Category Archives: Car Accident

Subaru Forester: A Hot Prospect and Then a Hit and Run

The guy who sold Max the car counted his cash properly but didn't get the title filled out properly. Wasted time.

My son Max drove home again this weekend from Big Ten College; this time to go to the Wayne DMV to pick up his permanent license plates and pay the sales tax due on the Subaru. The trip was fruitless, though, since the person who sold the Subaru to the guy Max bought it from signed the title on the wrong line. Yep. Max is straightening that little fiasco out with the guy he bought it from. Ahem. Did I mention Max has a temper that rivals my own? Helpful Hint: Don’t ever make us really, really mad.

Meanwhile, Max arrived home on Friday with the Subaru’s thermostat buried in the red zone and his temper at near boiling. Bright boy, Max remembered some of my husband Mike’s and my near-legendary stories about our old car experiences. In true family fashion, Max cranked up the heat in the Subaru to maximum, rolled down the windows and just kept driving; he sweated his way into our driveway, popped the hood on the car and walked away to let it (and himself) cool down.

Almost $200 later, Max had the radiator flushed and refilled (since it was just about empty), got an oil change, and somehow convinced the repair person to toss in a free air filter. With the car running better than ever, Max took off for Poughkeepsie, NY to visit his best bud Greg, a student at the CIA (cooking school, not spy college). He made it there safely and cooked up a delish meal with his bud.

Thank goodness Max had duct tape. I just wish he hadn't had to use it.

It wasn’t fun for long. I received a text message from Max at 2:15 a.m. Sunday morning: Someone had scraped his/her car down the passenger side of Max’s Subaru, creasing the whole side of the Subaru, knocking off its side view mirror, jamming the passenger door shut and trashing the headlight/blinker. Of course, the person who hit Max didn’t stick around or leave a note. Now Max is on the hook for repairing the damage since he doesn’t have collision insurance for the car. Raise your hand if you think Max has experienced enough already, having owned the car a total of 15 days.

Honesty? what ever happened to owning up to hitting someone's car?

What happened to taking responsibility for your actions? Has it been bred out of people? This is the second hit and run that’s happened to a vehicle in our family in three months. Would you leave the scene of an accident if you thought no one was watching? Who raised these people? Wolves? Nah. Wolves do a much better job since they are brutally honest in their approach.



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Filed under Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, Car Accident, Family, New Jersey, Subaru

Audi A5: Let the Bumper Repair Saga Begin

Meeting the GEICO Insurance Adjustor and Another Story

I drove to Elmwood Park, NJ to meet with my assigned GEICO insurance adjustor. He needed to look at my 16-days-old 2011 Audi A5 that was the victim of a hit and run in a ShopRite supermarket parking lot. I arrived for our appointment a bit early, but Mike, the insurance adjustor, was smiling and ready to see me.

We walked out to look at my car. He snapped a photo of the bumper damage. He snapped a photo of the mileage on the odometer. He snapped a photo of my NJ Vehicle Registration Card. Then we walked back to his office where he said it would take him about 20 minutes to process the estimate for the repair.

This needs fixed properly and well.

While Mike crunched the numbers I helped myself to a hot chocolate and talked with Kelly, the receptionist. Kelly’s ex-boyfriend had ordered her a gift over six months ago and it arrived yesterday. He brought it to her apartment, but she was at her parents’ house celebrating Thanksgiving. Kelly received a call from her ex and he asked her to come home immediately as he had something to give her. When she arrived he thrust a cat carrier into her arms and asked her to wait a minute while he got the rest of “his” stuff. Puzzled, Kelly carried the carrier into her apartment and opened the little door.


Piglets are very, very cute, but Google a photo of a full-grown pig. Not so much!

Out jumped a very young, very excited Vietnamese pot-bellied piglet! No stranger to these little pigs since she’d had one in college, Kelly was still shocked to see one running around her living room with his tail wagging at about ten thousand rotations a minute. Her ex brought in some basic pig supplies then left Kelly with her new little buddy. Her two cats were not immediately amused, according to Kelly. Meanwhile, the little pig jumped on Kelly’s lap, snorted happily and fell fast asleep. This morning Kelly said the little piggy remained fast asleep as she left for work.

At this point in her story, Mike told me he was having some difficulty. He was unable to pull up any estimates or parts number or basically anything on my A5 since it is “too new.” The two of us walked through a laundry list of the options my car has; as we did Mike ticked off the boxes on his computer screen. Honestly, I told him I wasn’t sure what all the option are since I haven’t had a chance to use them all yet. He nodded in understanding. I am not comfortable that the description of my car for GEICO’s record is accurate. That said, Mike wrote up and gave me what appears to be a standard “Estimate of Record.” It indicates the cost to repair and repaint my car’s bumper will be $305.06, less than my $500 deductible. He didn’t write up an estimate to replace the bumper.

