The Tow Yard


The damage to the drivers side door on Weston’s car is hard to believe. (If you are coming to the CITR party this Saturday, this accident occurred on Speed Road, which many of you will travel. BE CAREFUL.) Speed Road is a one-lane, narrow, curvy, typical West Virginia back road. This was not a high-speed accident, but it was an accident in which the driver was going faster than his experience allowed.

Slow down, be careful–these are things we say over and over to teenagers, and they don’t get it until something bad happens. They don’t know what they don’t know, which is that in the blink of an eye, a seemingly innocent difficulty can become more than their driving experience can overcome.

If you have teenage drivers in your house, show them these pictures.

We stopped at the scene of the crash last night for Weston to describe to me what happened. The trouble started as he came out of a curve into a straight stretch. He skidded on some gravel and began a fishtail that lasted 30-40 feet until he slammed into a tree. He was going at a speed normal for most drivers on this road, but too fast for an inexperienced driver. He didn’t know how to regain control of the car.

Initial inspection of the Explorer at the tow yard.

Note that the two people in the car at the time of the accident are walking around. We like that.

Weston, retrieving a few things from the vehicle.

Blood and glass inside the car.

This was a really good car. I spent three days driving Weston and Morgan home from their summer in Texas in it after my mom’s funeral so Weston would have a car here. I also used this Explorer to drive to Ross’s boot camp graduation because it was in better shape than my current Explorer. The Explorer that Weston was driving was purchased in North Carolina in 2004 by my ex-husband. We bought two Explorers at the time. Ross totalled mine in 2007. Now, three years later, Weston has totalled the other. (I’m kinda partial to Explorers. I had another Explorer way back when, before the one Ross totalled, too. I bought my current Explorer in 2008, after I managed to total another car all by myself. See how here and here.)

It’s a miracle with the impact on the drivers side that Weston didn’t break an arm and a leg.

My cousin, steering from the passenger side as it goes up on the trailer.

Note the pristine condition of the passenger side. That’s where Morgan was sitting.

Weston must be trying to be really nice to me because he let me take his picture. Note the stitches to the right of his eye. The worst cut was very close to his eye. An inch over, and he might have lost his eye.

And then his car came home to die.

It’s a 99 Explorer. I have a 99 Explorer. I will harvest some pieces of it. It has good tires, for one thing. And many other good parts. It’s the frugal thing to do. I’m not interested in starting a junk yard, so I’m planning to get it hauled off by spring, sell it as is to a junker with whatever I haven’t taken off of it. Meanwhile, it’s living in Beulah Petunia’s former pasture. Anyone need a 99 Ford Explorer for parts? I can hook you up.


  1. Nancy in Iowa says:

    These pictures really bring home how lucky your children were. I’ve had many accidents over the decades, not all of them my fault. The one I remember the most was when I was 18 and driving my Dad’s car. Also totaled, and I had 8 stitches put in my head. A lot of things contributed to that accident, including an inexperienced driver, but some of it was the highway condition; traffic light down, construction pole in an odd place, and a drunk driver. You just never know!!!

  2. bonita says:

    “. . .. an accident in which the driver was going faster than his experience allowed.” So true. I’ve always lived in ever-so-flat Illinois. When as an experienced driver, I drove to visit my uncle in Arkansas, I encountered a road sign: “Road steep and curvy next 90 miles.” I nearly turned around and drove home. It was is was THE most terrifying drive ever, made worse by the impatient drivers behind me (and I had to return along the same road.) My uncle added a bit of advice that seemed to be the wisdom of the region: “Don’t get in front of a lumber truck coming downhill and don’t get behind a lumber truck going uphill.” Something a prairie dweller would never know.

  3. Sheila Z says:

    Sucks for Weston, no car. Sucks for you, just when you were freed up from driving so much. Hope there is another vehicle in the near future for Weston. After this I bet he will be the safest driver out there. I’m guessing he has a few sore muscles today. Glad they both walked away and only the Explorer died. Rest in peace Explorer.

