A Close Call For a Beloved Niece


#1

I drove into Cordoba, Vera Cruz Wednesday for a three day visit to my beloved 19 year old niece. (My wife thought it was a visit to her brother, but what does she know?) She and I have had an almost father-daughter relationship since she was little more than a micro-dot. Her dad lives in the neighborhood but they have never developed an affectionate bond, though he may have driven her to school at times. Her mom lives in California, so she is with Grandma. She was ripe as a small child for a father figure to move in.

She works and lives in Cordoba, but goes to Saturday University in Vera Cruz. A week or two ago, she was sitting in a classroom which doubles as a reception room.

Suddenly, there was a tremendous Wooooomphhh! And a late model Dodge Ram was suddenly parked next to her. In the classroom.

She said it is an ordinary building, which here means cinder block construction with vertical and horizontal reinforced concrete beams for strength. The center of the front of the building involved a metal frame with plate glass (I think) door assembly

The receptionist normally sits inside the door at a desk with her back to the door (which does not compute to me, but that is what my lovely niece said). When the Ram rammed the door, the entire metal assembly ended up inside the classroom, with zillions of marble shaped pieces of glass all over the floor. The reception desk ended up shoved around 3 feet into the room, which means the receptionist would have been ‘rammed’ but she had stepped out for a bottle of water.

Niece instantly went into hysterics. She described herself as frantic and meaningless waving of her hands and screams in general.

Her boy friend heard the thump, turned around and saw the Ram in her classroom. He sprinted over and around the pickup and got her under control. She calls him her Hero. When she introduced him to me as “My Hero” I greeted him as Señor Hero which really tickled their funny bone. He does bear a slight resemblance to Clark Kent…

The pickup driver turned out to be a government employee or police official, she was not clear on that. He was driving down the street and a car passed him at a high rate of speed then had to cut into to avoid an oncoming car, which forced him onto the sidewalk, thus into the door of the building. That car did stop and I assume will be paying for serious repairs to a Ram and a building.

The class moved to another room.

No one was hurt. But, if that Ram had gone very slightly to the right it might have hit the cinder block walls and she might have been buried in a mound of cinder blocks. The reinforced beams can only do so much when the blocks are rammed. That was a very close call.


#2

Ineresting story. Very happy no one was hurt. Goes to show, cars and trucks, all are very dangerous. Nobody is completely safe, ever. I was sitting outside at a local side-walk cafe restaurant for lunch one day reading the newspaper when I heard a loud scraping noise, I look up and this car is sliding down the road upside down, sliding on its roof, all 4 wheels pointed up in the air. The driver somehow hit the curb on the medium strip of the 3 lane in each direction 35 mph road and it tipped the car completely over. The young lady driver was terrified laying on her back, on the roof, sliding down the road. Fortunately no one seemed to have been injured in that event either.


#3

My wife and I have a beloved niece as well. She is like a daughter to us and she will hit the big 4-0 next year. She needed a mother figure and father figure in her life and I’m extremely glad we could be there for her at that critical juncture in her life. Kudos to you irlandes. Your niece is very lucky in more ways than one.


#4

Thank you for the kind words, missileman. I am sure you also realize we benefit as much, maybe more, than the nieces do.

I have that sort of relationship with another niece as well. I met her in 1983 during my first visit to Mexico. She is now 44 years old.

For those who don’t know Mexico the word niece does not mean the same thing in Mexico. The 44 year old is indeed the daughter of my wife’s sister. But, the 19 year old is actually the grand-daughter of my brother-in-law.


#5

Thankfully no one was hurt.

Back in the late 60s a friend of mine (known for a lead foot) had a '56 Ford. He pulled into a convenience store one Sunday afternoon and rammed right through the plate glass on the east side of the register. The impact was strong enough that it shoved 3 rows of merchandise clean to the back against the walk-in cooler doors.

A couple of people had just stepped out of those aisles and were standing at the register; narrowly avoiding being run over or crushed by about 5 or 6 feet.
The friend claimed the brakes failed according to the newspaper story but anyone that knew him wasn’t buying that for a minute.

He worked for the drive-in theater at the time and part of his job was to go check all of the speakers on Sunday afternoons. He would get that Ford screaming out there and leapfrog from one speaker berm to the next at high speed; a la Dukes of Hazard.
The fact that Ford could take the ping-pong ball punishment amazed us all.


#6

Seems like you are saying that Ford was still drivable after wiping out the store? That is amazing


#7

Yes it was still driveable. As a matter of fact, he backed it out of the store after the police arrived and cited him for several charges. He was still claiming the brakes failed but had no answer when the cop opened the door, stepped on the pedal, and found it to be fine.

It dinged up the front fenders, hood, bumper, and grill a little but it was in good shape all things considered. He actually drove it home after the police left.

He decided to sell the Ford rather than fix any damage and then really bought him something to get in trouble with. A plain Jane, black Plymouth Belverdere sedan that was an ex-Highway Patrol car.
It had a 426 Wedge in it and someone had converted the automatic transmission to a manual.
He really had the tires smoking on that one and thankfully did not kill himself or others.