Sad ending to a great day, part two (aka Sad Ending)

So Colin left our house after an extremely productive day of working on Gus. After the kids were in bed, I went on the computer. For some reason I went on the Itinerant-Air-Cooled website (which Colin is a major part of) and noticed I had a personal message. I opened it, and was shocked to read that Colin had been involved in a head-on collision soon after he left our house. I was able to get in touch with him, and ended up going to the hospital to pick him up. He was pretty shaken up, but was pretty lucky all things considered. The bus was not, however.

This is Colin’s account of it:

Head-on collision was a glancing blow that managed to punch the front end in two feet or so. I saw headlamps just coming right at me at the crest of the hill in my lane.
The other driver was a 19 year-old girl who just panicked. She steered into my desperate swerve to the right shoulder then at the last instant tried to get back to her side of the road. I hit her at about 45 mph, the officer said she was likely doing 60-65 considering how far she travelled after impact. I travelled into the ditch then up an embankment against a fence. I remember exactly what I was thinking on my way to the fence.
“This is wrong.”

I will upload the pictures I took immediately after the crash. The Road Warrior looks fatally wounded. I am surprised and grateful to find that I am still walking, with just a damn sore neck and some surface lacerations on my left leg and a swollen right ankle. The officer said that she did not fare so well and her car got torn up pretty good.
Quadratruckseite was kind enough to pick me up from the hospital, and I am posting from his computer before I attempt some sleep.

Not two minutes before impact, I was thinking “what a nice car.” Quadratruckseite had just driven it and I was happy with its manners, its cozy quiet interior in the rain, and the sound of the engine as I had just caught 4th gear on this hill in the evening light on my way to Detroit MI.

I am very sad. This was a great great road car with a huge heart. I do not know what I am going to do just yet, but sleep. I am thousands of miles from anywhere.

Once again, I am left with no patience for idiots. Who passes just before the crest of a hill on a two lane road?

The next day we went to survey the damage. It wasn’t pretty.

Basically Colin was now stranded thousands of miles from his home base of New York, without a vehicle – the vehicle he used for his business, and a lot of times as his home on the road. Through the help of some great guys here locally in Colorado, they stored the bus for Colin until he decided what to do with it. Colin ended up staying with us for a few days until he could sort things out. He ended up getting a great settlement from the insurance company for the bus, which never could replace what he had lost of course. He got a rental van and headed back east.

Eventually Colin came to the conclusion that the best decision for the bus was that it be parted out. So it was stripped of useful parts to help keep other buses on the road. The bus actually even spent last summer (which was a year later) in our garage keeping Gus company before ending up at the crusher.

I got a few parts off of it for Gus, so the spirit of the Road Warrior can live on. Colin is still traveling the country helping people work on their Volkswagens, in his beautiful, low mileage green 1978 Volkswagen Bus (aka the BobD bus), which he had purchased before the accident.

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