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Classic Car hit by Semi - Michigan


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Barry,

 

My wishes and prayers for your and your wife's speedy recovery.

 

You've made several references to your opinion that use of your car's seat belts saved your lives.  Did your car have the lap belt type of seat belt or the three point over-the-shoulder type?  I have lap belts in my classic cars, but after years of wearing the three point type, I don't feel all that secure with just the lap belts.  I would value your opinion.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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It's truly a compromise situation. She wanted them and I compromised. 

 

She insisted and it saved her from being ejected from the car.

 

If available I think they are better than nothing, but most retrofits aren't safe, anyway. Rusty sheet metal and big washers is not a great installation.

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Well said, Barry...in this case, we are all so glad the seat belts assisted in survival.

But, as you mention, the forces involved in a collision situation aren't an intuitive thing....so big washers can't always handle the forces exerted...

So yes, install belts if you wish, but understand the engineering and limitations involved....

I've looked at all the photos, wow, there was some higher power, or an incredible combination of events happening just in the correct sequence....that you, your wife, and the driver of the semi, all survived....but of course, everyone is so thankful that we're reading posts from you, and not about you...

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I would agree, but would much rather have been in a crash in any of my modern cars. You can't deny the laws of physics.

 

There are three collisions in an accident. Anything that minimizes the last one is a huge benefit. I can testify to that.

 

The first collision is your car involved with another object.

 

The second is your collision with the inside of the vehicle or the vehicle restraints. A body in motion tends to stay in motion.

 

The final collision happens inside your body. All those soft, squishy, things inside your body stay in motion and come crashing against the hard things like your skull and rib cage. This is where the serious damage is done. If you can slow that last impact with technology like seat belts and air bags and crumple zones the effects of a crash on the soft bits greatly minimized.

 

Thinking that an old car with thicker metal and full frame and hard interior is safe is basically unscientific, anchronistic, but wishful thinking. Please don't anyone go there.

Edited by Barry Wolk (see edit history)
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If you're the queasy type. Don't look.

 

 

I looked anyway.  They pictures only tell part of the tale; your description of what happened (earlier in this thread) is what really makes me queasy.  So much trauma of all types in a short timespan.  Given the severity & the fire, etc., I'm STILL in awe that you both are still alive & with us today.  Very glad you are.  Thoughts/prayers continuing as you both recover & heal.

 

 

Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve
"Tell me tomorrow will be brighter" __ KT Oslin __ 'Hold Me'
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Best wishes for a speedy recovery to you and your wife Barry.   What a horrible experience.   BTW no question in my mind that seat belts save lives.  I'm glad she insisted!!!

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Glad to hear you both made it out alive. Sad that beautiful Zephyr came to such an ignoble end.

 

My question is: how in the hell could the semi driver NOT have seen or noticed a car like that until she was running over it?

 

That's a big reason I stay off Interstates and other high-speed roads as much as possible, even in the modern cars. People are doing everything at 80 mph but driving. I don't care if your stupidity takes you out, but I don't want it to take me out.

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Barry/Glynette

Just saw this for the first time this morning. I heard nothing through the grapevine. What a shock! It's amazing how quickly a turn of events can change the course of lives. Thankfully you are both still alive!! I pray that neither of you sustain prolonged affects from your injuries. Give my best to Glynette.

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We were on our way to St Joseph to show the Zephyr in the Concours we're involved in when the car started bogging down. I didn't want to finish the trip at 55 so we turned around to drop off the Zephyr and still hit the show.

 

Barry

 

Still amazed that you and your wife were not badly injured.  As another person mentioned, a higher power must have been responsible for protecting you and the truck driver. 

 

So you are aware, my son mentioned he saw where someone is stating in a news article comment section they saw you use an Authorized Vehicle Only turn around and that caused the accident.  I find that statement very suspect since I am familiar with M-14 and realize the closest AVO turn around is at least a half mile back. 

