...a  lot of times, it seems, Fate just decides to give us a break, while other time clobbering people in situations that MIGHT not seem that bad.

Mine was a bike accident just outside Cahokia, Illinois back in 1973.  I was a running a twisty road on my VERY well-worn Honda 305 Super Hawk, tired and hungry and wanting to get back to campus before the cafeteria closed.

Just before a tight curve to the left, my newly-installed J.C. Whitney kickstand snapped down and locked as I tried to bank into the turn.  I had the old dog wound up pretty good, and there was no stopping before the curve, so I stomped and dropped the bike onto it's side.

Fate delivered me very precisely between two stands of VERY heavily reinforced mailbox racks, to land backwards in the grass covered ditch just beyond, on my back, with arm and legs sticking up...turtle style.  The bike struck one of the mailbox stands and ended up above me, crossways on the ditch.  As I gathered myself, I thought the bike's gas tank had been knocked off and was laying on my stomach, and my VERY first thought was, "Oh crap, I've torn up the Hawk", but it was one of the mailboxes.

I WAS getting soaked by gas running out of the motorcycle hovering above me, so I made an adrenaline-assisted launch from the ditch.  I stood up and did what we all do...Waited for everything to check in...fingers work, arms, legs, head (comes last, naturally), and other than some impressive road rash to my right arm, torn jeans and what felt like imbedded gravel in one butt cheek, I seemed to be OK.  Walked a little crooked for a while afterwards, but these were the glorious days of youthful fast-healing, and my only concern was to get the Hawk back to running status.

Luckily, the old dog was pretty rough to begin with, so our little mishap only served to add a bit more to it's already colorful character.  A new spark plug wire and spark plug replaced the ground-off originals, new brake lever and some other minor stuff and she was ready to go.

The kickstand was removed and unceremoniously chucked in the trash !
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Post  Cribbs74 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:07 am

Volkswagon beetles!

Safer than one might think, I was tagged in a 1970 model at an estimated 70mph by a drunk. I Walked away.

305's I love them! Never dumped my CL77. I did leave the kickstand down once Kim. Luckily I was going slow and only made the back tire jump when I took a corner.

You guys are both lucky.

Ron
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Post  Kim on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:19 am

Hellaciously So !!!
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Post  crankbndr on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:37 am

Wow, that story brings me back a way. One of my first real bikes was a Honda 305, looked like this photo only someone had put ape hangers on it.
Up until then I had been riding 50cc bikes because then if the bike was under 5 HP you could ride at 14. Then the Yamaha Twin Jet 100 came along and we were rocketing down the streets like we were racers. When I got the 305 I thought I had a real chopper. I was lucky to have never laid one down.

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Yahama 100, Bat out o hell
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Post  crankbndr on Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:02 am

A side note about that time, I had a minimum wage job that paid 1.60 hour. After high school I started working 60 hour weeks and net was 60$, the Feds took the rest.
I could buy a really nice car or bike for 3 or 4 paychecks, for my gross hourly wage I could buy about 7 gallons of gas. Todays min. wage gross will get about 2 gallons, and a car or bike forgetaboutit. Every thing I apply this metric to is the same, in the last 45 years wages have fallen far behind cost and the middle class has been crushed. Two Cents
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Post  Kim on Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:24 am

Yeah...got my Hawk with a summer's worth of hay-hauling money, and it was pretty much worn out when I bought it. A local ridge-runner had owned it, and had tried his best to destroy the thing.

It tolerated my early forays into mechanics as I learned to set points and gap plugs and other stuff that came so late in my life. I was able to get it to be fairly dependable, which was good, as it was my only ride.

