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Chief's Avalanche Gets Thwacked - Twice!


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Jan 10, 2002
Edmonds, WA
OK - thwack number one:

It was day two, hop three on Wild West 2002. We were about 30 minutes behind schedule out of the starting blocks on our way to Medicine Lake. As we were driving along the rough pavement (the Forest Service Roads alternated from pavement, to gravel, to dirt, to a nine mile double-track with barely enough room to squeeze through) we passed Arnica Sink and the attractive Forest Service dirt road down to it. Arnica Sink is a dried lake bed, the remains of a very shallow caldera. The bed is crushed pumice for about one square mile and forms a desert like patch in the forest. Bottom line, the sink is a wonderful 4WD playground.

So we go through and fortunately there is a turn around that can handle our numbers. The plan is to go about 30 to 45 seconds apart, blast across the Sink and then drive slowly/normally up the one lane road back to the main route.

Big Red went first because he is a speed demon. I went second as the group leader. I put it in Auto Trac and opened it up across the sink and hit 75 MPH - what a rush!

So now back into the forest and driving up to the main road and slowing it way down. That's when it happened.

The truck was coming so fast I couldn't even tell make and model. It went airborne over the crest of the hill and was on a head on collision course. I immediately cranked the wheel hard right like a sea Captian who had spotted an iceberg with no time to spare. That's when things went into slow motion. I was terrified. My eight-year old was riding shot gun in the front seat and I was terrified of what the results of a head on collision might be.

That's when the truck started gliding by. It seemed to take forever as the white flash passed and as it did I thought I had escaped. Then I heard the horrible thunk and the rear end bounced.

"I've 10-40'ed! I've 10-40'ed! I've had an accident!" I screamed into the radio.

I got out and the truck had stopped about 150 feet down the road. And as I started walking down they took off. Yup folks, you got it right, had my truck been disabled they left me for dead 17.6 miles from the nearest patch of civilization. No cellphone, no OnStar. Thanks guys - your karma will catch up with you.

So the damage is a crease in the sheet metal above the driver's side rear fender, deep scratches to the cladding on the passenger side behind the rear fender, and scratches to the bumper. It appears the damage was caused by the edge of the bumper, the door handle, and the rear view mirror. Yes people wanted to go track down the Ford Ranger and kill 'em - I just wanted to get to the hotel.

So that's thwack number one.

Thwack Number Two

Not as interesting story. A Lexus ES 300 over the weekend decided to back out as I backed out from across the way and we hit each other backing up in the parking lot. Although at first it appeared the damaged was only to the rear bumper cover a closer look revealed the bumper appears to be bent on the driver side and probably needs a total replacement. UGH!

Fortunately because it was a head on collision in technical terms dead center on private property it will almost assuredly be declared no-fault and won't count against me on my insurance. The Lexus did not fare as well with bumper and tail light damage. Still what a hassle.

So how was everyone elses August? ;D

Chief you are a much calmer man than I, and a better example to you kid too - I must admit that I would have exercised a little frontier justice (and I mean laying on a "Walking Tall" kind of hurtin") on the F@rd driver, and been a poor example for my son.

any chance your rear to rear collision fix will also pick up the damge from the trail incident? that would constitute a silver lining, I guess.
That flat-out sucks, Chief.
That's one way to spoil a perfectly good outing. You must have calmed the group down pretty good considering no vigilante justice was served.

Sorry to hear that Chief and I agree that you must be a very calm person.

I've been in 3 accidents in my life, none my fault and 2 were hit and runs :8:. If it ever happens again I'll make sure to go to the hospital and complain of neck injuries and whatever else so if they catch them they may get felony charges. You're right they could have left you injured and they're too much of cowards to even care. :8:

Good luck
Welcome back Chief . . . sounds like WWW was a blast . . with the excpetion of a couple of 'incidents'.

Hit and run drivers are a low form of life. Had an incident here where a drunk driver in a Suburban ran off the road, killed two people on a motorcycle, left his truck in a ditch and ran off. No, he'll likely not get away with it, but he's not been found yet.

That encounter with the white Ranger could have been a lot worse - I guess you've got to be thankful that it wasn't! Still sux though :8:
jackalanche said:

Chief you are a much calmer man than I, and a better example to you kid too - I must admit that I would have exercised a little frontier justice (and I mean laying on a "Walking Tall" kind of hurtin") on the F@rd driver, and been a poor example for my son.

any chance your rear to rear collision fix will also pick up the damge from the trail incident? that would constitute a silver lining, I guess.

Chief - I have to agree with Jack - though if I had a child or my GF in the truck I would have been a lot calmer than if I had been by myself.

I am glad no one was hurt and hope for a speedy recovery for your AV :)
Ouch! sorry to hear about your accident. Thank God nobody was hurt!
Yea there were several of us that wanted ot go find the ford driver and do a little "Frontier Justice". >:D >:D

You can't imagine what the rest of us thought when we heard Chief's 10-40! We didn't know what we would see at the other end of the sink. It was a relief to find that Chief and David were ok. Sad about the Chief's rear quarter panel dent.

