May 28, 2024 What a long strange month it’s been

Published by Victor Barr on

The stop sign was one I’ve stopped for a thousand times in the past eighteen years. Ninety percent of the time no cars came and I would stop, look both ways, and then go. Never an issue, it was almost second nature to stop, look, and go.

Until the big Dodge was there when I never expected it. 

I panicked and slammed the gas pedal down. I could outrun the trick coming at me at sixty kilometres an hour. 

The impact was sudden and forceful. My insides felt ripped apart and I couldn’t believe what was happening.

Where did the truck come from? Why didn’t I see him? My stomach leaped into my throat, and the pain in my heart soared as I stared at the damaged vehicles.

Fuck, fuck, fuck…

I hate stupidity, especially my own. Boy did I feel stupid. How could I have not seen the truck coming? I found out later that there is a blind spot caused by where the windshield meets the door. If a vehicle is in that spot he disappears from view for that split second it takes. That’s why they say to stop and look for three seconds. But I was tired, I was in a hurry to get home and I was complacent. It all led to a very costly lesson. A painful lesson I wished I could take back. 

But time machines only exist in fiction. In the real world, we have to deal with our mistakes. 

Everyone tells me it could have been worse. No one was hurt. It is just a truck. But it didn’t feel like it would be okay, it felt awful and it was all my fault.

Now, a month has passed since that fateful evening two blocks from my home. Two more minutes and I would have been safe at home. Instead, I found myself dealing with the nightmare that is ICBC. 

A week after I crashed my truck I thought I found the perfect replacement. I found a 2007 Chev truck on Kijiji that had only 116,000 km on it, it was the exact same truck as the one I crashed – perfect. The truck was located in Edmonton and when I spoke to the owner he seemed very real, very genuine. He seemed like a good guy who looked after his truck and was just an honest farmer from Alberta.

Boy was I a sucker. More stupidity for my month.

I flew to Edmonton and bought the truck without even getting it inspected, it seemed in excellent condition, the guy showed me it was great no problems at all.  He only told me about the aftermarket exhaust and the chip in the truck at the last minute. He also happened to mention that it still had the original battery. But I bought it anyway. What else was I going to do? I flew to Edmonton, trusting this guy. He even picked me up at the airport and claimed he was selling me the truck because he wanted it to go to a good home. Man was I a sucker.

I was excited to drive my new truck home. It got amazing fuel economy and it seemed to be a great buy: Until I took it in to get safety inspection. 

That’s when I discovered how dumb I’d been in buying a truck from Alberta. I had no idea someone would get an aftermarket exhaust from a dealership with all the emission controls removed. I didn’t know it was a thing. The truck also needed an alternator, batteries, a new yoke, a ball joint, and pitman arm.

So much for the perfect truck.

After three weeks they told me my crashed truck was a total loss and that someone would let me know the value of my truck. The new truck I bought sits and waits for the decision from ICBC. They told me I could keep the truck for parts. But it may take a week or two to tell me how much I will get paid out. 

No wonder ICBC is so expensive. It is extremely inefficient. So many people deal with you, first the adjuster then others. The is the Estimator who tells you if you can keep you vehicle and then there is a third layer, the assessment team who decides what the value of the vehicle is and how much you will get paid. I asked the person  on the phone, “Isn’t that what an estimator is?” She laughed and told me that was a different department. How can ICBC have so many layers and so much confusion?

The funny thing is the message that you are greeted with ehwn you call ICBC. “We’re here to help,” what a joke…

So I sit in limbo and wait for ICBC. Do I fix my new truck and then sell it? Do I drive it? Do I sue the asshole from Edmonton who sold me a bill of goods? 

I just want to move on and go back to the way it was just over four weeks ago. Go back in time and have a good truck and a healthy back. But I can’t do that.

All I can do is move forward. And be grateful it isn’t worse. 


Categories: Daily Journal


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