It had to happen - I've had my first car accident. And I have two very good things to report: a) Ewan and I (and the other driver) were all absolutely fine, not an injury among us and b) the accident wasn't my fault in any way, which somehow makes it better. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Here's how the damage looks:
Thank goodness the Camry is a tough ol' car or we may have had a worse outcome.
Well, I was driving E to daycare; the road was wet and slippery. There is a tight 'S' bend near where we live and I've slid a little there before, so I always take that corner very slow. A woman was coming the other way in a little Toyota Echo. I saw her slide about, her wheel kind of bending in like when you twist an ankle. Then I saw her hit the kerb and her bumper detach a little.
She says she saw a pole coming at her and swerved back onto the road. Unfortunately, she swerved into our car. Oh God, I cannot get out of my mind the split-second vision of her coming at us. The front of her car slammed into the rear of the driver's side - where Ewie sits (luckily we insist on putting his seat in the middle). The impact caused us to spin 180 degrees, so we were facing back the way we'd come and with the rear of the car up on the pavement.
It happened so, so fast that I cannot recall what I did. I suppose I braked, but I can't be sure. I don't know if I screamed or swore. Probably. Interestingly, in my sheer panic I didn't turn around to see if E was OK but I got out of the vehicle and then ran around and got him out the passenger side (the driver's side door was way too smashed in to open). He was fine and happily reported: "Mummy did a big bang." Oh yes, indeed.
The other woman was very kind and nice about it all and after we swapped details, called the cops (who were so disinterested!) I then had to drive the poor, broken Camry home, its metal crunching on the road as we turned the corner.
I'd say the Camry is to be in action no more. It'd be unlikely that any insurer would pay to fix up this kind of mess when the car is only worth about $2000.
The chassis is bent, the back wheel is smashed and even the knob thing that allows you to adjust the driver's seat came off in the impact. I am amazed I didn't get a little whiplash or something. Had a slight headache later in the day, but I think that's probably just from the stress of the day.
This incident has rattled me. I am more nervy than ever behind the wheel now and probably will be for a while. However, I am eternally thankful that my boy and I are OK. Now, must go purchase that lottery ticket...