The unimaginable happened to me yesterday on I-20 here in Columbia South Carolina. I was driving on a 2 lane stretch with a concrete barrier to my left (fast lane) and a 16 wheeler on my right when in the distance ahead of me, about 3/4 of a mile, a ladder fell off one of those repair trucks and hit the road. Traffic was pretty heavy, in both lanes, and the ladder started to disintegrate immediately! Cars and trucks started swerving and running over pieces of the ladder and it was a very frightening situation given the speed and the the fact that there was the barrier and an uneven median on the right side of the road. I saw the pieces coming towards me and tried to avoid them but the SUV in front of me hit a big chunk and it bounced up and while I tried to avoid it, I did not want to hit either the wall to my left or the truck to my right, so a piece of the ladder hit my front bumper on my SRT-8 in the center and then bounced and hit the right side of the car, along the panel over the tire, the door and the panel over the rear tire. There was no where to stop and apparently the ladder was causing much havoc all over the place.
Eventually I stopped and got out and looked at the damage. There is a big ding on the front bumper (a gash) and there are some scratches on the panels mentioned above. There is a chip in the sports stripe down the middle. The car is the black/grey sparkle color 2009 edition. There are no visible dents that I can see. The tires and rims on the right side appear to be ok. The special lower bumper appears ok standing up but I haven't looked underneath it to see.
I called my insurance company on the U-Connect phone from the car. The car runs fine. Since I have $ 1,000,000 in comprehensive they told me they would cover it all for $ 100 deductible and I could take the car to any body shop I wanted and would fully pay for the repairs and a rental car.
I am going to take it in for its first oil change tomorrow to the dealership and their body shop (Dodge) is going to look at it and tell my what they think should be done. My insurance company has its own approved body shops that has their own appraisers built in but if I want to use the Dealership instead, they will send a appraiser to my home or office at my convenience who will write up the damage appraisal and send me the cash estimation directly to my checking account. If the dealership finds any underbody damage, they can fax the overage to the insurance company and they will adjust the difference and send me the additional funds to my checking account.
So I'll find out more tomorrow when I take the car in.
I wish someone got the tag number off that darn truck but it was too far ahead and I'm just lucky that the ladder didn't come through the windshield and I wasn't killed.
Man, I'm glad your're OK. That can be a very scary situation. My wife and I had a similiar situation happen to us when a 4x12 sheet of 5/8 plywood flew from a truck and hit her SUV head on. I still to this day don't know who screamed the loudess, me, my wife or our daughter but we all screamed. No one was hurt and car had $4K in damages.
Man things like that are like being at a movie. You see it but can't believe it is happening. And you didn't have any way of missing it with traffic right next to you . We had a really bad ice storm here in Ky. this winter. I mean ice so thick it broke tree's everywhere. I got out on one of the first warmer day's. Not thinking of all the inch's of ice on power line's . Was in town when it started to thaw . And was falling everywhere. A bunch hit the front of my R/T and busted the grille out . Still can't believe it didn't damage the hood.
Glad you weren't hurt, badbrad. Something to keep in mind, though: Don't assume that just because it's a Dodge dealership, the body shop there will be all that good. Often, private body shops do far superior work to that done at dealerships, as at dealerships, body work isn't their primary business. Since your insurance company will pay wherever you take it, you might want to shop around before you get it fixed.
2009 Stone White Dodge Challenger SE. Ordered 6-16-08. Delivered 9-22-08.
Do some networking to find the best body person in your area. What is good work to one person could be horrible to me. I am as picky as they come. I ask for all body parts that need painting to be painted off the car so the overspray is eliminated. The color must be perfect to do this as most body shops want to blend paint down the entire side of the car. That is their easy way of hiding a bad color match. I was blessed with a great body man at my disposal for about 20 years. He died of cancer last year, so I would be in the same boat as you if I needed a body person. Knowing what you want before the work starts can be the difference in a huge loss in value of your car and a great job that can not be noticed by an educated car man. With the event of Carfax and other data services which the insurance companies report to, you can't completely hide a repair. But I have had the exact same type of damage to more than one car in the last 20 years because our highways are becoming full of dangerous items to look out for. I have been able to have cars repaired in the past with incredible precision. At the same time the same body shop could produce a horrible piece of work because it's not the shop you choose but the actual body repair person. Find the best body person and not necessarily the best repair shop. It's worth the extra work with a car like yours. If you need to talk to someone about this PM me and I will call you.
Glad you are ok, as that is the most important thing....a car can be replaced (or repaired).
Having said that, sorry about your Challenger...I know how you feel...it's never the same after your car is damaged/repaired, you just can't forget what happened...
It's amazing to me the number of ladders you see on the side of the road...they aren't cheap, but workers still seem unable to tie them down correctly....guess they really didn't need the ladder all that badly at the work site.......
Be careful out there....
2008 Challenger SRT8, Black #6050/6400
1970 Daytona Charger SE Clone (440/Auto)
1967 Charger (360 6-pak/Auto)