Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Scary Ride

*Drama alert* :) However - true story, I promise.

Ever been driving a vehicle and suddenly have no control over it? No control over how fast it was going, and no brakes? Sound nerve-wracking?

Well, that is what happened to me last night on my way to work. I never did make it there. I didn't even make it to the end of my street. Well, I nearly did. I nearly made it to the pit at the end of our street.

Here's what happened.

I started the van, and it was running smoothly. Since it wasn't super cold like last week, and I was running a little late, I didn't let it sit and warm up at all, just backed out of the driveway. When I shifted into drive and tried to go forward, the gas pedal didn't work. At all. It wouldn't move. So I tapped it again. Nothing. I tapped it again.

Again, nothing happened.

I am just sitting in the middle of our street, no power. I tap the gas harder.


The power suddenly kicks in. Really kicks in. Surges. The engine is racing as loud as a monster truck (keep in mind I drive a '99 honda odyssey - not exactly race car material here!)

And off I go. Like a shot. And I cannot stop. I pump the brakes.

No difference.

Our street is still covered in about 3 inches of half-frozen, kinda slushy, slippery snow. I am swerving slightly (I'm thankful that I could still steer somewhat!) There is a car coming up behind me, and I am in such a panic that I can only think, over and over, "Jesus PLEASE STOP MY CAR! STOP MY CAR! STOP MY CAR!!!!!!" I am going downhill, and I can't stop. I forget about pumping the brakes because it's slippery. Now I'm thinking about that pit at the end of my street. I don't want to see it up close and personal. So I press both feet down on the brake. Still going. Still not stopping. Still sliding. I momentarily consider applying the emergency brake (this was an "emergency", no?) I turn on my hazard flashers to warn the car coming up behind me that I am "having trouble".

I am almost to the end of the street, and I feel like I am slowing, but I cannot stop. The brakes are not able to stop me. The engine is racing very fast. I finally get the car over to the side of the street and notice that the car behind me is much closer. I decide to drive the passenger-side front corner into the snowbank to try to stop me. I stop, but the tires are spinning. The dumb van still wants to GO. I put it in park, and the engine races even higher and I seriously think it is going to blow up. I quickly shut off the ignition.

My heart is racing nearly as fast as the engine, and I am shaking so hard I almost mis-dialed Seth's cell number. I told him something was seriously wrong with the van and I was at the end of the street, and I was walking back up the hill. I called my work and told my supervisor that I was at the very least going to be late... if I could make it in at all. (Another lady ended up working for me, thankfully!)

Seth went down to get the van 10 minutes later and drove it home just fine.

What the heck?

He told me I needed to warm it up.


Okay, I can do that, but don't you think something is seriously wrong with this van? I have NEVER had that happen, or even heard of that happening to anyone before.

We are looking into trading it in.

It can't happen soon enough, I say.

I am now going to go warm up the van and try again, work is at 10PM.

Yes, I'm terrified.

Prayers appreciated! :)


Ter said...

yikes! scary! glad you're okay!

Wendy said...

I'm glad you're OK Susan...Seth is wrong...There is something seriously wrong with your van! Get it checked out!

jpandtheboys said...

That is not right, seriously! I am so glad that you are ok. I can't imagine how scary that would be. Take care and be cautious.

Allison said...

you are a hilarious writer! I'm sitting her laughing out loud (only because I know you're safe after having seen you this morning) because of the way you've described the event. sounds like a possessed vehicle to me, but glad at least it submits to someone who lives with you! (haha!) did you drive said van to mops today? maybe it won't recognize you with your straight hair and then act normal-! and I'm with you, I don't know that "warming up" issues really match the intensity of the occurrence--but possession? definitely. :)

(thanks for the lasagna and the gift! you are too sweet, Caitlin said, "oooooooooh!" when I showed her the animals on the blanket!)