Sad Day - Totaled My Old Ford Diesel P/U & Camper

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Sad Day - Totaled My Old Ford Diesel P/U & Camper

Postby Nobody » Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:32 am

Had a really bad day last Saturday! My brother & I had gone to our deer camp in SW Arkansas to bring home my old '85 Ford Diesel & Sun-Lite pop-up cabover TC. Got everything packed in the camper & headed home. We'd made it almost to Arkadelphia, AR (about halfway home), traveling east on AR SH 26 when a westbound driver began making a left turn directly across my lane of traffic. I was going near the speed limit of 55mph but had begun to slow down as I was approaching a 'built up' area with nice homes along the highway. I couldn't believe what I was seeing but he continued his turn & at that distance & speed there was no way I could avoid a collision. I swerved sharply to my right as hard as I dared considering my speed & the slight 'pitch' of the highway, onto the road toward which he was turning, but was unable to completely avoid the collision. The other driver never stopped until my left front impacted his left front, which definitely stopped him. My truck continued on into the ditch, attempted to climb a 4ft embankment, tilted sharply toward the left, hit a good sized pine tree, & ended up back upright but my camper was upside down on the highway. I thought once during the incident that the truck would turn over but I guess when the camper came off it went back upright.

I only found one of the four 500# steel/aluminum turnbuckles that secured the camper to the truck. They're the type with a hook at one end & a loop/eye at other end. None of the attachment points on either the truck or camper were damaged so apparently the twisting/jostling during the collision & afterward was enough to 'spring' them loose & release the camper. Otherwise I'm sure the truck would have turned over.

The collision with his vehicle almost completely destroyed my left front wheel, nearly separating the wheel/hub from the twin I-Beam axle, & the right side nearly so when the truck tried to climb the embankment & hit the tree with that side. I ended up nearly upright but at a steep angle (all the contents in the cab with me were piled up against me as I was on the 'low' side. The impacts had pushed both front quarter panels back into the doors & I was unable to open either door. I'd rolled my window down as soon as it was over so I just climbed out that window (wasn't far to the ground at that angle).

My brother of course hurried to see if I was injured, & after learning I probably wasn't he began directing traffic around the other vehicle which was still in the middle of the highway. A passing driver summoned police who responded very quickly. They called out the Arkansas State Police to investigate & write the accident report since the location wasn't in city limits. A couple of good witnesses saw the entire thing, stayed around to give statements to the Trooper, & it was obvious from the other driver's vehicle location what had happened.

After I climbed out of my truck & determined that I probably wasn't seriously injured I took out my cell phone & began taking pix (as a retired law enforcement officer I'm aware that you can never have too many pictures of an accident scene).

Police called a local wrecker service who sent 2 'tilt bed' trucks. They loaded the other vehicle onto one & dragged my camper (still upside down & leaking [pouring?] water copiously from the fresh water tank) onto the other wrecker. The wrecker driver dragged my truck out enough so he could extend his 'lift' & raise the front end of my truck & secure it to his rig. He gave me info on the location of their 'impound yard', & the Trooper gave me info on the other driver & said I was free to go.

Brother & I came on home & I immediately called my insurance agent who transferred me to the State Farm Claims office. After a 20 minuter phone interview she assigned a Claims # & adjuster to assist me with my claims against the other driver's insurance. Also talked to my youngest brother who is an attorney as well as being a claims adjuster for State Farm (homeowner division) who gave me some good advice/tips on record keeping & negotiating with the other insurance company. He also told me to go to the wrecker impound lot ASAP & recover all personal items/belongings I could from my truck & camper.

Brother & I went to the wrecking yard on Monday & picked up all my personal items that were in the truck. Camper was still upside down but I managed to unlock the door. What a mess! Everything was kinda jumbled together & some contents were wet from the leaking fresh water tank. We managed to get everything out & loaded & into my Toyota P/U.

Visited the accident site & located two more of the turnbuckles. From the locations found. they were the right front & the right rear (right rear had the 'hook' straightened).

I've been contacted by the other driver's insurance company who requested permission to move my truck & camper from Arkadelphia to Insurance Auto Auctions salvage yard (a secure location) in Little Rock/North Little Rock area. They've now been moved & as soon as they're officially 'received' at the lot they'll assign an appraiser to begin evaluation for a settlement. I told 'em to be sure the appraiser notes that this ain't just any 'run-of-the-mill' '85 Ford P/U. I've owned this truck since new, serviced it regularly myself, drove it virtually every mile on the odometer (166k miles), added a few 'goodies' to increase performance & comfort, & generally kept it in excellent condition. It'll be very difficult if not impossible to replace a 1985 Ford F-250, 6.9L diesel with only 166k miles on the 'clock' so I expect I'll have a problem getting a 'reasonable' settlement from them??