I still smile at thinking how "Big" I perceived it to be back then. 'Course when the biggest bike in your home town was a CB-100, it DID look monstrous ! When I cranked it though, it magically became a Sportster...the ONLY bike to have in my days then, and it kept me rolling 'till I could buy the real thing. A good old, hard-working bike, the Hawk was.
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Post  roddie on Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:36 am

One night when I was a kid.. we were at the dinner table and saw a flash outside the window and heard a bang. My Dad ran out to investigate. There was a busted-up motorcycle laying in the road, and another bike stopped. It was dark, and my Dad found the rider in the woods... by the sound of him choking on his own blood. He held the kid in his arms until the ambulance arrived. The 2 were riding home (2 kids I knew).. the trailing bike (a blue Honda SL70) was a ways back... and had no lights. The "lead" rider (on a bigger Kawasaki trail bike) had apparently motioned to his trailing friend... and when he did; he drifted into the shoulder and hit a large boulder that had fallen out of the stone-wall... catapulting both bike and rider into the air and into a utility pole "straight-on". He lived... but was in a coma for days from the blunt-force trauma he'd suffered to his head... and was in the hospital for weeks. The kid was never "quite right" mentally after that. He won a law-suit against the helmet maker.. because his helmet ended up looking like a mosaic of broken fiberglass from the impact with the pole.

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Post  Kim on Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:44 am

Yep..."There, but for the Grace of God, Go the Rest of Us"...
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Post  duke.johnson on Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:09 am

Average gas price in 1978 was $.67 gal., that's about 2.5 gallons if gas for an hours wage. At todays min wage, my son and daughter can by over three gallons of gas for working one hour. And four 60 hour a week pay checks after taxes and overtime would give them $2000 for a car or bike. My son and I want to go look at a nice Toyota for $1300 today. They are doing pretty good.

My good buddy in high school had a blue VW like that and we should have died countless times. Same with riding our other buddies 100 Road Toad.
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Post  roddie on Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:38 am

I was involved in a 3-car accident yesterday. I was really lucky. No one was hurt... but 2 cars will probably be totaled as a result. I was alone driving my Trailblazer.. when I heard that unmistakable sound of an impact and saw debris flying. 2 lane roadway.. 2-way traffic.. 35 mph speed limit. An oncoming vehicle was stopped and waiting to turn "left" (across my lane) into a side street... when it was rear-ended by another vehicle who's operator was distracted. The young woman in the stopped vehicle had her wheels cut to make the turn... which sent her into my lane  affraid ... I didn't have time to apply brakes... all I could do was "swerve right"... to avoid a "head-on" with her car.  Pray  It was so close... that I grit my teeth and braced for impact... Her cars' right front bumper grazed my left rear tire... and scuffed my bumper, before going off the road and onto the shoulder in my lane. Her cars' rear end was crumpled up to it's smashed rear window.. and the guy that rear-ended her; was driving a pick-up... which sustained major front-end damage... it had to have been a 30 mph impact.

Miraculously... there was room for me to swerve hard-right... Had I "braked"; I would have been tagged more forward... That's how quick it happened! I stopped to assess the damage to my vehicle and check on the other drivers. There were no passengers in any of the vehicles involved... and the drivers had no visible injuries. We were all very lucky.

This is why you NEVER cut your wheels while stopped to make a turn across on-coming traffic. Had her front wheels been "straight"... her car would have gone straight after being hit in the rear. Her foot more than likely came off the brake pedal when she was rear-ended.. allowing her car to roll in the direction that the front wheels were turned. She could have been hit head-on by me; had I not swerved to avoid hitting her.

the "very lucky" Roddie
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Post  duke.johnson on Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:35 am

I'm so glad you are ok.
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Post  Kim on Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:28 am

Yes...REALLY ! That could have turned a lot worse for the whole bunch of you! Glad to hear you're OK also !
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Post  roddie on Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:58 am

Thanks guys... it was a close call.
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Post  Cribbs74 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:50 pm

Glad you are OK Roddie! And the other folks too for that matter.
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Post  RknRusty on Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:03 pm

It's just horrifying to think back and recall some of the crazy stuff I've done and survived in a car. I'm really glad you're okay Roddie, we need you around here. Sometime I'll tell about the time I decided I wanted some cops to chase me in my '69 Chevelle SS.

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