It could happen to anybody.
It was Kevin’s first accident, a fender bender. He hadn’t been licensed long when he decided to take a short cut home, wanting to turn right rather than waiting for traffic to clear going left.
Unfortunately, Sal was there first and was turning right too. Kevin had looked in his rear view mirror but nothing was there. Had he looked at his side mirror, he would’ve known that there was a small pickup already there occupying that space.
So, the fender bender wasn’t terrible. Kevin’s 4×4 got a scratch on his right chrome bumper, but Sal’s door was crunched in. Both vehicles were driveable.
After turning and pulling off to the side, Kevin got out to observe the damage he had inflicted on Sal’s truck and said repeatedly, “She’s gonna kill me. My mom’s gonna kill me.”
“You have your insurance, young man?” Sal asked.
“Yeah yeah yeah. Let me get it. It’s in the glove compartment. I know she’s just gonna kill me.”
He handed Sal his information and got out his cell phone. Traffic whizzed by as he held the phone to his ear and plugged his other ear.
Kevin walked ten feet away and plopped himself on a stranger’s lawn and put his head on his knees with his arms folded on top.
Sal took a picture of the license and went to return it to Kevin, who was now in tears.
“Uh, Kevin, here’s your information. It’s gonna be okay, Kevin.”
“You don’t know my mom.”
“True, but let me tell you a little story. Something happened to me back when I was your age. I thought my mom was gonna lay into me because I backed into someone’s car and busted his tail light. This guy went on a rage. He was furious. Called me all kinds of names even though I apologized a million times. He took down my information, and I waited for it to hit my insurance, but you know what? Nothing happened, nothing at all.”
“Yeah, but you don’t know my mom,” Kevin said. “She’s gonna flip.”
“You’re right, I don’t know her. But Kevin, this doesn’t have to go against your record. Look, my truck’s 15 years old. I know a guy who does this type of body work and we may be able to get it fixed at cost. No one but you, me, your mom and this guy would know. If my guy gets it close to its original condition, I’ll be happy.”
“Why are you telling me this, sir?” Kevin asked.
“I know exactly what you’re going through, buddy. Tell you what. When your mom gets here I’ll speak to her too. Sound okay?”
“Yeah, that would help a lot.”
When Kevin’s mother arrived, Sal walked over to her vehicle and introduced himself. He explained the situation and what he was prepared to do.
“Are you sure you want to do this, sir?” she asked.
“Positive. Honest mistake he made. Tough lesson to learn for a kid his age. He’ll never make it again though because he was extremely worried about your reaction.”
“Yeah, distraught almost. Kinda like he is now.”
“Wow, good to know.”
She looked over at her son, and he still had his head between his legs. “Okay. Thanks,” she said. “You have our information. Give us a call and let us know the damages when you can.”
“Will do,” Sal said, and he meant it.
Wonder how long it’ll take for Kevin to thank his lucky stars and realize that his first accident was banging into the vehicle of the most understanding driver on the road that day–no matter what mom dishes out.
Poor Kevin thank goodness no one was hurt and the other man was so kind. It’s scary when you get into an accident. My mom would have been pissed for days.