Monday, July 10, 2017

The Big Wreck


I've heard several times that my great grandfather was moving down to Florida upon his retirement and while hauling a trailer full of possessions had a huge wreck that destroyed the car, the trailer and many of their possessions. According to my grandparents, the axle on the car broke which caused the wreck. Up until I found this series of photos in my grandparents possession, I had imagined a trailer more like a U-Haul but now I see it was actually a camping trailer.

Other than the fact that it happened in Florida somewhere, I don't know any of the details of the wreck other than my grandparents said a good many things were stolen by those who stopped by after the wreck and before my great grandparents could gather it all up. In the above picture, my great grandmother is the lady on the right of the two ladies talking on the far left of the picture. She appears in good shape physically and since my great grandfather was out taking pictures, he must have survived such a violent wreck largely unhurt as well.

My grandfather has always said that after the Studebaker wreck I blogged about recently, they took seat belts seriously and ordered kits to bolt them to the frames of all their vehicles, even when they didn't come with them standard. I wonder if this is an early case of seat belts saving lives.

I've mentioned this before but my great grandparents had to hire most of the furniture shipped via truck to Florida because they couldn't fit it in the trailer that they were pulling. I've been told much of the furniture was really expensive antiques passed down through the previous two generations of my family. However, the truck was somehow "lost" and never arrived. It has never been "found" either. So my great grandparents started their retirement in Florida with only the contents of the trailer that had been rolled scattering stuff all over the side of the interstate.





10 comments:

Susan said...

Wow! They were lucky they weren't hurt badly! I am always disheartened by people who steal from others who have had a misfortune. However, I do believe in Karma, so I hope that everyone whole stole your parents possessions paid for it in the end.

Kelly said...

Oh, my... this is another example of the photos telling quite a story! Like Susan noted above, I have to question what kind of person would steal from others in a situation like this.

I can't remember the first car we had that came with seat belts, but I do know I didn't regularly wear them until I was pregnant for the first time. It's habit now.

Ed said...

Susan - I believe in Karma as well!

Kelly - I've heard the story many times but somehow seeing the pictures really conveys how bad the wreck was.

Bob said...

Oh my those pictures really do tell a story! I've always worn a seat belt ever since I started driving. My wife is a little older than me and when she learned to drive it was not drilled into her as it was with me. I'm very thankful we have cars that remind her - she responds much better to them than me!

Ed said...

Bob - My parents always drilled it into me so I've always worn a seatbelt. In my car, we don't proceed until everyone is buckled up!

Vince said...

If you were an insurer you'd have to wonder about this guy. But I'd say it was the van that flopped the car. They didn't know why back then that at speed if the van towing bar was short then there was a killer wobble at certain speeds I think it was at about 50mph. Also there was the profile of both car and van meeting the oncoming air causing turbulence. This they found out from Mac 18wheelers. Nowadays you see a sort of extension of the cab, and all the edges of the trailer are rounded.
Bummer about the inheritance :-).

Ed said...

Vince - Well according to the story, the rear axle on the car broke which probably induced the camper wobble that did them in. Either way, I'm sure it was pretty scary being in the car the entire time.

Leigh said...

Good grief, that was a serious wreck. It's a miracle no one was seriously hurt. But how pathetic is it that most of their stuff was stolen, both by passers-by and by the moving company. Not sure if the moving company carried insurance, but they should have for that very reason. It's amazing you got the photos to see the details of the story!

Pumpkin Delight (Kimberly) said...

Oh my gosh! That looks terrible. I hate to hear about others taking things from the accident victims. I'm so glad they were ok. That's quite a story.
When seatbelts became required in California, my grandmother was so worried about it she said that she'd "have to practice using them before the law (went) into effect." It was always in place when I started driving, but it was hard for those who hadn't made it their routine.

Ed said...

Leigh - I wonder how much stuff actually got stolen. I know those kinds of things tend to get exaggerated a bit. But I don't doubt that perhaps a few things were taken.

Pumpkin Delight - I know my grandfather never wore a seat belt and I remember my parents telling him to put one on once and he uttered some new words to us kids listening in the back seat!