Everyone has done it…stopped, or at least slowed way down to they can look at the roadside wreck they have just come up on. Of course, we all hope and pray that the people who were involved are ok, and we feel really bad for them that their vehicle is a big mess, if not a complete total. Still, we can’t help but look at the scene with curiosity. We wonder how the accident happened, and who was at fault. And while it may seem strange, we find ourselves in awe at the way metal can twist and go from being a car to something that doesn’t even resemble a car. My dad and his brother, my Uncle Bill came up on this truck at the side of the road. It had rolled, and I guess there wasn’t a tow truck readily available, so it was left on the side of the road for a time. Well, their curiosity got the better of them, and they stopped to have their picture taken by the wreck. Maybe it was the first one they had ever seen…who knows.
I suppose that since cars were a little bit less common back then, wrecks were too. So, maybe that was a big part of the draw to look over the wreck…but that doesn’t explain the fascination we still seem to have. People take pictures of the wreck and post it to Facebook, the newspaper sends a reporter out there to get the shots that will go into the paper, and the television station sends reporters out to get shots for the news. Odd as it is, we still seem to want to see these wrecks. I suppose it is an appetite for the sensational. We watch monster truck wrecks, and love to see the rollovers. I suppose we have become somewhat immune to the reality of what these accidents can bring to pass in peoples’ lives.
As an insurance agent, I see the other side of many of these accidents. I am thankful that I very seldom see accidents with fatalities. Maybe that is just that I live in Wyoming, and with less people in our state, there is less likelihood that there will be a fatality in any given accident. Whatever the case may be, I have been fortunate enough to only have to deal with a small amount of fatalities in the 25 years I have been an agent. Nevertheless, the accidents with injuries, especially when it is a family member, even if the injuries are very minor, can be very traumatic. Probably the worst one for me, was the accident involving my niece, Lacey when a semi-truck ran a red light, and hit her car. Thankfully, she and her cousin had only minor injuries. The truck driver felt so horrible about the accident, that he sold his truck, and quit driving trucks completely. While not all roadside wrecks are this bad looking, sometimes they don’t have to be in order to be really bad.
As a young family, my in-laws lived in Montana, and my father-in-law worked for the railroad. Their family was growing, and now they had 3 children, Marlyce, Debbe, and my future husband, Bob. My father-in-law was working for the railroad, and the family was living on railroad property.Things were going well enough, but in 1956, the decision was made to move the family from Dalin, Montana to Martinsville, Montana…neither of which still exist today, as near as I can tell, so unfortunately, I can’t say how long the trip was. That doesn’t really matter, because, any trip with three children under the age of 7 years, had to seem like an eternity. Nevertheless, this trip was about to get a little bit longer. They loaded their belongings into a 1951 Ford pickup truck, which was the first vehicle my father-in-law had ever owned, and it had been purchased brand new in 1951, so it was a nice vehicle. Everything loaded, they set out for Martinsville.
Along the way to Martinsville, a pickup pulled out in front of the 1951 Ford. The accident destroyed all their furniture and totaled the pickup. I can only imagine how awful that was. In those days, seat belts and car seats were unheard of, so I’m sure my in-laws thought they were all about to die. It was a devastating event, but the family was all ok, but, now they were stuck waiting for the police and tow truck, and had to figure out what to do next. The trip took just about the worst possible turn. I can hear the kids now. The girls were most likely crying because they were cold or hungry, and Bob being only 2 years old was either scared, or more likely curious…if I know him. It would be my guess that both of my in-laws had a massive headache from the trauma and worry, both for their family and for their future.
In the end, things turned out ok. The insurance money was enough to buy a 1953 Ford pickup and a 33 foot mobile home. I can’t imagine three kids in a 33 foot mobile home, but I’m sure they felt like it was practically a palace, considering the way things could have gone. Car accidents can conpletely devistate lives, but their little family was alive, and no one was hurt badly, so the rest of it was just stuff. If you can walk away from an accident like that in one piece, you thank the Lord, and count your many blessings.