CAR STORIES > I Drove Into a Huge Rock

I Drove Into a Huge Rock

There I was on a dark and rainy night plowing into a huge rock

Hitting a Rock While Driving

This is the story of a young and dumb high school senior – me – who loses control of his car and rams into a big fat rock.

There I was, hanging out at a friend’s house one dark and rainy Friday night. We had snuck a few under-aged beers and sat around talking and listening to some ZZ Top – still a rocking band. After a few hours we decided to move on to a big party across town.

There were about four of us with cars full of buddies, and we drove out in a caravan – with me in the front. We were pretty far out of town on a very dark and narrow two-lane road. After we had driven about a mile I decided it was time to show off a little bit. I wanted to show the guys just how fast my car was. I down-shifted into second gear and floored the gas. My plan was to get my tires spinning on the wet road and to shoot ahead of my pals.

Driving on the Road to Disaster

That’s when things really went bad. My car immediately began to fishtail. I fought for control but slid halfway onto a lawn beside the road. My car started too slide sideways before I was able to fight it back onto the road. But the car was still whipping from side to side. Here is where I made a big mistake. Rather than concentrate on taking my foot off the gas to gently get the car under control, I slammed on the brakes. My car immediately shot off the road. The next thing I knew I was speeding toward a huge rock. It was about 6 feet wide and 4 feet tall. I hit it head on.

Fortunately, we all had our seat belts on. The car came to a hard stop with the front end pointing into the air on top of the rock. I vividly remember turning off the the radio, the engine and the headlights and asking if everyone was alright. Well, we dodged a bullet – no one was hurt. We all climbed out of the car and just stared at it. We must have been in a little shock because no one moved for about five minutes.

After a little while I could hear sirens coming. Before I knew it, two police cars showed up. They asked if everyone was alright. Then they turned their attention on me. The officer asked me if I had been drinking and I admitted to having two beers. He looked a little skeptical. He asked me how fast I was going and I said I was going the speed limit. He said he doubted that and that he could measure the skid marks to prove I was speeding. Well, as luck had it, the rain had made that impossible. Good thing for me!

The officer said he was going to arrest me for causing the accident. That’s when another officer came up. He reminded the first one that the accident happened on private property. I guess they couldn’t take me in because of that. I am not sure. They walked me up to the property owner’s house and explained to him what had happened on his land. They wanted to know if he wanted to press charges for trespassing and damaging his property. Lucky for me he said no.

After that nail-biting experience, a tow truck showed up and hauled my car home. The driver said I owed him $100 for the tow. I had $40 on me. I went into the house and told my dad I had to have the rest of the money. I must have looked pretty shaken up because he handed me the cash – he almost never gave me money.

Getting the Car Repaired

After a few days it was time to get the car fixed. This was my first experience with a body shop. Luckily, one of my mom’s close friends had a husband who ran a body shop out of his home shop. We had the car towed there.

This guy was quite a character. He had about three teeth and always had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. I could hardly tell what he was saying. The first thing he did was poke his head under the front of the car. He said I had bent and cracked the frame – normally a reason to total out a car. This didn’t stop him. We pulled my car up in front of a huge tree. He wrapped a chain around the tree and hooked it up to the bent frame. Next, he had me start the sick car and put it into reverse. He had me slam the car backwards about five times. I guess he was eyeballing how the frame was straightening.

After that I left the car with him for two weeks. When I showed up, the car looked great. The whole front end was repaired and repainted. I took the car for a test drive and it drove just fine. After learning in my later years about laser frame aligners and frame racks, I realized just how crude – but good  he had been.

I was back on the road. I learned to respect my car and slowed down. My dad reminded me that a car is a missile. It didn’t help things that he was in the insurance business. He never let me forget about my little incident. And I will never forget how long it took me to pay him back for the body work. I wish I could say it was my only accident – but that’s for a future tale.

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