Monday, September 05, 2005

I've been initiated, Los Angeles

Well, it finally happened. I have just joined the large, elite group of people who have had accidents in the Los Angeles area. Driving from the the San Bernadino Mts to the ocean at Channel Island Harbor, I joined this club. Freeway 134, busy 5 lanes wide in each direction, Pasadena in my rear view mirror and Disney studios almost in site, unfolding before my vision was a steel lawn chair in the middle of my lane. Without time to look left or right to change lanes (65mph), I quickly chose to try and straddle it instead of swerving. A huge bang and pieces flying behind me we hit it dead on. A glance in the rear view mirror showed traffic had backed way off behind me. Smoke started trailing the car and I realized something was damaged. We took the first exit and surveyed the problem. Large quantities of red transmission fluid were pooling off to the side of the car. The car looked like it was shot and bleeding. Twenty minutes on hold and several "I'll transfer you"s later, a tow truck showed up with our replacement car. Budget car rental came through with flying colors. It took 3 hours but it was a holiday weekend and we felt lucky that no one was injured.

We looked under the car and saw a hole in the transmission pan that looked like a bullet had hit it. We were lucky there was an exit before all the fluid ran out. The smoke was from the fluid burning on the exhaust system.

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