I looked at Mike the adjustor. He looked back at me. I shook my head and wryly observed that the car in question is brand new, German made and I anticipate a “repair,” any repair, must make the bumper look like new. . .no ripples, dimples, or other stray mark to remind me that under the paint is a damaged, putty-filled bumper. He said that GEICO is in the business of having satisfied customers and that this Estimate of Record will get the communication going between the repair facility and him and that a “Supplement” can be written, if necessary.

The bumper has to look like this after it's repaired: Brand new.

Call me silly, but I don’t think the bumper repair will cost $305.06; in fact, I think it will cost a hell of a lot more, not only in dollars, but in time, aggravation and psychic energy spent. Mine.

My hand just itches at the possibility.

I want to smack the person who hit my car and left the scene. I want to smack them really, really hard.


At this moment I have to trust that my car will look like new after it is repaired. I have to trust that the insurance adjustor has my best interests at heart. I have to trust that the when I take my Audi back to the Meadowlands Audi dealership on Tuesday to meet with the repair and collision department manager that he will have my best interests at heart. And I have to trust that the repair will be done expeditiously and well.


I have a hard time trusting anyone or anything. That’s what happens when you’re a middle-age Mom with some history.



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Filed under Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, Audi A5, Auto Accident, Bumper damage and repair, Car Accident, GEICO insurance adjuster, Meadowlands Audi, new car, New Jersey

Audi A5 Hit and Run

<deep breath>


<deep breath>



Not working.

I’m still furious.

This is what my Audi's bumper looked like before I went to ShopRite for the second time yesterday.

Someone hit my brand new, 16-days-old Audi A5 in the ShopRite parking lot yesterday afternoon. And he/she didn’t bother to leave a note or wait for me to return. They left.

Funny thing. I actually think about where I park my new car to minimize damage to its body. I parked my car on the end of a row so the likelihood of it getting dents on both doors from careless people slamming their own car doors into it is minimal. I heard about doing that from the friendly teller at TD Bank. I’ve been parking waaayyy out in the parking lots to avoid other vehicles. I’ve been trying to conscientiously care for my new car and keep it nice.

Having been at ShopRite a mere two hours earlier, but realizing that I’d forgotten my “free” ham, I returned for it and a few other forgotten items. I was in the story 40 minutes max, but it was enough time for someone to back out of his/her parking space, put his/her car in “drive” and misgauge the distance from the front end of his/her car to the rear end of mine on the swing around.

The likely culprit

You know what? I think it was someone too old or infirm to still be driving. The store was full of elderly folks hanging onto their carts as they  purchased their Thanksgiving ingredients. Many of them could barely see as they put can or box to the end of their nose for a closer look; many are very deaf and can’t hear you when you politely say “excuse me, please” as you pass by.  And most are entirely alone as they s  l  o  w  l  y make their way down the aisles.

Unfair? Did I hear you say it’s unfair for me to accuse an elderly person?

You know why I think that? The person who hit my car didn’t apply his/her brakes; he/she just kept turning his/her wheel and gouging out my bumper and scraping along it til he/she reached the end then just drove off. The damage is two deep gouges that go clear through to the actual bumper material underneath. . .and even that underneath is scraped terribly. If you have even half your wits about you and you can still see and feel properly, you’d have realized you hit something and reversed out of it. No? NO?

This is what the Audi's bumper looked like after I returned home from ShopRite.

The alternative is that someone saw a brand new car and hit it on purpose. I can’t even wrap my head around that.

The security guard agreed with my initial thought of an elderly person; he said he sees older people hit cars in the lot on a daily basis.

Store security doesn’t have security cameras where I parked. I checked.

No one left a note on my windshield telling me they saw who hit me. I checked.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

So my free ham, the one I saved $18 on, is gonna cost me. Big.

And the person who hit me? Elderly or not, he/she is Dishonest. Self-centered. Rude.

He/she ruined my day and weeks to come as I file an accident report, send it in to the State of NJ, deal with my insurance company, take the Audi to get repair estimates, do without my vehicle while the repairs are made and pay, pay pay for something that wasn’t my fault.

I’d like to ruin his/her day. That’s how angry I am.

I am not calm. I hope to be in a few days or weeks. But right now?







Filed under Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, Aging, Audi A5, Auto Accident, Car Accident, Food Shopping, new car

New Jersey Is Home

Just Like I Remembered It

Glad to be home.

We’re baaackkk!  Jamaica is but a memory now, although some of our family members have lingering illnesses and credit card theft issues to deal with since returning.

We returned to the news, not completely unexpected, that our old Ford Explorer – you know, the one my son Max crashed two days before we left for Jamaica – is too banged up to fix. We are down one vehicle. And that means car shopping has moved to the top of our ‘To Do’ list.

