: Father in hit and run

05-17-2008, 11:08 PM
About 3:30 in the morning my father was involved in a hit-and-run accident. He was on the way home from work (works the late-shift) on I-55 southbound, just before Weber Road. He had the cruise set at 55mph in the center lane of the 3 lane interstate. right lane is exit-only to Weber road, and drops down to 2 lanes after that. Out of no-where he was rammed by a blue SUV that spun him sideways, and then head-on into the barrier wall. Somehow the SUV kept going. When my dad came-to, there was a Comcast guy and a nurse trying to help get him unstuck from the car, as it was pouring gas out all over the road.

He walked away - to the ambulance - without any major injuries. He has a chunk taken out of his scalp, from hitting the rearview mirror. His knees/shins/feet are sore/bruised. The paramedics had no idea how he wasn't hurt worse. He was driving a 1991/92 Oldsmobile Cutlas, pre-airbags. State Police sent cars up and down the next two exits in all directions trying to find a blue SUV with front end damage. No luck.

My mom called the towing company/wreck yard and they said they can't get to the car until Monday to receive his stuff. He has all his tools in the trunk. But, the tow-driver said he seriously doubts the turnk will be opening to get anything out of it. He works as a maintenance person on the conveyor systems at a quary. So, he unloads his stuff from his car into one of those super-offroad Gator things, and trucks around in the mud.

My dad was pretty shaken up, but otherwise ok. He's more pissed that the dude ran (understandably) and that he had brand new tires put on the car 2 weeks ago.

So, moving from the past to the future - he needs a new car. He was debating getting a new one for a while, but was riding the Olds into the ground. Since he hasn't had much time to reasearch yet, obviously, his first 2 candidates are the Ford Focus and Dodge Caliber. He's also mentioned the Tucson. Being a union guy though, I'm not sure he'll go outside of the UAW cars. Not that he cares that much, but it's easier than fighing with the union-super-lovers he works with. Something like the utility/wagon type thing. Cheap will probably be the operative word here. Having room in the back for his tools, and the ability to take his dog (a huge Newfoundland) for a ride easily is also a requirement. As always, the better the mpg, the better.


05-17-2008, 11:16 PM
Sounds like a he needs a minivan to me.

The whole thing sucks though.

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05-17-2008, 11:35 PM
Yeah that suck big time. I think he should get a Pontiac Vibe or something similar .

05-18-2008, 12:11 AM
A ford focus hatchback might fit the bill, but their auto trans are crap.

05-18-2008, 12:24 AM
No Focus hatch anymore (assuming he is shopping new)

05-18-2008, 12:37 AM
i have a focus hatch, 07, great on gas but tranny isn't the best and I have a manual.

05-18-2008, 12:47 AM
nissan rogue?

05-18-2008, 02:30 AM
glad to hear he isn't hurt too bad but the driver of that SUV is a piece of ****

05-18-2008, 08:42 AM
Sorry to head about dad. The Ford Focus automatic transmissions are horrid though.

05-19-2008, 07:33 AM
Glad he's OK -- was he wearing his seat belt?

What about a Chevy HHR (lots of room behind the back seat, but mediocre handling / some weird ergonomics in the base model)? It may be worth a look for his criteria. Otherwise a Saturn Vue (small SUV) might also fit the bill. I don't know how good the engines / transmissions / reliability of either of those are, though.

05-19-2008, 08:36 AM
I made a quick list up of everything that's a hatch/wagon/suv and is under $20K starting MSRP. Here's what it looks like:

Small Hatch/Wagon
Ford Focus* $14395 -no hatch for 08
Suzuki SX4 $15270
Toyota Matrix / Pontiac vibe $16190/$15310
Mazda Mazda3 $13895
Honda Fit $13950
Kia Spectra5 $15995
Nissan Versa $12880
Chevrolet HSR $16550
Dodge Caliber / Jeep Patriot $14320/$15795
Scion XB $15650
Scion XD $14550
Subaru Impreza $16995
Hyundai Elantra Touring 5-door (available soon)

Small SUV
Hyundai Tucson / Kia Sportage $17420 / $16050
Kia Rondo $16395
Nissan Rogue $19430
Ford Escape $19140 ($26640 hybrids)
Suzuki Grand Vitara $19349
Subaru Forester $19995

Full Wagon
Subaru Outback $19995
Chevy Malibu Maxx $20575
Mazda Mazda6 Sport Wagon $20750

05-19-2008, 08:39 AM
That's a great list to start from. At least you know you'll have plenty of choices in that price range.

