Freedom Wagon Destroyed

Freedom wagon is no more...

Future windsurfing sessions postponed

Today my freedom wagon (a Holden VY Commodore station wagon) was destroyed. My car is a total write-off, and I am really going to miss it. Many great sessions were had thanks to its spacious gear carrying capacity. It is one of the few cars that can fit a 11m2 sail, 550 mast and Z class formula wind surfer inside. It was also a great touring car, whisper quiet on the highway and a pleasure to drive - it just ate up the miles on long solo trips with the stereo blazing.

The tailgate is jammed shut and the damage extends up to the rear passenger door.

The tailgate is jammed shut and the damage extends up to the rear passenger door.

Fortunately (according to my insurance company) it was a no-fault accident - at least on my part. I had pulled over and slowed down to allow two ambulances that were travelling the other way to weave through the busy commuter traffic on Bargara road. As I was approaching a telegraph pole, I had slowed to a crawl. For a moment I remember thinking - wow two ambulances ... that must be a serious accident - then I heard a screech of tires behind me, followed by a loud BANG! The seat head rest hit me in the back of the head with the force of a football 'bell ringer' leaving me momentarily dazed - the next thing I know my car is moving forward down the road as my feet are now some distance from the pedals - so I pulled over and stopped the engine and my car came to a rest on the side of the road.

Needless to say I was not a happy camper. The driver of the offending vehicle wanted to know why I had slowed down -- like there were two ambulances ... didn't you see them? Yeah but you didn't have to slow right down ... what I was just going to keep driving into that telegraph pole?

He then told me calm down and not to worry about it - both cars would be covered by insurance. Yeah right... now I have to find a replacement second hand station wagon - in as good condition - for the agreed value of my previous one, then I have to re-insure it as well - and I wasn't the one not paying attention and driving too close.

The skid marks looking back

The skid marks looking back

You can see both his skid marks and the skid marks of all four wheels of my car as it was pushed about half a car length forward. His skid marks start right back between the two cars travelling on the road.

The skid marks looking forward

The skid marks looking forward

The back wheel of may car was originally at the bottom left hand corner of this picture. His front wheel skid mark is the closer of the two. Fortunately I was far enough away from the telegraph pole not to get shoved into it.

The offending vehicle

The offending vehicle

The force of the hit was magnified by the weight of the tool trailer attached to the offending vehicle. I still have a sore neck and mild headache some three days later (maybe concussion or perhaps whiplash?).

I still can't believe that I have driven from Maryborough to Mossman and back (over 3,000k) many times over in this car without incident only to have it destroyed on an innocuous stretch of road a few miles from my house. The sun was behind us, the road was straight and flat and somehow he didn't see me slowing down to let two ambulances weave though the traffic.

I think its a common problem we all face with familiar roads that we commute on day after day. When we are inevitably late for work from time to time and rush - we take small risks - which over time we no longer notice because we become conditioned to risk taking by familiarity, then one day because we no longer leave a margin for error, it all catches up with us - I just wish his risk taking conditioning hadn't caught up with me and destroyed my much loved freedom wagon.

UPDATE 30/7/2011

My new 'Freedom Interceptor'

Freedom returns...

I managed to pick up a replacement Wagon at the ex-government auctions down in Brisbane. My new 'Freedom Interceptor' is a 2007 VZ Commodore. It was a police forensics vehicle in it previous life, so has the special 9C1 pack of options which include a limited slip diff, traction control, FE2 suspension, a 190kw engine, 15" x 7" chaser rims (which I replaced), sump guard and a matte black interior. Its not quite as handsome as my old car, but it is a much better wagon - more grunt and better handling - so its starting to grow on me.

Posted by Henry Thomas, 10 years ago on Saturday, July 23, 2011

1 comment:

Mat Watkins said...

Man I really feel for you, good though that your safe, and that the family still has a man. But I mourn the loss for you of the departed cruise mobile. R.I.P. I hope that a replacement can be found to drag those big poles down to Elliott heads ASAP. May the second hand car market look upon you favourably, and compensation be speedily and extra for any neck injuries sustained. And most importantly wind our way soon so that a good session can be sought for you. Sorry again

Posted 10 years ago on Tuesday, July 26, 2011

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