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I did use the turn-around as the next exit was miles away. There were no vehicles in sight when I pulled onto the roadway. I never denied using the turn-around. In fact, we used the second one from the bridge, I believe. That didn't cause her to slam into me. Am I guilty of using a cross-over, I would say yes. As you said the distance between the cross-over and the bridge was considerable, and it was a straight road and it was clear and sunny. 

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I looked at the map. It is a half mile to the bridge from the first turnaround, but my wife remembers driving for a while and being passed by several cars. I believe the car was running OK and we turned around at the first turn-around past Curtis road when it started chugging again. I felt I was safe doing 55 in the right lane of a divided freeway. I guess I was wrong.

 

My assessment of the cause of the crash is quite different. 

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The only way that YOU would be at fault is if you turned directly in front of her, and if the road was clear, then that wasn't the case.

Rules of the road state "YOU NEED TO HAVE YOUR VEHICLE UNDER CONTROL AT ALL TIMES," and she DIDN'T. IMO

Dale in Indy

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Barry, I'm so incredibly glad you and your wife are on the road to recovery.  Wow.  You're in all of our prayers.

 

One safety feature I have added to my Packard is flashing red LED bicycle lights that I fastened to the trunk rack handles in the rear.  I put them on whenever I drive to help others drivers see my car and steer clear of it.  The lights operate like hazard lights, and it makes a huge difference at night.  They connected easily, as the lights are supposed to attach to the seat post of a bike and the trunk rack handles of my Packard happen to be have the same circumference.    State laws vary on whether you're permitted to use hazard lights all the time like that, but I have never been ticketed and the safety advantage strikes me as much more important than the risk of a ticket.

Edited by 1935Packard (see edit history)
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Glad to see you and the Mrs will be ok Barry!

 

I was hit by a texting lady last week that totaled my pristine 1996 Ford ranger and almost took my arm off. It sure makes you think about priorities in life. After seeing this thread I'd say I'm done driving any antiques on the freeway, there's just too many people doing too many things besides driving out there.

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Did you say you were traveling at about 55mph?    I too travel the Interstates with my pre-war car (with seat belts) so your experience is of great interest to me.  I am happy that you and your wife survived!

Please let us know the results of the police investigation.

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Wow.  The car definitely appears to have held up well structurally.  I'm just as amazed as you are.

 

At the end of the day, in the grand scheme of things, it's just a car.  It can be replaced, while your lives can't.  Great to hear you're still with us and that there are many happy miles of trouble free motoring ahead for you both once you recover.

 

This post definitely gives everyone a wakeup call and proves that our fears about driving our prized possessions in modern traffic are not unwarranted.

 

Please keep us posted on your progress - this is just the beginning of the story.

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I'm dismantling a '48 LC coupe with that unitized body. It's nothing like the other early uni-bodies; more like two frame rails minus the X-member and all welded to the body and floor panels. It's good heavy stuff.

 

I watched all the details of that car being brought back together. Too bad about the car, lucky to be alive.

Bernie

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Barry,

Somewhat late getting to respond to your post. Many have done a better job expressing the shock and best wishes for both you and your wife than I might do, however, after meeting you ever so briefly at the Ford Employee Only Car Show for the first time, seeing the cars you brought in person, just so glad you both are still here!

Following your threads on the various cars you have done give us an impression for sure but speaking with you that day and seeing the cars gave me so much more depth to who you are. 

 

Sincerely hope you both have a speedy full recovery!

 

post-80315-0-62211100-1439431681_thumb.j

 

Hope to take you up one day on the opportunity to have a picture taken sitting behind the wheel in this car. 

post-80315-0-02913000-1439431822_thumb.j

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Barry,

 

Dale and I are thankful that you both survived and are here to tell the story. We wish you both a full and speedy recovery.

 

Like you, we have added lap belts to several of our older cars, but know that this is not the ultimate protection, and that the laws of physics still apply. Dale still limps and has shoulder problems from having been "passenger-side T-Boned" years ago in her 1966 Dart GT convertible, where the lap belt kept her from being thrown out the open door and dragged under the car.

