Thursday, April 9, 2009

Runaway Truck

I have passed those emergency runaway truck ramps 1,000 times and have thought several times if people really need to use those.... well yesterday I got to answer my question with a huge YES!! With no preschool on Friday I decided to go to my parents for a few days and enjoy some Easter celebrating with them. We left Thatcher about 11:30. Well we got stopped for blasting outside of Globe for about 20 minutes and so our next leg of the trip was spent in a long line of cars heading into the Superior Mountains. This is when things got really scary.

I was literally coasting, following about 3 car lengths behind the car in front of me, when all of the sudden I lost my power steering and my brake pedal went out. I don't know if any of you have had either of those things happen to you, but its a very scary thing. My mind started going a mile a minute. We were heading into the cliffs of Superior which meant a downward slope and no control around teh curves. Things were flashing through my mind. Cambree was constantly asking me questions making things even more frantic. I tried down shifting, I tried turning off the car and turning it back on...nothing!! Luckily I was able to PULL and I mean literally PULL the steering wheel back and forth to maneuver the curves enough that we were ok. The brake situation, well I had my whole weight on it and it would slow me ever so slightly. I nearly hit the truck in front of me 3 times. I don't think I have ever been so scared in my life. We were some how able to get through the tunnel and I saw the emergency runaway truck ramp. I was weighing my options but in the end, that seemed to be safest thing to do. So I braced myself and headed towards it. We rolled quite a ways in there before ultimately coming to a stop. That's when I lost it and also when the kids got a little was freaking out. I called Curtis and scared him I'm sure with my crying. I couldn't spit it out fast enough to ensure him everyone was fine just had a situation. We were now stuck outside of Superior in this gravel pit. I got out and check the damage and luckily nothing seemed damaged. I got the kids out and let them stretch while I starting figuring out the next play. We were there about 10 minutes and no one stopped to see if we were ok or if we needed help. Luckily my brother-in-law Aaron was heading home and saw us last minute and pulled off. Unfortunately he got stuck too. He had his Arctic cat on his truck so we tried a couple times to pull the truck out but broke two straps.

Eventually my father-in-law also stopped as he was on his way to the valley as well. We ended up that he took my kids to Phoenix to meet my parents while I stayed with Aaron to wait for the truck to get towed out and to get the vehicles are traded out. So I didn't get to my ultimate destination till after 7:00.

I still have no clue as to what happened in that car. I have explained it to several people and they are all so confused by the steering and brakes went out. I wasn't distracted by anything, I wasn't on the phone (there is no service in the mountains to begin with), the kids were behaving, so I was focused completely on the road. (I hate driving the Superior Mountains to begin with). I am trying to recall little details to hopefully be able to shed some light as to what exactly happened but things were so frantic that truly the sequence of events is all a little jumbled. After stopping in the gravel pit, we turned to the truck off and back on and what do you know, everything works just fine. Makes me feel like the biggest idiot alive. I know there are people out there that thinks I did something to cause it but I truly know it is all a mechanical error of some sort. Curtis is taking in the truck today to get it looked at. In a way I am hoping they come back saying they found a reason, so I don't look so crazy but we'll see. I am just glad everyone is ok and it wasn't worse than it really could have been. We are very lucky that I didn't hit anyone else. I have pictures but am currently at my parents house so I can't upload them yet so I will do that soon. Just had to share that experience. Not fun!! But now I know what those ramps are for. :)