Friday, November 16, 2007

You're Not Going to Believe This ...

We woke up at 4:30 this morning to a couple of loud crashes, and the house shook like it had been hit by something. Unfortunately, it was too early for Santa to arrive, and the New Madrid fault isn't due to go for another 43 years yet.

As it turns out, we were visited by a drunk driver, who had veered off Edwards (our side street), somehow missed Lauren's car parked in front of our garage, drove through our back yard taking out the trellis and bench in the moon garden, and then drove through a section of the neighbor's adjoining privacy fence. Once in the neighbor's back yard, she turned right yet again and then hit the back corner of the neighbor's house, causing a foundation crack, and then knocked their central air conditioning unit off its concrete pad.

Unfortunately, she wasn't done ... in trying to escape, she broke through the neighbor's front fence, turned right again, and then plowed into a corner of our house. After checking to see what was damaged inside (not much, apart from one oil lamp broken, one picture frame with calligraphic character broken, one wooden lacquered wall panel art sitting on the floor, and a 1-foot crack in the sheet rock directly opposite the corner where she hit), things were mainly fine.

Meanwhile, Lauren went outside and retrieved the driver, who was by now hysterical and distraught but uninjured ... five minutes later, the police showed up.

"Hey, what's this car doing here?"

"See the fence in the pictures? Neither do we."

The driver, who shall remain nameless (at least, until the police blotter comes out in tomorrow's paper), was given her sobriety tests and, as far as we know, was taken away for a BAC check. We don't know what else has happened to her, but we suspect she is probably in a world of trouble, both legally and financially, both with law enforcement and her insurer.

We have a visit from a contractor tomorrow morning to do the claims estimate, since we now have a 1-foot by 1-inch width interior crack right near where her car hit, plus some clapboard damage on the outside. We don't know yet about damage underneath the clapboard yet ... the contractor will do the initial adjusting and let us know what the damage will be. For us, it will be about $500 out of pocket deductible (which we'll recover, eventually, when State Farm subrogates the claim with the driver's insurer. We hope that State Farm has its usual good record with turning around claims quickly.)

We're thinking, given what happened today and what happened to us last year around this time that next year, we need to go somewhere else on vacation. Someplace private ... and far, far away from bad drivers.