05-19-2008, 09:28 AM
The Maxx might be good for him. Does anyone know if/when they are facelifting it?

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05-19-2008, 11:25 AM
^ It could sure use it.

FYI -- The Impreza 5-door (wagon) isn't too big in the back -- I'd say it's about on par with the HB Elantra XD, so it might not be big enough for a newfoundland, even with the seats folded down.

05-19-2008, 11:36 AM
Good to know, thanks.

I think it would be awesome if he could find a leftover Forrester sitting on the lot, since the 2009s are out now, he could save a bit.

05-19-2008, 12:43 PM
Glad your pop's ok. I was involved in a hit and run in Virginia on I-64. I"m sick and tired of ****ers like that. The Virginian state Police told me that it was most likely a person with a criminal record or doesn't have insurance, registration or license.

05-19-2008, 12:48 PM
Yeah, most likely there is a reason they ran. At 3:30am on a Saturday, I'm guessing the chances are pretty-good that the driver was out partying and not sober.

05-19-2008, 01:15 PM
If he likes American nameplates, have him check out the Chevy HHR. It's basically a Cobalt wagon. If he prefers, they even offer a panel wagon (no rear side windows) version.



05-19-2008, 02:13 PM
^Yep, I had an HHR (not the panel wagon) as a rental in Texas a few years back. As I said, it's got a lot of useable space inside, but the base model handles poorly and performs so so, and it's got some quirks with the interior layout. I did get 30 mpg on Texas highways with it, though. You could do worse if you wanted an American car with decent fuel economy and a lot of interior space for a big dog.

I have to say I like the styling of them.

The Forester would have more room in the back than the Impreza due to the bigger body shell. I like Subarus over all (driven 5 different models, owned 10 in the family since 1980 -- all good cars except one with suspension issues from the factory), so you probably can't go too wrong with one.

Of the two, I think the HHR might have more inside space. That was the best thing about the vehicle.

05-24-2008, 03:17 PM
Just heard from my dad. He got a 2008 Ford Escape, with 9,300 miles on it. Not sure about what he paid or anything like that, but he said it's fully loaded, so I'm guessing it's the 3.0L Limited Trim. Personally, not my choice, but with the dealers trying to get SUVs off the lot, maybe he got it for a steal - especially since it's used.

05-24-2008, 03:48 PM
Sounds like a winner.

05-27-2008, 03:04 PM
Just thought I'd update this one last time. The police got the guy who ran into my dad. Actually, he turned himself in. He claimed he didn't stop because he "freaked out" after the accident. He's 23.

Police cited him for: Leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, improper lane usage, and failing to give aid.

05-27-2008, 03:15 PM
glad they caught the guy. hows ur dad feeling?

05-27-2008, 03:30 PM
Ok. He was sore for a while, and still a little gimpy, but ok. He's going back to work tonight, so hopefully all goes well there.

I saw pictures they took from the car in the junkyard. The trunk was completely smashed into oblivion - crunched all the way to the back seat. The front end damage (where he hit a concrete wall going 55mph) was not as severe as the rear! Which brings up the question - how fast was this guy going to cause that kind of rear-end damage to a car going 55mph?

05-27-2008, 05:32 PM
My brother has an Escape (I think it's one of the first couple years) and he has liked it so far. No major problems so far. I've driven it a couple times, no complaints from me.

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05-27-2008, 05:36 PM
The 08s are bigger than the previous design. I like it better. In the last-gen, I felt cramped in the foot area. I used to drive one at work, it was like an 01-02 I think. My next-door neighbor has an 03, and it is DEFINITELY smaller on the inside than the 08.

05-28-2008, 08:48 AM
In the last-gen, I felt cramped in the foot area. I used to drive one at work, it was like an 01-02 I think.

I checked one out when they first came out and it felt basically like a lifted Escort.