Tale of two dream boats

It’s about 8:30am April 12 and I’m traveling on Highway 1 westbound about four or five vehicles behind my husband who’s driving his 69 Firebird convertible to Chilliwack to get it AirCared. He had spent the last three or four months working on the car: had some body work done and a new candy apple red paint job. It looked great.... that is until the rear driver’s side wheel came off flying 50 feet in the air.

The cable barrier on Highway 1 helped keep this vehicle from crossing into on coming traffic.

The cable barrier on Highway 1 helped keep this vehicle from crossing into on coming traffic.

It’s about 8:30am April 12 and I’m traveling on Highway 1 westbound about four or five vehicles behind my husband who’s driving his 69 Firebird convertible to Chilliwack to get it AirCared.  He had spent the last three or four months working on the car: had some body work done and a new candy apple red paint job.  It looked great…. that is until the rear driver’s side wheel came off flying 50 feet in the air.

He had just pulled over into the slow lane to let someone get by him when the wheel came off causing him to sharply veer back across the fast lane and into the highway barrier.  I didn’t see the car as it slid along the cables knocking out eight steel posts and finally coming to rest.  After what seemed like an eternity, I finally got my vehicle stopped and ran to my husband.  A Good Samaritan was already by his side asking if he was okay (thank you); to my utter relief and amazement he didn’t have a scratch on him.  Thank you also to the gentleman who was late for work because he was directing traffic.

I think there are a few reasons why he walked away from that accident unscathed, but have to say it was the highway barrier that ultimately saved his life.  It kept him on his side of the road and out of oncoming east bound traffic.  Perhaps equally important was that the drivers behind him were paying attention.  He could have been hit by a westbound vehicle as he crossed the fast lane.  Kudos to those drivers!  And thirdly, I think that old steel car he was driving helped him by not caving in on impact.

The car he bought new in 1969 and owned for 42 years has been written off.

I also want to thank the powers of the universe that the flying tire didn’t come down on someone.  All in all it was the best possible outcome that there was no loss of life or injury from this accident.

How, you may ask, can a wheel sheer off all the bolts holding it on and come off like that?  This is a very important point.  If you’ve had work done to your vehicle and they took the wheels off… check those lug nuts to make sure they are tight.  One just automatically assumes whoever does the work will have done that.  On talking with some people in the tire business about this issue, they always recommend you re-torque those lug nuts if the wheels have been off your vehicle.

So, while my husband’s dream boat is now a pile of junk, at least I still have my dream boat in my life!

 

J Stauber