Sunday, July 26, 2009

Paths of Destruction

Last weekend was quite an exciting one at our house! Shortly before 3:00am Sunday morning the phone rang. It was an Antrim County Sheriff’s deputy in our driveway asking us to come outside because there was a car in our yard and “a lot of destruction to the property”. Hastily throwing on clothes and turning on lights, we headed outside to see what was going on. To our shock, we found a strange car wedged between our dog pen and the side fence; a space just wide enough for a car! Just as puzzling was the fact that the driver was nowhere to be found! Further examination with flash lights revealed that the driver had gone through our fence in not one but three places!

In due time a wrecker arrived and hauled off the car, but we were naturally too wired up to go back to bed. When daylight arrived, we headed outside with our cameras to record the path of destruction and figure out just what happened. Here’s the scenario as near as we can figure out. A neighbor’s daughter (or some other driver of her car) came around the corner too fast, hit our neighbor’s mailbox on the right and then oversteered, crossed the road and went through our chain link fence.

From there she proceeded across our lawn, plowed into the large lilac bush and the fence along the side of the yard and ended up against two pine trees in the other neighbor’s yard.

She then, apparently, threw the car into reverse and turned it to the left, intending to head back onto the road. Instead, she went through our fence on the other side of the lilac and somehow managed to end up between the dog pen and the fence, hitting the corner post of the pen and getting hung up on my compost pile. (evil grin) She was stuck. Since there wasn’t room to open the doors, she climbed out the driver’s window and disappeared. We figure she called a friend to come get her and didn’t want to face her father or the police. It’s highly probable that she’d been drinking.

Apparently, she wasn’t hurt too badly, fortunately, and the deputy told me a few days ago that she has so far not returned calls from the Sheriff’s department. Without knowing for sure who was driving, the police can’t do much more. I will refrain from any comments on people taking responsibility for their actions although I have plenty in this case.

As soon as our homeowners insurance adjuster had documented the destruction first hand, I was able to clean up the lawn mess and assess the flower beds better. The casualty list includes a honeysuckle bush, a small lilac bush that I’d been nursing along, the large old-fashioned lilac bush, the sweet peas which were torn out of the ground, and my cone flowers whose tops were shredded. I trimmed back the cone flowers as I mourned the fact that they were about to bloom. It remains to be seen if they will recover. With brute force, I was able to wrangle the top rail of the fence back up onto the remaining posts along the road which looks much better and allows the lawn to be mowed while we wait for the fence to be fixed.

All in all, it could have been much worse, for the plants and the girl/driver. Did you notice that large maple tree next to the dog pen? If the car had hit that, the driver would have been in a world of hurt. I’m thankful that the accident wasn’t worse. As a parent, I wouldn’t want to be the one to get that 3:00 am phone call from the police letting me know that my child had been in an accident. I’m thankful that this girl and her parents were lucky - THIS time! I hope she learned a lesson that will stay with her for a very long time.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to call my children and let them know how much we love them.

1 comment:

Judith A. Johnson said...

Glad to hear the girl is ok, that is my biggest fear - to have someone I love hurt in a car accident.
I can't believe the owner of the car at the very least cannot be charged with property destruction. That doesn't seem right.