We have a c-clamp holding the radiator off the fan so the fan can spin, and so the car can, you know, run.

Well, I did it. I actually did it. I managed to kill my so-called invincible Chevrolet TrailBlazer. OK, that is not entirely true, but I did manage to smash my car into the back of another. But that is just where the wild story begins.

I’ve been holding off on telling this story, which started October 19th, for a couple of reasons. First, I was not too sure how the situation would turn out, and I was not too sure on how people would react to what happened. Thankfully, I now know the financial outcome of the ordeal and I realized that it does not really matter how people perceive me.

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What Happened?

Pretty simple, really. Marissa, a friend of mine that I am quite jealous of as she owns a brand new Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler, and I were going over to downtown Apex, NC to grab a bite to eat at a local Mexican restaurant that we are quite fond of. As we are approaching downtown Apex, the driver of a light blue Toyota Camry slams on their brakes, and I don’t have a lot of time to react and I slam into the back of it. One second my car was practically* showroom fresh, and the next it was two feet deep in the back of a Camry. Great.

We pull in the gas station parking lot located right next to the location of the accident and we both exit our vehicles. I, a 16 year old driver who has never been in any sort of collision in my entire life, was now responsible for one. Needless to say, I was scared. Scared to what my mother would say or do, scared that the insurance company was going to jack up our already astronomical rates, and scared how much the State of North Carolina was going to fine me for damaging two cars. I was most scared when I saw who exited the Camry: the librarian at my school.

After it was made sure that Marissa, the librarian, the librarian’s daughter, and I were all completely safe and sound from the incident and we exchanged information and called 911. She admitted to me that she was looking down, and when she looked up she was coming super close to the vehicle in front of her and had no choice to brake suddenly and very hard. She apologized for doing that and felt responsible (you will see where this plays in later) for everything that happened. I, the person that technically caused everything, felt responsible because I, you know, caused everything.

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A few minutes later, a kind officer representing the Apex Police Department rolled up, assessed the damage, asked us a few questions, and proceeded to slap me with a $238 ticket. Not such a kind officer, after all. He decided that I was riding too close to the Camry and that the accident was, “easily avoidable,” even after the librarian and I decided that it was completely unavoidable and we were surprised that she did not run into the car in front of her and that nobody ran into me. Either way, I had a ticket that I had to pay. Handshakes and final apologizes are exchanged, and we all go on our way.

A few days later, we get a call from the librarian’s insurance provider, State Farm, informing us with some great news. She has taken full responsibility of the accident, regardless of what the cop ruled, and is willing to pay for any damages caused to me or my vehicle, no questions asked. This means that my insurance rates will not go up and I will only have to pay $188 in court fees, because the ticket will hopefully be waived as per State Farm’s recommendation.

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Last Tuesday, we took the TrailBlazer to a local body shop to receive a repair estimate. Remember, my car is worth about $2,750 considering age, mileage, and condition. The estimate? $5,300.35. Oh yes, that extra 35 cents totally matters. All joking about the price aside, it’s totaled. My car is done for.

The State Farm adjuster came out the next day, and he has deemed it totaled as well. We have not received a financial offer from the insurance company yet, but we are hoping for enough to at least aid the purchase of a replacement of my pride and joy, the absolute love of my automotive life, my 2003 Chevrolet TrailBlazer.

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So, what’s next? You will see very shortly, as great things are just around the corner.

*Yeah, no. It is not in the best shape. The A/C doesn’t work, the radio doesn’t really work, the sunroof doesn’t really work either, it shifts hard into 2nd, it idles rough when cold, causing the car to vibrate. Speaking of heavy vibration, it uncontrollably shakes at 75 MPH. So good riddance.