The Pintomobile’s Wreck

Well, I have some sad news: the Pintomobile, my 1989 Ford F-150 XLT Lariat, was destroyed last week in an accident.First things first, I hear a lot of people saying that wearing a seat belt isn’t always safe. While in some cases (like a fire or submerged car, where time is the difference between life and death) wearing your seat belt may be not a good choice, in my case, the seat belt definitely saved me from taking a long vacation in the hospital, or worse – to the morgue.

Let me explain what happened. The wreck occurred on Sunday, December 11, 2016 around 8:20 in the evening.

It was a cold, dark evening. The ground and roads were wet due to the rainfall which had fallen earlier in the day. While I’ve never taken this one gravel road, I decided to take it to be adventurous, partially because a friend lives on that road.

Everything was fine until I decided to turn around at the end of the road, and go back down the road. As with most pickup trucks, the rear end (bed) is very light, as, unlike a car or SUV, there is not much weight being placed on the axle.

From my recollection, about a mile from where I turned around at, my rear end started to swerve (“fishtail” as some people call it.) I tried to correct, but I jerked the wheel too far. I’d over-corrected, and now, I was at the wheel of fate and the vehicle.

The next thing I can remember is a loud, deafening “crash!” sound as I felt my floormats and other stuff which was previously on my floor, like my cupholder, hit me. Then, about a split second later, everything went black.

Later (although I’m not sure how much later), I woke up. I can recall the first thing I saw was my cracked and bent vent window. Then, looking up, I saw that I was upside down. I could feel it too. My seat belt was suspending me upside down. The engine had stalled when it had flipped, but the lights and everything was still on, including the radio, which was blaring music. I unbuckled myself so that I could reach my phone.

Nervous (as the only previous wreck I’d ever been in was when I was three years old – and it was not nearly this bad), I called 911. I was very scared. I tried shutting the engine off, but it would not shut off. (The vehicle was in drive, and it would not let me turn the ignition off until I was in park.) Nearly hyperventilating from the stress and anxiety, I was on the phone with the 911 operator. I frantically tried opening either my driver side and passenger side door. My driver side door wasn’t opening, and my passenger side door wasn’t either. I was stuck inside of a vehicle, upside down.

I can remember the 911 operator reassuring me that everything will be alright. I was not in pain, but – there was a large puncture in my hand that was burping up blood. It was not a pretty sight. I was still about to hyperventilate, this time from the anxiety and stress. I was disoriented, as I had rolled several times, and I did not know where I was located. (Thank goodness for the GPS chip!)

Soon, the fire department arrived with their fire rescue truck, with an ambulance following right behind. One of the fire fighters asked me if I was injured, and if I could get out. I told him I was not injured, but I could not get out. He opened my passenger side door.

Now, I got to survey the damage. It wasn’t pretty… my beautiful 1989 Ford F-150, which had a nearly museum-quality interior and ran like the day it was built, was destroyed. I almost fainted. The truck had (as you can by now ascertain) landed on the top of the cab. I walked to the ambulance.

Inside the frigid ambulance, an EMT checked everything to make sure I was okay and nothing appeared. Soon, a paramedic walked in to further check me out and ask some questions. I asked for him to call my parents, but my phone – which I had previously used to dial 911 – was stuck in “emergency mode.” He called them using his phone.

Then, the Highway Patrol asked me to repeat my story. Since I was still processing the events which had occurred just about half an hour ago, I wasn’t sure what happened. I thought I had a tire blowout (as one of my tires, on the rear, was in bad shape.) However, the Highway Patrol officer quickly denounced that a tire blowout did not happen, and was quick to tell me that I was being dishonest. They left a local deputy sheriff, who had earlier (by a few months) helped me change a tire, in charge of asking questions while they sketched the scene.

After answering some questions, my parents arrived. Freaked out and not sure what to expect, they were extremely nervous. That is when I saw the Pintomobile – or what was left of it – right side up again, as the towing company flipped it. It was a mess, as the cab was smashed and bent, and the doors was bent. The back glass had popped out of the frame. Other than the back glass popping out of the frame, and some cracks in the windshield, only the driver side vent window suffered damage.

The next day, I went to the salvage yard to grab my belongings out of the Pintomobile. Dreading to survey the damage in the light of day and a clear mind, I took some pictures. (I later deleted these pictures because of the anxiety and “bad” memories they would bring back.) The interior was still in show-quality condition, the dashboard and everything remained intact. However, the top of the cab was smashed down, and bent. However, I believe it would still run if they didn’t drain the battery.

Well, in the end, I ended up selling it to the junkyard as a salvaged vehicle. Thankfully, the only injury I sustained was a cut on my left hand (which quickly healed), a minor sore in my neck, and a lot of added and inconvenient anxiety and stress.

And thus I’m back at square 1: saving up money for another car. I’m hoping to get an older model Ford Taurus.

R.I.P. Pintomobile: June 1989 (Wayne, MI) – December 11, 2016 (Boonville, MO)