Smelly, smelly smelly.

We surely had some stinky clothes by the time we got home from Jamaica. I washed clothes for two days. My husband Mike’s running clothes were the worst. I had to wrestle them to the ground, stomp on them, then throw them in the washing machine and slam the door shut before they ran away. After a thorough washing and drying, they still smell piffy, but Mike won’t part with them.

My daughter Tory, she of the major throat closing illness, has been taking her prednisone. Two more days to go on that, but she still doesn’t sound ‘better.’ She hasn’t been keeping to her usual schedule of softball, volleyball, running and work in an attempt to ‘get better.’

The good news with Tory is that the blood work came back negative for mono and the strep test came back negative too. A nasty virus is what our girl has and it’s sticking to her like glue. I spoke with my nurse girlfriend Pat and she said Tory should feel better in 7-14 days. Tory growled when she heard the time frame.

Tools of my trade!

And me? Well, I’ve been reveling in working in my garden since we returned from vacation. You see, with Tory’s softball schedule I haven’t been out there weeding and tending in two months. The plants have been doing happy dances, spreading seeds and generally creating plant mayhem in my absence. I started with weeding my west side garden; it took two days of solid weeding, but now looks a lot neater. I dug up/potted some volunteer plants and put them at my curb with a sign “Free Perennials” and boy did those plants disappear fast!  Then I tackled the carpet roses that surround my gravel driveway. They are berserk, flopping here, there and everywhere. I have begun to cut them back so they don’t die from the inside out. It’s tedious work, but I’m up for the task. I’m heading out there now!

Results of my work so far.

Oops. I almost forgot. I posted the short video of my son Max diving off the high cliff at Rick’s Cafe in Negril, Jamaica. Listen to his Aunt Betsy commenting on his jump in the audio portion of the video.


Filed under Car Accident, gardening, new car, New Jersey, Sick

Auto Accident

What Happens When It’s Your Kids in One?

My daughter Tory had been bugging her brother Max to drive her to the Jersey Shore since their shore “date” with their Uncle Michael Michael had been cancelled due to rain. Trying to be a helpful Mom I dragged Max out of bed this morning and Tory quickly followed. After a lot of growling around on Max’s part they loaded up the old Ford Explorer and took off for the shore. I stayed home to accomplish a “to do” list and give them some time together before Max returns to college.

Fast forward some time and my cell phone rings. My husband Mike said, “The kids have been in a car accident, but they are all right. The kids aren’t hurt.”

Mike’s words penetrated.

My heart raced.

One of my worst fears now real, I asked for details.

Mike told me what he knews, clearly and without drama, bless him.

I hung up and called Tory’s cell phone. She answered, sobbing out some details about the accident, but more important, their approximate location on the Garden State Parkway.

Somehow a photo just doesn't convey how it looks in person.

I took off for my Honda Pilot at a run, jumped in, took a huge deep breath and fired up the engine.  The accident was barely 2 miles from where the kids got on the Parkway. They went almost all the way through a construction zone, Max changed into the fast lane readying for an Easy Pass toll lane and traffic stopped dead in front of him. He said he braked, but didn’t have enough time to come to a complete stop. He hit the woman in front of him.

Does the crunched side view help convey the wreckage better?

By the time I got to the scene of the accident, Max and the woman had exchanged pertinent information. She, a mom herself with a son the same age, reassured me that she and her passengers weren’t hurt, that traffic was ridiculous.

I, relieved to see my two kids and the passengers of the other vehicle unhurt, almost missed the drama ensuing behind our old Explorer. Apparently another two vehicles had crashed in exactly the same way, for exactly the same reasons; however, the four male occupants were definitely not as calm, polite and cooperative as Max and the Other Mom.

One of NJ's finest was very kind and helpful today.

A State Trooper pulled up, then another. The trooper who handled Max’s accident was polite, kind and helpful. He filled out the paperwork and called for a tow truck since transmission fluid and other fluids were leaking out of the truck and into the roadway, clearly signaling that the Explorer was driving itself absolutely nowhere. With his okay, I worked the phone and called our local auto body repair shop, Bloomfield Auto Body, letting them know the Explorer would be arriving on a flatbed.

Our second vehicle being loaded onto a flat bed tow truck in less than two years.

So far,

Max has contacted our insurance company.

Neither he nor Tory is complaining of aches or pains.

My husband Mike has been apprised of the condition of his Explorer via emailed photos.

After speaking with Anthony at Bloomfield Auto, we’re pretty sure our family is now officially down a vehicle.

Max has lost his wheels.

But my children are safe.

Thank God.

Does it look totaled to you?

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Filed under Auto Accident, Car Accident