Sunday, November 27, 2011

So much for a stress free getaway.

We usually try to head out to "The Beach" when it get's a little chilly here, try to beat the hoards of tourists flocking down from the North, before all the crowds come, so on and so forth.

I usually pack the SUV with all the little things, in all the nooks and cranny's with stuff for the trip.
I never consider the possibility of having to leave the SUV because of repairs or stuff, so when it came to the occasion to have it towed to a car dealership, that would prove that my "packing" was a little overboard.

Ok, why do we need the car towed, you might ask?

Well, about 20 km from Guadalajara at the first Caseta, I stopped and just finished handing my pesos to the attendant only to hear a loud truck air horn followed, immediately by a loud crash with flying glass and contents of the dash board storage spaces all over the car.

(for those of you not familiar with the word Caseta, it is the cashiers toll both at the beginning of a toll road or AutoPista)

Our car was catapulted about 40 ft past the Caseta, luckily the attendant had just activated the arm to let the car through otherwise I probably would have to be paying for the crossing arm repair.

We got rear ended, by a tractor trailer truck whose brakes had supposedly failed.

We were all OK, the dogs were scared as they were tossed about inside intertwined with all the loose crap in the back..Packages of stuff we had purchased while at the mall in Guadalajara.

The plan was to meet some family and friends who would fly down for their extended Thanksgiving Holiday, they would fly back mid week, we would stay for a few more weeks.

Plans change.

This story is going to be in chapters, since there are several episodes way too long to go into in one writing.

The chapters will be:
  • What happens when you get rear ended while stopped
  • How the law of physics cause stuff to fly out of the car and get run over by the truck that hit you.
  • What happens when the Mexican driver has no insurance
  • What happens when the Mexican driver has no license
  • How good is Mexican Insurance when the other guy has none.
  • How insurance is different from US when the car is totalled.
  • How useless the Auto Pista insurance is
  • How to hop the bus, go back home and grab the pickup truck to cram the contents of an SUV, people and dogs.
  • What would tourists do if their car got damaged while down in Mexico
  • General discussion of the pain in the ass situation
  • How courteous and accommodating the Mexican Federalies were.

Right now I am sitting on the beach thinking about how lucky we were and how lucky we are.
More to come.....


Don Cuevas said...

¡Híjole! At least no one was hurt. That's a plus.

Looking forward to the next installment.

By the way, it's cold, blustery and looks like Newfoundland here near Pátzcuaro.

Don Cuevas

- Mexican Trailrunner said...

OMG. At least you all are safe. omg
What a colossal pain in the patoot! Nice you had a second vehicle, saved the vacation for you.
Can't wait to hear the follow-up!!!
Stay safe, hear?

Tancho said...

Yes, as we look back on it, it could have been a big fireball etc,hospitals, jaws of life (a Mexican hammer and crowbar), so each day we think about it , it becomes such a blessing that we all walked away from it! Kinda keeping all in perspective each time we think of complaining about it and the hassle.....

It was overcast, foggy and drizzling when I came back for the truck...the beach is nice today, we just extended our stay here a little longer than planned too!

JerryL said...

Glad that you are all OK, money can buy a new car, but not new body parts!
Can't wait to hear the whole story.

Nancy said...

Aaaack! I don't want to know more! No, Yes, I do! No I Don't! Aaaack! At least you're alive to write this? Please tell more so we can relax, ok?


HD in Fla. said...

Man, sounds like luck was on your side. Doesn't sound like a lot of fun, keep safe, can't wait for the rest of the story, so to speak.

Felipe Zapata said...

Jeez, man. Glad you're intact. Is this the Honda CR-V we are talking about?

Felipe Zapata said...

P.S.: Regarding some of your upcoming points:

1. The only claim I've ever had to my insurance company (and I use real insurance, not "tourist" coverage) was for a fender-bender in Mexico City. Excellent service.

2. I've never had cause to use the autopista insurance, but I have spoken to someone who has, and he also got excellent service.


norm said...

Hit by a truck and walked away, you're living right. The idiot who hit you is a poster child for the people who would ban Mexican trucks from US highways. Not that we have a shortage of homegrown idiots driving trucks here...

Felipe Zapata said...

Norm: That issue occurred to me, and I almost mentioned it.

Of course, we Mexicans scream discrimination on the issue of our truckers not being allowed to cross the border to wreak havoc on the U.S. interstates.

This event of Tancho's illustrates well why Mexican truckers should be kept south of the border. Regulation is lame, to put it mildly.

One of my brothers-in-law is a trucker here. He has no trucker training, but he's been doing it for years. I doubt he has a license to drive tractor-trailers. He does, however, take speed and other drugs on a regular basis to keep him "alert."

My wife, who worked for years with the Mexican highway department, gets nervous every time we have to pass one of those characters on the highway.

Virtually anyone can get behind the wheel of one of these behemoths in Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Each day I get off the freeway I thank my lucky stars for bringing me home safe. I see fatal accidents on the beltway that are caused by nincompoop drivers distracted by cellphones or other stuff. It is not uncommon to see women putting on makeup and men shaving while looking in the rear view mirror. Stuff like that should be an instant license revocation.
Your family was lucky, glad it all worked out fine.

Wayne in DC

Todd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am so happy that everyone is ok. Jerry L is right. car parts can be bought.
stay well. Can't wait to hear the whole tale.