I feel very fortunate that I was able to 'walk away' from that. I'm sure that if I'd been going a little slower, or if the other driver was turning a little faster, the collision would have been nearly head-on. I really hate to lose my old truck (it's been a darn good 29 year run) but am thankful no one was seriously injured in what could have been a 'killer'. The other driver said the sun was in his face & he never saw me coming...

Y'all be careful out there! Here's a few pix

My old rig at deer camp a couple of years ago - still looked just like this
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Harvey -

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Re: Sad Day - Totaled My Old Ford Diesel P/U & Camper

Postby lrrowe » Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:45 am

Harvey,
I am very happy to hear that you are ok and am sorry for the loss of your truck and camper.
I can relate to this because of my accident some 25 years ago while towing a camper. I lost the camper as it slid by me. It all happens so fast but after all this time, one can still remember every second of the ordeal.

Again, I am glad you are ok and wish you luck with the insurance companies.
Bob

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Hot water infloor and radiator heating project:[url]http://www.tnttt.com/posting.php?mode=reply&f=54&t=62327[/

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Re: Sad Day - Totaled My Old Ford Diesel P/U & Camper

Postby razorback » Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:48 am

So sorry Harvey. The best news is that YOU were not "TOTALED".
Get ready for the insurance fight.
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Re: Sad Day - Totaled My Old Ford Diesel P/U & Camper

Postby Verna » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:33 am

I'm glad you're not injured. It sure hurts to see a good looking 29 year old pickup damaged like that, but the sight of your camper on its roof is worse. Good luck with the upcoming "negotiations". Oh, and the other driver must really have been blinded by the sun to not to have seen that camper and truck coming down the road.
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Re: Sad Day - Totaled My Old Ford Diesel P/U & Camper

Postby pchast » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:29 pm

Glad you are all right.
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Re: Sad Day - Totaled My Old Ford Diesel P/U & Camper

Postby asianflava » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:44 pm

What a bummer! I'm glad that you're OK and lived to camp another day.
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Re: Sad Day - Totaled My Old Ford Diesel P/U & Camper

Postby satch » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:49 pm

Trucks and campers are always replaceable, you are not.
Good to hear all are not hurt
If it itches. scratch it
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Re: Sad Day - Totaled My Old Ford Diesel P/U & Camper

Postby Vedette » Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:23 pm

As they say...."It could have been a lot worse!"
Be Thankful!
You will enjoy your "New Truck" just as much! ;)
Good Roads
Brian & Sandi
Good Roads
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Re: Sad Day - Totaled My Old Ford Diesel P/U & Camper

Postby S. Heisley » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:55 pm

Sorry about the truck and camper. They looked to have been in pristine condition...before the accident.
More importantly, I'm glad you're okay; but. be careful in the morning. You may have aches and pains then. Normally, I think you have 24 hours to get your body checked out by a doctor, which might not be a bad idea...especially for your back. Back pain may not show up until later. If the accident threw anything in your body out of place, it's better to tweak it back in, now.
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Re: Sad Day - Totaled My Old Ford Diesel P/U & Camper

Postby Nobody » Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:56 am

Thanks folks for the commiseration & good wishes. It's been one day more'n a week now & no ill effects that I can tell. Other than the normal aches'n pains of being 75 years old I'm OK. No word yet from the insurance company. Pretty sure they'll take their time as there's no doubt of the other driver being 'at fault'. I'm 'girding my loins' as it were, for a battle when they offer a settlement. Perhaps I'll be surprised & they'll make an adequate offer...

Brian, I kinda doubt I'll enjoy a new truck. I've been lookin' a little & most anything I'd consent to drive is in the $30-40K range, & at my age I probably won't try one, & campers like the one I had don't come along every day :( . My little Toyota Tacoma with which I tow my TD just might last me from now on. We have a little Scamp 13 fiberglass trailer that I've been slowly 're-habbing' for a couple of years. Guess I'll hafta 'pick up the pace' & get it in shape for spring fishing coming up in March & April.

I'm having to get used to a new way of thinking. For the past 29 years every time I had a job that required a heavy duty vehicle (more often than you'd think), I'd think of my old Ford. Hard to realize that ain't the case anymore :cry: . Camper hadn't been off the old truck for a couple of years now since the 3-jack system ain't quite as sturdy & easy to work as the 4-jacks that I had on my previous cabover, & the old truck hadn't been used for anything else. I had several 'jobs' just waiting for the truck alone that I'll hafta figure out another way now.
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