 

Looking forward to your continued thoughts here on our FORUM

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Barry, I concur with all those who have posted ahead of me, in regard to you and your wife's speedy and complete recovery. After our brief encounter at the Concours of America, I saw your car displayed, but wished it would have been done in way that would have afforded a better view of the rear end and exquisite interior. Unfortunately for me, I'll never get the ride that you promised me when I visited your shop last winter! Prayers and Best Wishes, Larry W

Edited by Larry W (see edit history)
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Barry,  this seems like a good time to thank you once again for the detailed log you took the time to share with us as you restored your 42 Lincoln!  It doesn't seem fair that you were visited with such bad luck; but maybe the fact that you are here to tell about it is a reflection on your Karma! I wish you and your significant other a speedy recovery.  Don't let it get you down, friend.

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Several years ago, added a Brakelighter to my prewar car for better visibility. 

 

http://jandlenterprise.com/products/brakelighter.htm

 

I've been very happy with it; ez installation and with the suction cups I can remove it at any time.

 

One safety feature I have added to my Packard is flashing red LED bicycle lights that I fastened to the trunk rack handles in the rear.  I put them on whenever I drive to help others drivers see my car and steer clear of it.  The lights operate like hazard lights, and it makes a huge difference at night.  They connected easily, as the lights are supposed to attach to the seat post of a bike and the trunk rack handles of my Packard happen to be have the same circumference.    State laws vary on whether you're permitted to use hazard lights all the time like that, but I have never been ticketed and the safety advantage strikes me as much more important than the risk of a ticket.

 

Just ordered a pair on Amazon and will give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion; can't ever be too safe.  :)

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  • 1 year later...

Here we are, nearly two years out and we've not made a full recovery. Never will. My poor wife has PSTD and now hates travel by car. Travel by air is difficult for me because of my much slower pace. My wife made it pretty clear in her victim impact statement that she's lost interest in the hobby. She doesn't even want to ride in the old cars, let alone drive hers. She received counceling and we've both received physical therapy, but didn't gain much. Working on cars is much tougher as bumps on the head or getting cut is a real concern now that I'm on blood thinners. The crash pretty-much took the joy out of actually working on cars.

Interestingly, we bought the car from a large collection that belonged to a semi sales dealership owner's estate. I ended up hiring them to represent us as they knew both sides of the trucking laws, although, they didn't have to work very hard as after the preliminary deposition their attorney was overheard talking to the insurance adjuster and saying, "You really, really, don't want these folks on the witness stand." They jumped at the chance for a mediated settlement. That, too, was a breeze, taking under 2 hours. It started out with the mediator asking if we minded if the huge insurance company's chief adjuster apologized to us personally before the negotiations began. The mediator said that had happened only once before in his 20+ years in the business. We soft-landed on a big pile of money, but it didn't really help, or change our lives. All of our losses were covered under the classic car policy and our medical coverage. Our personal items, like phones, pads and clothing were covered under our homeowner's insurance. Since this was a third-party settlement our health insurer isn't entitled to recover anything under Michigan's no-fault laws. The attorneys took their agreed one third after deducting their expenses. I didn't know about that caveat.
 

So, we're wealthier, but no healthier. The driver has been convicted of "causing a permanent bodily injury" and after avoiding trial will be sentenced shortly. After what she did the worst that can happen is 90 days in jail, the loss of her CDL for a year and a $500 fine. She's supposed to pay restitution, but we've decided to not make her do that. We've been adequately compensated.

Thanks for all your kind wishes. The laws of physics were on our side, but we would have died had we not been belted.

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It is good to see your post. I have thought about you and your Wife many times since the incident. Actually, on the fourth, those pictures are pretty much etched in my mind.

 

There is hardly a time I don't drive one of the old cars on secondary roads and have some cowboy glued to the back of my car in a ten wheeler. (You know The Rodeo Song). When it's not one of those it is someone else doing 70 on a back road when I am at 65 or 65. If I drove 55 I would have ten cars lined up behind me. NO RIDE IS 100% FUN!

