Friday, February 8, 2013 found the Traveling Basenjis on the road again. We picked up the 5th wheel Thursday morning, parked in front of our home and proceeded to load supplies and accessories for a trip to Kerrville and then on to Big Bend National Park. But Monday morning, February 11 found us in Terrell ordering a new F-350 and wondering how much damage the RV had suffered! Monday afternoon found the Pack Leader at the doctor’s complaining of a sore neck, back, sprained wrist and right ankle. So much for travel plans!
Leaving home on Friday we had headed west through Dallas, Irving and Grand Prairie. We made it to Arlington on I-20. Then a twenty four year old lady driving a Saturn Ion also traveling west in 5 lanes (4 traffic and 1 exit) lost control, spun out and came back into our lane where she was smashed by the left front of what is a now a totaled F-250. The Saturn’s rear window shattered on impact and when everything came to a stop, broken glass lay approximately 8-10 feet behind the 5th wheel. Our rig is 57 feet nose to tail meaning we traveled another 60 -70 feet after impact. Wow!
Miracle of miracles – not one cut or contusion and everyone walked out. The Pack Leader toughed it out for a couple of days and then relented with a trip to the doctor for checkup.
RV Damage Report – The 5th wheel suffered from the sudden impact/stop causing the AC units to shift on the roof requiring a new roof and apparently flying debris inside broke the kitchen faucet. The couch slid forward about 18-20 inches stopping after it pinned a chair to the dining table. By the way that is one heavy couch/fold out queen size bed! Thank goodness we had the foresight to get the rig thoroughly inspected. Holiday World did a complete inspection verifying there was no damage to the pin box or that the water tanks/plumbing had moved or shifted. Total cost $9,500.
F-250 Damage Report – The Arlington Police and Fire did a wonderful job of accident scene control. Before we could notify 911, a police officer who was working traffic nearby arrived and established immediate control of traffic. Shortly the FD blocked the site with fire engines and began assuring there were no serious injuries or injury needing immediate attention. Then the Saturn was removed from our front bumper and hauled off on a flat bed wrecker – it was not going to drive again that day – if ever. After the FD cut away part of the bumper we were able to drive to the roadside where a HUGE wrecker picked us up, truck & RV all in one haul. We had to look like a parade as long as we were! (over 90 feet long) We dropped the RV at Holiday World and then home where we left the fur kids, picked up our car and followed the wrecker to Service King. Damage that appeared to be cosmetic in the beginning quickly became very ugly. Before we could gather our personal items from the truck, two of Service King’s managers noticed that the frame had buckled sufficient for the leading edge of the bed to crease the back of the cab! BENT FRAME – Estimates kept increasing, $15,000, $19,000 and later almost $25,000. Finally USAA agreed to total the truck “the estimates for repair just keep growing” and we think they made the right decision. We ordered a new truck right after the accident knowing that we did not want to depend on the old one. It could be sold, traded or totalled but we would never be comfortable towing the RV with it again. The new truck is expected to debut around March 22, 2013.
We were extremely fortunate that this was not a fatal accident. We were traveling between 60 & 65 miles per hour and when the accident became apparent we began decelerating. The truck braking system worked flawlessly. Bless Henry Ford’s engineers we stayed in our lane, no jack knife or turn over – amazing.
Once the new truck arrives and is checked out, the Traveling Basenjis will resume their journeys! Stay tuned!