CRASH!

So we’ve hit a major bump in our trip of a lifetime… 

Yesterday afternoon in Joshua Tree, California, our RV was broadsided by a California Highway Patrol cruiser involved in a high-speed chase.  Theresa and I and the dogs were shaken up but not seriously injured.  However late last night I started feeling a sharp pain in my lower left rib cage, probably where the seat belt caught me.  This morning it hurts pretty badly especially when I breathe, so we are heading to a hospital to check for a possible bruised or cracked rib.

The officer was injured with numerous small cuts to his face from his shattered windshield and a bloody hand from his deployed airbag.  He was able to step out of his cruiser, was taken to the hospital by paramedics, and a fireman at the scene told me the officer is expected to be OK. 

RV crash

Our RV was totaled, according to the wrecker guy.  The RV’s drive train, undercarriage and slideout were completely destroyed, and the inside of the RV looks like a tornado hit.

Theresa was driving at the time, and she is fine.  We’ve been advised to not publicly discuss the details of the accident, other than to say we believe this accident was definitely not our fault.  That said, we have nothing but respect and deep admiration for the officer that hit us.  He was risking his life and doing his duty to catch the bad guys.  We hope and pray that he recovers quickly and fully.  We also believe that society has its priorities upside down.  Athletes and celebrities should be making $30-$50K/year, and police, firefighters and soldiers are the ones who should be making 6-7 figures.  We all owe them our gratitude and thanks.

This accident is another data point in the broader debate on high-speed police chases.  We hope that whomever the cops were chasing was a really bad guy and not just some speeder or traffic offender, considering they destroyed our “house” in the process.  Thirty years ago when I was in driver’s ed, my instructor liked to joke that, “You can outrun a Ford but not a Motorola.”  His point was that the police can radio ahead to catch a fleeing vehicle.  I’ve always believed that police should never start a high-speed chase unless there is an active kidnapping or armed & dangerous felon on the run.  This incident certainly confirms my belief.

This accident also helps to put life in perspective.  One moment you can be living your dream, and then everything can change in an instant.  We need to cherish every moment we have with the people we love, for it may be our last. 

The RV can be replaced, but people and dogs cannot, so thankfully we are all (relatively) fine.  Below are a few photos of the damage.  It will take at least a week to sort out the insurance, so we will have plenty of time to ponder the future of our trip.

The inside of the RV is a disaster

RV cargo holds destroyed

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