  4. trudy says:

    The universe is telling you to get a fuel-efficient car πŸ™‚

  5. marilu/TX says:

    My grandson is learning to drive, and this sends shivers up my spine. You were blessed that the lessons learned didn’t cause more serious injuries.I “feel your pain.” Hugs to you and your kids. :hug:

  6. Tracey In Paradise,Pa. says:

    :snoopy: SO very happy your babies are all safe and well. Kids and driving scare me.Pray all day for my son traveling to school and work.
    Hugs Granny Trace

  7. greensborodailyphoto says:

    The blessing is that you ALL are OK in spite of the accidents over the years. I hope you have lots of things to sell on Saturday for your “insurance” fund! I feel sorry for Morgan! EVERYONE will be telling her how (not) to drive!

  8. CindyP says:

    It doesn’t even look like a scratch on Morgan’s side! And Weston’s side….so glad he just got just those few stitches, unbelievable really. :hug:

    Harvest the parts, sell for scrap, and buy a beater car!

  9. SandyCWV says:

    LOL, as well with you and Trudy. Explorers are made for your (and my) kind of country. Fuel efficient cars are made for another world entirely. I noticed the center console has the same Elbow Dimple tear as on my 2001 Sport Trac. That is the only transferable part I might have been interested in. 8) Glad everyone is okay. Learning experiences can be so expensive sometimes.

  10. DragonLady says:

    Ford Motor Company has to love your family! Maybe someone should send them a link to this story. I’m glad that everyone is okay. R.I.P. to the Explorer! πŸ™‚

  11. beth Brown says:

    I am so thankful that Weston and Morgan are fine. That is so scary – the thought of my kids driving keeps me up at night.

    Beth aka oneoldgoat

  12. Maggie says:

    It’s just the universe’s way of saying leave the speedy curves to us sports car nuts. πŸ™‚ (So apologies on behalf of the “impatient drivers” club. We’re just out trying to enjoy what we’ve got. It’s nothing personal…)

  13. Jill B says:

    we bought our youngest son a 1979 Ford Truck. So glad I did he rolled it within 6 months. Didn’t even get a scratch on him but totalled the car. Bought him another truck again. The oldest had a old bronco. Trucks are a good thing.

  14. Deb says:

    I’m a strong believer in good, solid, american made vehicles. I had already decided to show my 17 year old daughter these pictures; she thinks I’m crazy when I warn her to slow down and be careful on the 4 miles of gravel road to our house. My only accident was on a gravel road…..loose gravel, fishtailing, and I rolled the car. Fortunately, I walked away.

  15. Jenny says:

    Yikes! Glad both kids walked away from that without major injuries. We live right around the corner from Speed Road, and it’s definitely a twisty windy little road. My daughter’s best friend is able to get her permit this year, and it’s scaring me silly. I was thinking I had a while longer before dealing with her and cars and forgot about her friends who might be able to drive before her! I’m not really sure how my parents managed to survive it.

  16. Su says:

    I’m so glad that Weston walked away with a few stitches. Don’t tell him, but he’s too handsome to get his face messed up! πŸ™‚

    I’m an explorer person too, they rock!!

  17. Barbee' says:

    All my life I have heard the expression: Wrapped his/her car/truck around a pole (or tree). Now looking at your photos I “see” how that can be and how it looks after one has been wrapped around a tree. Looks Bad! Of our 5 driving grandchildren, 4 were given old trucks to drive. They hated! that. (Old trucks are not cool.) Guess which one has totaled more than one vehicle… Yep, that’s right… the one Not driving a truck was the one who should have been. So far, no terribly serious injuries, just one that took a little surgery and a lllllong time to heal if it ever does. Suzanne, I am so sorry this happened, but praises to the angels looking over them! (I wish I knew how to type italics in these comments. My trick doesn’t work here.)