Chief, you thought you might have differential damage; any word on that?
Very sorry chief - You've had a rough time with the AV this past few months.

Hopefully the money to repair won't come out of the Mod kitty! >:D

Glad everyone is Ok. Sorry about the Av.

Do post some pics please.

Sorry to hear about your mis-haps but luckily you and your son are ok.

chief, .....you live... and you die... all you leave is your reputation,,,,, and all you got, was ...memories.......... your av just gave you a day,,, you will never forget and thats the reason you WERE there to enjoy the AVALANCHE.. and CHIEF, thats why I'm here, to enjoy my av and your av club. remember , man another two feet and nothing matters anymore if that guy T- boned you you would not have made this post, and a question or 2 ??.. DO YOU HAVE A CAPTAINS LISCENSE.... WHAT KIND 10=40 RADIO YOU GOT???C-B???? WHERE DID YOU MOUNT IT.... DID YOU GET A good LOOK AT HIM....... AND GOODBYE.. AND GOOD STORY..... CHIEF
I can't imagine the thoughts in your head when the flying Ford whacked you, but even if the Av was totalled the fact that you and your son came through without injury is the best ending your story could have. My mother and neighbors can't figure out why I choose to drive my " monster gas-guzzler pickup " but your off road adventure reinforced my decision. The biggest adventure I face is a commute on the NJ Turnpike daily, and getting cut off and getting the bird is a way of life here. Since I reached "middle age" I've also acquired the wisdom to plan for old age - and to reach that goal around these parts you wrap yourself up in the most sheetmetal you can get. The fact that we have Av's just shows how smart we are.........
Congratulations on being able to carry on and continue to run the best site on the web!

what kills me is that the guy ran me off the road first, sending me about 50 feet into the forest... and didn't even stop to check on me... :mad: and after almost having one head on... he speeds right back up and clips chief. what an idiot. :8: now i know i was speeding too... but when i saw that truck i tried all i could to miss him... he didn't even move at all. i ended up passing him on the left cause there was a mountain hillside on the right... then i slided down the hill a ways. i was just geting my truck free when the group rounded the corner. plus my batterys had just died on my frs radio so i could never get a warning out. :6: i still feel really bad about that one. sorry chief. :(

Chief...glad that nobody was hurt...was quite an unfortunate accident.....that will kill the mood in a heartbeat.... :B:
The wife and I were the third in line on the way out of the lakebed area, and the guy in the Ranger actually was stopped by the side of the road when we came up to him.
Guess he finally figured that the road was not empty, especially with these large trucks coming his way.

We talked to him for about 30 seconds, and he accused Chief of almost running him off the road.

Funny, he never mentioned taking Big Red off the road first, or letting us know that both previous AVs had stopped and that he never went back to say anything to them or see if everything and everybody was alright.
Looking back on this, I'm pretty sure he was scared sh*tless and didn't want to admit that he had anything to do with any of it at all.

Hope your AV is in top shape soon Chief, and thanks for a great vacation. Looking forward to Moab next year.

Sorry to hear of your misfortune Chief.that is quite a story.Just glad to hear that only the truck was hurt and not you and your son.I don't know if you have your passenger air bag turned off or not but if you don't NEVER EVER allow your children to sit in the front> I know it's hard as I have 3 boys age 7-12 and they do a lot of whinning about having to be in the back but you just never know what might happen.Glad everyone is Ok! AIRBAGS KILL!!!!!!
I'm sick ... :D:

Now my "Tactical" response :

Eleven Charlie this is Ten Foxtrot, message, over ...

Ten Foxtrot this is Eleven Charlie, ready over ...

Eleven Charlie this is Ten Foxtrot we just had an interaction in my AO with a white, I say again white civilian vehicle heading 165, I say again 165, requesting permission to engage, over ...

Ten Foxtrot this is Eleven Charlie, confirming target, white Ford Ranger heading 165 degrees, one click south of your position, over ...

Eleven Charlie this is Ten Foxtrot, affirmative ...

Ten Foxtrot this is Eleven Charlie, permission granted, fire at will ...

Eleven Charlie this is Ten Foxtrot, firing for effect, stand- by ... One civilian white POV is INOP, I say again, INOP ... Ten Foxtrot Out .....
SORRY to hear you got thwacked Chief
:8:.... ?some people just don't get it, it sounds like these guys needed an attitude adjustment.

11H - Definately broght back some meories and I also had a great laugh. ?GOOD response.
Chief, Just now back online after getting set again with my replacement AV.

So sorry to hear about the Twacking by the dingbat driver. And add my relieve to all the others that neirher your son or you were hurt.

Was he drunk? or just nuts - particularly after having had the earlier almost accident? Think I would be :D: over concern for my son. After that I know I would be very :8: about the damage to the AV.

Know the anger will probably be rekindled as you go through the process and expending the time of getting things repaired. Speaking of this, would be interested in hearing about availability of repair parts. Early on there was much talk about lack of availability of the plastic cladding parts.

Continued and great thanks for such a great website - think its one of the best on the web.