Monday, April 5, 2010

3 Vans in 2 Days

Jed picked the title for this post, he found it funnier than me!...

Two weeks ago I dropped the girls off with my Dad for the morning and I took Gavin to school and stayed in the classroom to help out with a special program that they were doing that morning. At about 9:15 I was "called down to the office" (even at 31 years old I am being called to the office)! :-) So, I walk all the way down the office and as I enter I see this HUGE cop standing in the office and I could just tell he was "looking" for me. You can't possibly imagine how many thoughts can run through your head in a matter of LESS than one second. Since I had just left Gavin and I knew where the girls were and my cell phone had not rung, my first thought was that I forget that Jed had a business trip today and did they get in a car accident on there way to someplace. So I was relieved when the cop said, "Mrs. DeWitz, I'm Officer *** (I can't remember), your van was hit by someone in the parking lot, it has substantial damage, I am going to need you to come with me." The kids were safe, Jed was safe. So, I asked the cop if the person who hit it was okay and he said that he was but the damage was well over $1,000 so an accident report needed to be filed. So, I had to walk all the way back down to the classroom, get my coat and purse and explain to Gavin's teacher why I was leaving. Walked all the way back down to where the van was parked and sure enough, big dent in the back door/gate, dent in bumper, rear light popped out and back window shattered. So, we filled out our forms, traded insurance info, made sure the guy was okay once again (he was fine, just shaky from the accident) and everyone went on their way. I called my brother - my insurance man, and got the scoop on filing a claim with the other guys insurance and rental vehicles etc. Tried to call Jed but of course he didn't answer his phone. So, I headed back into school and finished my morning with Gavin. After I was done in the classroom I headed back out to figure out what my next move was. Ended up taking it to the Ford dealer and working with their body repair manager but there wasn't much we could do at that point because the claim had not gone through the other guys insurance yet, so I called my Mom, she came to pick me up and we moved all of the car seats and "stuff" that we might need from the van (minus the stroller that I LOVE that was in the back covered with what looked like glitter but was really tiny shards of glass). I drove my Mom back to work and them headed home with her care (3 hours later than originally planned). Once I got home I called my brother to see if I could borrow their van because in 2 hours I had to go back to Owatonna and pick up my Mom and Gavin and we weren't all fitting into the car. So, I went to Brandon and Stacy's (they were out of town with the pickup - thank goodness - for a few days) transferred 4 car seats to the van. The rest of the day...pretty uneventful other than many phone calls to Bryon, the other guys insurance and the guy at the Ford dealer. So, Tuesday morning (yes it's only Tuesday) we continued to use Brandon and Stacy's van until the guys insurance okayed a rental for us. So, I drove Gavin to school, we stopped at the grocery and then headed to the library for story hour like we do every Tuesday morning. After we were done at story hour I headed to the local rental dealer to "reserve" a van for whenever I got the okay from the insurance company. Of course we are headed into spring break week and there are no vans available because everyone going on a trip wants a van and not a car. Well, luckily the guy there made some calls and found a van that they could have there later that day. So, I head back to Brandon and Stacy's van and as I am getting in I notice something on the windshield that I hadn't noticed before. So, I get back out and get it and it says "Please call me at the Law Enforcement Center regarding a vehicle I saw back into yours." And then it had a name, number and date/time on it. In my mind I am thinking "how did someone who saw the accident yesterday know what I was driving today - I didn't even know what I would be driving today." So, I am trying to figure this out and trying to decide which of my brothers thought this would be a funny prank (which it was not). But the note was written on the back of a parking ticket form that looks pretty legit, so I call the number and ask for the officer. She informed me that she was in the library parking lot writing a ticket for someone and noticed a woman back out of her parking spot and hit my van (which wasn't my van at all but my brother and sister-in-laws van - she had tried to page Brandon or Stacy Wolf at the library but we were in a special room for the story hour so I had not heard it). The poor little old lady didn't even know she had hit the car (which might be a sign that it's time to let someone else help out in the driving department) and had driven home only to have a cop show up at her door a couple of hours later to "retrieve" insurance information. Anyway, yes, the back bumper/back side of the van had scuffing and scratches on it. Granted there was still a back window in it that was not shattered but seriously, how can this possibly happen two days in a row to the same person? So, I had to go to the law enforcement center, which they now know me on a first name basis, and fill out the paperwork, which I could fill out WAY to easily/quickly this time around - no one other than a cop should be that familiar with those accident reports to be able to fly through it the way I could on that accident report. So, I finished up there, now I have again spent another 2 hours longer in Owatonna than I had planned. The girls were so good but it's now 1:00 and they are tired and hungry and have been sitting in the car or in the police station for a good 2 1/2 hours now and have about a 1000 questions because they find this whole "adventure" kind of fun, they got to meet two nice cops! So, we head home and I begin with the phone calls all over again today - to Brandon and Stacy (wanted to tell them what happened before the cop called with the ladies insurance information and they had NO idea what the cop was talking about), to Bryon to once again figure out insurance and to the ladies insurance (who just happens to also have the same insurance agent as the guy from yesterday - so they too also now know me on a first name basis. Ahhh....)

Anyway, so yes, it is VERY possible to waste 3 FULL days on phone calls trying to figure out how to fix vans, get insurance from someone elses insurance, find a rental van, get compensated for the stroller and "stuff" in the back of the van that you can no longer use for fear of cutting your child and calling your husband and trying to convince him that yes in fact it is possible to have two people run into the back of two different vans in two consecutive days and yes I DID go through THREE vans in TWO days.

But, on a positive note and in all seriousness, I thank God daily that the kids and I we were not in either of the vans when they got hit, no one was injured, it just happened to work out that in both cases we were able to find out who hit the vans so their insurance could take care of repairs and the repairs were all fixable. So, at the time it was time consuming, annoying, stressful and unbelievable (okay, well it's still a little unbelievable that it could happen two days in a row). But, it all worked out in the end and of course it could have been so much worse, so we are very thankful for that.

Anyway, most people (other than me) that hear this story get a chuckle out of it, so thought I would share! :-)


Sharon said...

Wow, not a good way for a week to start. Hope the rest of the month is better for you. Glad no one was hurt.

Laurel said...

Two thoughts:

1.) Are your vans longer than most that the back end sticks out farther to the parking lot than others?

2.) Drive my van? Please???