 

I have always been a very defensive driver. I guess I notice my defensiveness increasing over recent years more than those whom are not.

 

I hope to see your posts begin with some frequency. The posts showing assembly of the Lincoln we enjoyable. There are a lot of facets of the hobby that can be enjoyed and shared without a lot of physical activity. I am not much of a show goer, myself. And I like the solitude of being alone in my garage with my cars. I hope you find the niche that prevents a void where the cars used to be. It is all about the trip, and the trip ain't over yet.

Bernie

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Guest BillP

Barry, I'm one of the many who followed every chapter of your adventures from the Spartan trailer through all the other projects to the Lincoln. I even saw you once at one of the Glenmoor Gatherings, you had your Porsche. 

From your absence, I was concerned that it might be related to the crash, and frankly, I'd be surprised if there were no lingering effects. 

I respect your efforts over the years and your extraordinary ability to solve problems and to document what you do so well. 

I wish you all the best and hope you both find peace and joy. 

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Barry

 

 

Even though we have never met, I had followed your projects over the years. I always admired your work and the enthusiasm you had for the hobby. It's amazing that I was just thinking that I had not seen anything from you in a while. 

 

Thanks for for posting an update to your situation. 

 

I hope you can resolve any remaining issues and find enjoyment in future endeavors.

 

Thanks  for all of your earlier posts. Again, I really enjoyed your projects.

 

Kevin

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Barry,

 

I was good to see your post.  I too have been wondering on your condition and ability to get around. 

 

If you still have my number, give me a call and we get together again for lunch and talk cars or what ever. If not, let me know and I can call you when it is convenient for you.

 

Larry

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Barry,

 

I too have wondered how you and your wife have been since the accident; living in the area, I think of your often when driving on that segment of M-14. (and also in the area where you encountered problems with your beautiful trailer)  Although we aren't personally acquainted, your absence, with your unique & wonderful cars, at local events was noticed.  :(

 

Not surprised but saddened to hear of the physical and mental trauma the both of you have been suffering the past two years.   Glad the legal process was resolved to your satisfaction and hopefully the compensation will help make your lives tolerable and comfortable in the years to come.  Best wishes on finding solace and peace in the future.  And thank you for the reminder to order seat belts for our newly acquired 53 Buick and 56 Cadillac. 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, CarFreak said:

Barry,

 

I too have wondered how you and your wife have been since the accident; living in the area, I think of your often when driving on that segment of M-14. (and also in the area where you encountered problems with your beautiful trailer)  Although we aren't personally acquainted, your absence, with your unique & wonderful cars, at local events was noticed.  :(

 

Not surprised but saddened to hear of the physical and mental trauma the both of you have been suffering the past two years.   Glad the legal process was resolved to your satisfaction and hopefully the compensation will help make your lives tolerable and comfortable in the years to come.  Best wishes on finding solace and peace in the future.  And thank you for the reminder to order seat belts for our newly acquired 53 Buick and 56 Cadillac. 

 

 

Thanks for all the kind words, everyone. It has been a trial, on many levels. Even though my wife was badly injured, she really stepped up in my care after the crash. It was a wonderful feeling that so many people stepped up to help us out.

That part of M-14 is a problem for my wife. There were a couple of trips to Ann Arbor that she had to drive as I needed a couple of steroid injections. She was visibly shaken and exhibited the "white-knuckle" reaction one would expect. 

 

Yes, the lap belts save our lives. I had shoulder belts installed on the Mark II, but she still doesn't feel safe. 

 

IMG_2279_zpslxy9ppje.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Barry, glad to see your post.  I hope things improve for you and your wife as time adds some distance from the event.  I know my Mom is having less PTSD issues now 3 years removed from her accident.  Everyone is different but for her, the last year has provided a significant improvement.   Yes... she still prefers not to drive at all but the amount that it dictates what she does and where she goes has dropped to near zero.   I wish the very best for both of you in the future!!

 

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