15-pass. Van Owns Toyota!
by Benjamin Lee
Just a Bloody Lip
We have a White 2004 Chevrolet Express 3500 LT van. To put that in English, it is a 15-passenger van that is 7' tall, over 5 1/2' wide, 20' long, and weighs 7,000 pounds. Just to give you an idea of the size of the gentle giant.
I was driving my siblings (I'm the oldest of 5, hence the van) to Tumbling classes. It was 3:50 pm in the fall season, and since we're in Northern Utah it was cloudy and rainy. I was driving along a street at 35 mph (the limit), and I had my headlights on since people like to cut us off, acting as if they didn't see us. Now, to be fair, they probably don't, but I honestly don't know how you would miss that thing.
Anyways, I was approaching a four-way intersection. I had the right of way, so I continued at the same speed (no stop sign). As I approached the intersection, I saw a Toyota Camry come from the left side. They stopped at the stop sign, so I kept going. When I was about 50' feet from the intersection, the Toyota suddenly pulled in front of me! I applied the brakes as hard as I can (we have ABS), layed on the horn, and swerved as much as I could without getting in the path of approaching oncoming traffic. I had slowed to about 15-25 mph when the right front corner of our van connected with the right rear side of the Toyota. All we heard in the van was THUMP, with no bump felt at all. The Camry's back end was launched from the ground, and the car completed a 720 degree (2 complete revolutions) spin and landed back on the ground on the street it was heading for.
I pulled over, turned on the hazards, said to the kids,after checking for injuries,"Stay here. I'm going to check on the other car." Did so. No one was hurt, and the lady driver of the other vehicle admitted full responsibility, stating she "didn't see the van." She was extremely nice the whole time, and even paid for the repairs to the van out-of-pocket.
All the lights on our van still worked, and it was driven home with no trouble.
The Toyota's right rear body panel was crushed to the point you could see the underlying structures.
A photo of the van's damaged has been uploaded.
Praise the Lord nobody was hurt!
(P.S. Sorry it's so long! I think details are essential.)