  18. Diane says:

    Thank you God for sparing your children and their mother from what could have been horrible!!! Unfortunately I won’t get to see the “after” Explorer in BP’s yard this weekend. After last years CITR party we are still recovering from the drive. Can anyone say car sick? My head is still spinning and I was driving!!!!! Not to mention we brought with us to the party “swine flu” and returned home with two sick kids. Better to stay on our side of the river ford and not bring any illness with us this year!! So thankful your children are safe. :heart:

  19. lizzie says:

    So SCARY!!!!! When my son moved out of the house, we helped him finance a car, a 2008 ford focus, it was a nice car, looked brand new, and about six months later he wrecked it, insurance money for the wrecked car paid for him to get a new car, he was so afraid to tell me about the wreck, all I cared about was ( are you OK!) it’s just a car, I was so thankful that he was not hurt. Maybe we should make them drive ARMY TANKS!!!! So glad the kids are OK

  20. Luann says:

    Cars are just things and are replaceble! My daughter not so lucky…2003 a drunk driver hit her and left her severely brain damaged, she breaths (nothing else). BUT I am grateful she is alive and living home with us, her parents, the rest of our lives. You just never know when an accident is going to happen, yes tell Weston and Morgan to be careful and slow down but always, always give a hug and say I love you before they walk out the door. I am so grateful they were not seriously injured. A Mom who also has aged 10 years in an instant… :0)

  21. TX Aggiemom says:

    So thankful your babies (don’t tell them I called them babies) are safe. One of mine, away at college, is “celebrating” her birthday tonight and I will be so glad when tomorrow comes and she is safe. How do we ever survive their new driver years????

    Wish I could come to CITR Party, but will be there in spirit.


  22. carole reichstein says:

    That is so scary! I’m so glad your teenagers are alive and well.

  23. Drucillajoy says:

    Sorry it happened, but glad it wasn’t any worse than that.
    As for the car…what you don’t need, parts it out on’ll make some money to buy the next car!

  24. April says:

    Weston and Morgan were VERY lucky – and likely had a couple angels watching over them! πŸ™‚
    My sister had her own Ford Explorer – for safety reasons, she liked to say – but she wasn’t nearly so lucky when her accident happened in a snowstorm in 2003.
    SUVs seem to be *the* vehicle that teens and single women like to drive to feel safer – at least here in the wilds of Minnesota. πŸ™‚

  25. Jennifer Robin says:

    I have to laugh at all the comments about trucks and SUV’s and why we drive (or don’t drive) them. Efficiency is a subjective term when it applies to rural living. While I have driven my share of fuel efficient cars over the decades, nothing beats the efficiency of a heavy, well built (and preferably 4 wheel drive) vehicle when you must navigate long and curving gravel roads with steep inclines and declines, just to get back and forth from home. Add some mud and/or snow to that gravel, and a sturdy truck or SUV is the ONLY sensible choice!

  26. Wendy Curling says:

    My youngest son just got his license. All my kids have been good drivers but I never prayed as much in my life until they started to drive. I am so glad your children are fine. Those cars are always replaceable, sooner or later, but our babies are not!

  27. Yvonne says:

    So glad they are both OK. (Weston is still very, very handsome even with the cuts and stitches!) The pressure is on for Morgan when she starts driving. (I know….DON’T LET HER!)

  28. Curiosity says:

    I’m glad they are ok πŸ™‚
    But I have to add:
    I’ve been driving since I can remember; sitting on dads lap not even able to reach the petals, and at 22 have never, knock on wood, had an accident. Same with my sister.

    Two years in not long enough to learn how to drive safely, make a game of it having your child sit in the passenger seat and tell them all you know of the road or quiz them what to do in what situations. They will love it and you’ll love it down the road.

  29. Liz in Wis says:

    I like Lizzie’s idea, Army Tanks for our kids πŸ™‚

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