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Sunday, March 26, 2006
My Faith in Mankind is Renewed

Saturday afternoon , P and I were involved in a minor 'hit and run' accident. The New No Name Car was at the shop getting the DVD player installed (for P's pleasure and my sanity), so I was driving a rental car. While driving on a windy 2 lane road between my house and another base in the area, a car towing a trailer full of wooden fence sections was approaching us. As we were traveling in one of the curvy parts, one of the fence sections (about 3m x 3m or 9ft x 9ft) flew out of the trailer and hit the hood of the car I was driving. I immediately pulled to the side of the road. I looked in my rear view mirror, and I saw that another piece of fence had come off the trailer also, and was laying by the side of the road. The driver of the car only slowed down, but made no attempt to stop and check on us.

I checked out the car I was driving, and noticed that there is a SERIOUS scratch on the hood, and the passenger side rear view mirror was broke. I stayed on the side of the road for a few minutes, hoping that the driver would come back, but NOPE...he didn't. Eventually, I found a place to turn around so I could drive by the site again, but NOPE, the owner of the fence was still no where to be found. At that point, I basically gave up, and decided to continue with our day of shopping. Just as I resigned to just paying for the damages to the rental car (I had insurance on the car, and the deductible was 750 euro~about $900), I noticed a Polizei car at the site, cleaning up the million pieces of wood from the roadway. Just as I arrived the officers were preparing to leave the scene. I flagged them down, and told them what had happened.

Basically, he told me that since I didn't get the license plate number, it was considered a hit and run, and to not hold my breath concerning restitution.

Fast forward to tonight...the Polizist (policeman) called me at home to inform me that someone that witnessed the accident and called them later in the afternoon to report it, and gave them the details and the license plate number from both the trailer AND the car. I was SO happy that that he called that I screamed in his ear. The Polizist also gave me ALL the driver's information. Tomorrow, I will pass this information on to the Budget Car Rental, so my reputation with my favorite car rental business is unspoiled.

So...it looks like I won't have to pay for a paint job and a new mirror for a car that doesn't belong to me. YEAH!!!!

On a serious note...do you know that it is against the law in Germany to witness an altercation and NOT report it? It's a more strict form of the Good Samaritan Law.

Update...about 30 minutes after the Polizist called me, the driver of the offending vehicle called to give me his information. I asked him if he had noticed that he lost his fence sections. He said that when he arrived at his daughter's house, and noticed that they were gone, he thought someone had stolen them out of his trailer...while he was going 70kph?

     8:40 PM      |

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Name: Margaret
Location: Kaiserslautern, Germany by way of St. Louis, MO

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