Random Brain Dumping

Musings and observations about life

The 75-year-old sleuth

A few weeks ago, a hit-and-run driver broadsided my mother’s car, with the accident causing Mother’s vehicle to flip several times, landing on its roof. Two things saved her life. A third closed the case.

On a Friday, hours before I was to start work, I got a text message from a sister that Mother had been in a wreck and was in the hospital. Around 10:30 p.m. the night before, she was driving home after picking up a nephew from work.

She was about two miles from home when a white or silver car plowed through a traffic light and hit her ruby red Buick on the driver’s side.

About a year ago, Mother had decided to get a “new-to-her” vehicle that would have few, if any, maintenance problems. She got it for a steal since my oldest brother is a car salesman.

Not only was the car in excellent condition, it had OnStar, and the service had offered a special to new owners of preowned vehicles. She signed up.

After the vehicle stopped flipping, Mother and my nephew found themselves dangling upside down. A miracle by itself, as Mother hadn’t always buckled her seatbelt. She’s gotten better over the years.

Before the impact of the collision had a chance to wear off, Sherwin, an OnStar representative was on the line, addressing Mother by name, saying he had an indication of a collision and promising to send help.

That exchange, Mother said, was just like the commercial, and Sherwin stayed on the line until help arrived. My nephew was able to escape his seatbelt but couldn’t get Mother out because her door was smashed in.

An ambulance and police soon arrived, followed by a tow truck. My nephew was seen at the hospital down the street and was released. Mother had a brain clot and had to remain hospitalized for 24 hours.

She and my nephew are OK now, but both are in pain. The insurance company totaled her vehicle.

Pain, however, didn’t stop my 75-year-old mother from becoming a sleuth.

When Mother went to the salvage company to claim the contents of the car, she found an item that wasn’t hers: the grill of a Kia in the back seat.

Last week, two weeks after the accident and after hearing nothing from the police, Mother went back to the crash site, driving a rental car the insurance company had supplied. She drove what she considered the most logical path the hit-and-run driver may have taken.

She ended up at another salvage yard and went up to one of the workers, inquiring as if she were looking for spare parts. Conversation ultimately turned to Kias, and the man showed her to one that happened to have been white and missing its grill.

Since it was at the end of a row, Mother slyly said the vehicle must have been there awhile. In fact, the guy told her, it had come in so recently that it hadn’t been processed for parts yet.

Mother called the police investigator to report her findings.

Police arrested and charged the Kia owner with myriad offenses. She claimed to recall hitting something but didn’t know what.

Right. She hit something and quickly tried to get rid of the vehicle. She left the scene not knowing if those in the Buick were even alive.

I’ve heard all my life that seatbelts save lives. My mother has learned that, too.

She’s also looking for another vehicle equipped with OnStar.

December 5, 2011 - Posted by | Random Brain Dumping | , , , ,


  1. Oh my goodness!!! What a mother! What a daughter!

    Comment by Dana | December 5, 2011 | Reply

    • She’s an amazing woman.

      Comment by jeeznews | December 5, 2011 | Reply

  2. Gwen, this was a good “Read”, I hope your mother continues to do well…Smart Cookie

    Comment by Kenny Sirmans | December 5, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Ken. Apparently the other driver also tried to avoid going to court, but at least one charge requires a court appearance, so she will have to face my mother.

      Comment by jeeznews | December 6, 2011 | Reply

  3. Great story, well told and well written!

    Comment by Steve Piacente | December 17, 2011 | Reply

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