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Old 12-29-2005, 07:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
"I'm sorry. What was the question?"
 
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Location: Paradise Regained
Christmas & Car Accidents

So you may have heard about that ridiculously awful snowstorm that hit Eastern Quebec and New Brunswick?

Well I was in it. Right smack dab in the middle. On Sunday, Christmas, my wife and 2 year old daughter and I headed up, on our way to Ottawa to visit my folks.

There was no snow for the first 5-6 hours. Then it was my turn to drive. As soon as I got behind the wheel the snow started. We had to stay the night in Edmundston, NB because the roads were treacherous.

So the next day we got up, and because I was antsy and I heard it was going to clear up past Quebec City, we hit the road around noon. I drove for about an hour and a half. Once we got into Quebec the roads were okay, but the blowing snow started. I'd never driven in whiteout conditions before but they sure were blinding. I couldn't see 10 feet in front of me.

For about a half hour I knew there was an oil tanker in front of me. I could see him every now and again. The last time I seen him was when he for some reason put his brakes on and I slammed into him going about 80 kms (fully breaking from about 100, which was too fast, I know).

I drive (or drove, we'll see what the insurance adjuster says in an hour) a Toyota Echo. The front end slammed into the back of the oil tanker. The back end of the car shot up. My daughter let out a scared cry.

With the remaining forward momentum that I had, I tried to get off the road as best I could . My left back side was still a little on the road. In my panic I tried to get out of the car and push it off the road. Not a bright move, but fortunately no one came along at the time. We sat in the car, called 911 and got my daughter dressed warmly. Everyone was alright, by the way. A little dazed, as you might expect. My wife is 3 mos. pregnant and we were concerned for our unborn child. (She ended up being okay and the baby is fine)

A snowplow driver stopped behind us and called the police for us, which we already had done. Oh, by the way, we were in La Pocatiere, PQ. See if you can find that on a map!

Eventually the police came, and a towtruck driver that did not speak a word of english, except "ninety", the cost of the tow to a hotel called Cap Martin in La Pocatiere PQ. If you are ever travelling through Eastern PQ and you need a place to stay I highly recommend this place. Not for its elegance or pools, or anything like that, simply because the owners were so kind and generous to us. Very lovely people.

We stayed in the hotel for two nights, while we waited for my in-laws. They drove up from PEI with a hitch, and put the car on it and we drove back to PEI last night. The two days were long, and I just wanted to entertain my daughter. She thought the whole thing was a ball. New bedrooms, new places, king of the castle in snowdrifts! Quite a riot

So that was my story. Now I'm back in PEI for the rest of the holidays. I'm bummed about not gettign to see my family, but as everyone keeps reminding me, its a good thing to be safe and healthy and all in one piece.
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Last edited by Daoust; 12-29-2005 at 07:29 AM..
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Old 12-29-2005, 07:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Glad you're ok. There's very little more depressing than the post holiday roll calls of traffic accidents shown on the news. Good thing there was a drop down bumper on that truck!
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Old 12-29-2005, 07:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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thanks, fresnelly. The worst thing was that, 100 feet up the highway from where we hit the truck, they closed down the highway. We would have ended up staying at the same hotel, only without a smashed up car, and we could have kept going the next day. But everything happens for a reason.
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Old 12-29-2005, 09:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm very glad you all are OK. Thank goodness!
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Glad to hear you are OK. Too bad you didn't get to Golden Lake for Christmas...

The good news is you are all OK and you had an adventure that you will remember for years to come.
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Old 12-29-2005, 07:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Tri-state.
i hope you know better now than to do 100 in whiteout conditions...where are you from, california ;-)
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Old 12-29-2005, 08:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank God you and your famiily are ok. I've driven whiteout conditions before, and I know that you don't feel safe on the road or the shoulder. As Fresnelly said, it a good thing your car didn't go under the truck. I lost a roomie that way.

This will be a Christmas to remember.
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Old 12-30-2005, 03:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
"I'm sorry. What was the question?"
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmanmike6100
i hope you know better now than to do 100 in whiteout conditions...where are you from, california ;-)

No, from Canada, eh? I was just going with the flow of the traffic.

Charlie, yeah I hear the ice is good on Golden Lake. My brothers were out skating all day! What a bummer!
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Old 01-01-2006, 12:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Oregon
Try New Years and car accidents: today I was driving some friends and I over a mountain pass to visit friends in Central Oregon. Unfortunately the pass was being hit hard by snow; we had planned for it but unfortunately ODOT had not: none of the chain areas were plowed, and in a low station wagon such as I drive pulling off into a drift seemed a bad option. We made it over the first part of the pass, but on the other side, we slid a considerable distance over some freshly fallen snow straight into the plowed snow on the roadside and almost over the edge alongside the road. I count ourselves fortunate that I was able to control the car enough to keep us from going completely over the edge, but it was still a complete mess: we had to call the tow truck and have my Volvo pulled out. I could hardly stand to watch, especially after the first attempt: the attempt to tow my car broke the tow hitch on one side and almost broke my heart. This is the car I learned to drive in, the car I drove to prom in...almost everything important in my life has occurred in this car. It is more than a car. But the tow truck driver hooked up to the other hitch, and after some maneuvering, got my car out. Thank God.

But the drama doesn't end there...we went on, because the rain had started falling and the packed snow had broken up. On the second part of the pass, though, we needed to chain up, and finally there was a plowed chain area. But there was another problem: the chains we had bought the day before didn't fit properly. They were too big for my tires. So we had to try and hitch rides from people in the chain-up area: fortunately, we live in Oregon and people still care here. So we were able to get rides into town (Bend) to our friends' place and we are staying the night here. Tomorrow we will get a ride out (from our friend) to the car, dig it out, and attempt the trip home. We'll try and pick up a pair of chains that fit before we do, though, and I'll never buy chains from Les Schwab again: I don't care what their warranty is, what good does it do me if the chains don't fit?

Most of all...no matter how much I love my car, I need a Subaru if I'm going to attempt driving in snow.
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Old 01-07-2006, 12:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My family has had a total of 5 accidents, four of them have occurred in the month of December. This last year was no different. My uncle's van got crashed into on the 21st. Worst of all, it was parked.
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