It has been a tough year in the classroom, and something happened last week that summarized my year in a single event.
It was about 7:45am, and I was in my office, getting ready to teach, and we were three days away from the concert.
As I was working on my iPad, preparing warm-ups for the day, some students ran into my office. They said, “Dr. Russell, do you have a red car?” I answered that I did. They quickly responded, “You don’t any more.”
I went to find my principal, and let her know that something likely had happened to my car, and we went out to look at my car.
A few staff members who teach on the far side of our building (like myself) park on the street outside of our school, which is legal. I usually end up parking behind our gym teacher, who has a Suburban.
Well, around 7:40 or so, a person who was an ex-felon and driving on an expired license, crashed into my car while parked, and then crashed into the suburban in front of my car. They then backed up our of my car, losing a wheel, and drove off, eventually ditching their vehicle. My car was totaled and pushed up over the curb; the Suburban was knocked forward (breaking its PARK mechanism) and ended about 100 yards down the road. As it was a beautiful spring day, a lot of kids were outside of the school and saw the accident–as did at least one bus driver. Thankfully, no kids were crossing the street when the crash occurred. The entire incident was caught on our school’s security cameras.
I handled the situation well–I kept a positive attitude, and was able to show our students how to respond to an unfair situation in life. The gym teacher and I should have been sent home to deal with things (we were not given that chance). In addition to a busy schedule with Memorial Day camping and a concert the day after Memorial Day, it was tricky to find a used car that fit what I wanted in a newer used Prius (finding a 2010-2015 with a backup camera and Bluetooth audio is a little more complicated than you would think), and sadly, my insurance company gave me a value for my car that is slightly higher than KBB values, but lower than what you could replace the same car for. The level of detail that the insurance company used to assess the car was shocking…nitpicking every possible flaw on a car that was not going to be replaced. My car wasn’t new…I bought it in 2014 with 160,000 miles, and had just over 208,000 miles on it. I was content with the car (my 8 year old kept asking when we would buy a new car, and I kept telling him that we didn’t need one) and I fully expected that car to last to 300,000 miles.
Again, it was a blessing that I wasn’t in the car (some days I sit in the car, listening to the radio and finishing my coffee before facing the day), or that it didn’t happen while my family was in the car. The cabin was safe, but there would have been some physical damage from the impact. I am also thankful that no kids were hurt in the accident, and that I could use the opportunity to teach students how to respond to yucky situations, and to teach them about how insurance works and why we need it.
Oh…and here is the replacement car I chose: a 2010 Prius Level III with Backup Camera and Bluetooth Audio. Sadly, this now puts us another 5 years in car debt.