Smashed by one who was ‘smashed’

By Jennifer Davis Rash

The quiet older gentleman wasn’t thrilled about driving me up and down the rows of smashed vehicles, but he did it.

“I’m telling you, they picked up your car yesterday,” he kept saying. “It’s not here.”

But the “they” — my insurance company — assured me the car was still in the impound lot in north Birmingham. I had actually been looking for it all day. No one seemed to know where my car was.Jen's car

As we drove around, I was shocked at how many wrecked cars were stored there as well as several cars that weren’t wrecked. The gentleman explained that the red suburban I pointed out was “in jail.”

The owner had outstanding traffic tickets and his vehicle will be impounded until he pays up, the gentleman said. “That’s why I say it’s in jail.”

We turned another corner and I saw my Hyundai Sonata parked right in the middle of the only large puddle of muddy water in the lot. The gentleman shook his head. He couldn’t believe it was really there. We soon figured out the mystery behind the confusion over my car’s location, but before we could celebrate my new friend scowled again.

Good Samaritans

He was attempting to build a bridge to my car to remove the items I came to retrieve and ended up soaking his tan non-waterproof work boots. He drew the line at attempting to get my tag off the trunk, which now permanently sits perched straight up like a disfigured hatchback rear door wannabe.

And while he had had a long day, the gentleman encouraged me amid the inconveniences that come with a car accident. He likes to keep the customers happy and that isn’t always easy, he said. “They aren’t always happy when they come to see me.”

And he is probably right. The back and forth that comes when several businesses are involved in any type of transaction can be frustrating. There have certainly been unorganized moments as I’ve worked through the aftermath of my car accident, but in almost every situation the person working with me has been extremely nice and willing to help. Almost, that is. I was disappointed in the way a few people acted.

But most have gone above and beyond and definitely made up for the few who missed out on an opportunity to be nice.

Even at the scene of the accident, complete strangers stopped to help me after a drunk driver caused chaos on I-59 North and left two of us spinning out of control. They helped me get out of the car and guided me to safety.

My friend, Haley, saw the accident and came back to stay with me — for almost four hours. My family, friends, co-workers, church family and more have reached out to me. The result could have been so much worse, but I walked away and am able to tell you about it.

So many others don’t get that chance, and to think that this happened during the recent Red Ribbon Week — the annual national alcohol and drug prevention campaign.

I’m not sure how to convince people not to drink and drive, but if you know someone tempted to give it a try, then please help them make a more responsible decision. 

And we should all continue to support organizations working to make a difference through education and legislation. One such group — Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP) — is being honored today in Baptist circles.

Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 — ALCAP Sunday —


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