A post 14 months in the making.

In this picture is car #2 of a 5 car pileup. The guy driving it was sitting on stopped on I-66 during rush hour when a Land Rover Discovery doing “40 MPH” was distracted and pushed him into three other cars. The power retractable hardtop was knocked off in the accident.

The driver of the Miata was responsive to EMTs, but his heart stopped on the way to the hospital five miles away. They were never able to get it restarted. The cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma to the head and chest. The crash structure held up quite well, but the number of impacts worked his organs like a dead blow hammer.

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What became of the other driver? His car was repaired. He was charged, and acquitted, of reckless driving. We found his facebook page that showed the vacations and deep sea fishing trips he was going on. I’m not going to post any names publicly nor privately. So if you want a witch hunt, not going to happen. Why am I posting this now? The lawyers have finally finished, and the checks from the insurance companies cleared.

He was like a brother to me. Him and my Lady had moved to the Virginia area because he had a clearance after being medically retired from the army after 19 years of service. He had a job working on big iron computer systems. I don’t know the details. He never could say, so we never asked. It was better that we don’t know really. But it was lucrative. I moved in after being laid off, we had a poly relationship that worked well. We never hid it, even though some people never wrapped their head around it. He was the primary bread winner by far, so when he died, that left the house with a mother in law who just a year before had a triple heart bypass, a wife whom had been out of the job market for 24 years, an autistic son, and a daughter graduating high school.

I knew my income had no hope of making ends meet. I looked at the job market in Portland, we had talked about retiring in the area. The market for my skills was strong, the house prices were comparable. I could make the math work. I reached out to Steve Lehto for help in how to find an attorney, and he came back with a name. A conversation yielded that a suit would not be fruitful and the personal injury clause of the auto insurance would be all we could get, just $25k in Virginia. So we set plans, we used the life insurance policies to get out from under the bad mortgage packages and get right side up and allow a normal sale of the house, packed up, and moved cross country to restart our lives. Why did it take 14 months to settle? The silver lining in this dark cloud was that the other driver was on the clock when this happened. It fell under corporate insurance.

The process was far from pleasant, the attorney we were recommended pulled through and we are as of this morning, back on the road to a financially stable state. But emotionally, it’s still rough. We still have mornings where we cry, and our lives are far from settled. In 1993 my dad was rear ended, ended up with three disk fusion surgeries, and his life was drastically changed. I often wondered how live would be different had he been killed. Now I know. More than once my Lady said that I could walk away if it was too much for me. But there is a saying, “If you aren’t there for the lows, you don’t deserve to be there for the highs.” I couldn’t walk away. It was stressful, I was looking down the barrel of supporting a family that legally I had no ties to. But I did my best. We are in a better place, with better opportunities, and a future that looks bright.

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I know many people here have given me support through my intentionally vague posts in the past year or so, but if it wasn’t for this community I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Thank you, thank you everyone.

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