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My 6 month old A3 is no more.....

Yesterday I was returning to work after enjoying lunch with my son in Ventura. I was half a mile from the store when the unthinkable happened. I was approaching a sweeping left when I noticed the approaching car. My first thought-wow he is moving!! (Witnesses said he was doing in excess of 70 mph) My second thought-wow he is in my lane!!! I had precious few seconds to decide my options. I couldn't go right due to a chain link fence, trees, a small revene. So my options are 1) stay the course and hope he realizes he is in my lane and get back into his own lane OR 2) assume he won't and stays in my lane in which case I go to my left. I chose number 1.....He never changed lanes and at the last second I jerked the wheel left avoiding a direct head on collision. Looking at the scene afterwards there were no skid marks indicating that he was even remotely aware that he was in the wrong lane.

From what I can tell at this time the impact destroyed the right front side of the A3, pushed me backwards 30-40 feet from point of impact and across into the on coming lane, and destroyed the entire front end of what I believe to be a Nissan Maxima Stationwagon. The debris field was enormous.

My kudos and many thanks to everyone involved in the design, build, and development of the A3. I was able to not only open my driver door perfectly, I was able to walk out of this horrific event with only a broken collarbone. Several firemen and medics could not believe the safety performance of this vehicle. They kept asking me over and over if I was okay and did I hurt anywhere other than my shoulder. I think they thought I was in shock because I must be hurt worse than just my shoulder. One medic said that there was zero intrusion into the passenger compartment. He said that if he hadn't seen the outside first he would never have believed that the car had been this badly damaged from the condition of the interior. The other guy was extracted using the jaws of life and is spending several days in the hospital. I walked away and spent last night in my bed.

Yes these cars are expensive but I have no doubt that this vehicle performed exceptionally well in avoiding a terminal situation and protecting its contents. My life is certainly worth more than an A3........

Below are the photobucket links to some pics of the car.

http://s224.photobucket.com/albums/dd273/fahrenheit351/A3/
 

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WOW...was your son in the front passenger seat? That side took most of the hit. If it was a head-on it it probably would have been much worse. What was his deal?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No thank goodness. He left in his own car. There was no one in the passenger seat which also made the descision to go left a little easier. Had he been in the passeger seat I would have been forced to go right and that could have been really ugly.....

I don't want to think what a direct head on collision would have done.......
 

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Glad to hear you are OK. Was this guy drunk or on a cellphone? The other car was a Nissan Maxima or you hit a third car that was a Maxima?

I just checked edmund's safety ratings and it was not rated. But since it's based off a Jetta/Golf, crash offset is good, front is 4 stars, and side impact are 5 stars. The A3/Golf/Jetta are top safety pics from the iihs institute for highway safety.

Did any airbags go off?

Also, moved to the mk5 section. I imagine your head must be still rattled ;)

The pics:


 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks.

We surmize he was drunk. Looking at the scene afterwards there is not evidence that he made any attempt to correct his behavior. He was driving the Maxima.

Only drivers side air bag went off. I sit so far back that I only sustained minor air bag burns-left thumb and forehead.

Additionally if you look in the first picture you can see what I think is the initial impact area. Upper right by the fire truck and the fireman's legs you can see a spot on the ground. I think that is oil from the impact. You can see how far backwards I was pushed from the momentum of his car......I was heading towards the top of the picture or police cars (the direction the camera is facing was th direction I was originally going-in the right lane of course)

The physical stuff will heal...the mental trauma is what I'm having the hardest time with now. So yes my head is still very rattled....

Peace.

Miles
 

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:eek
Are you going to get another A3 TDI to replace it or wait for something else? I saw a titanium package A3 TDI on ebay.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
:eek
Are you going to get another A3 TDI to replace it or wait for something else? I saw a titanium package A3 TDI on ebay.;)
I don't think my wife and kids would allow me to get anything else.......and rightfully so.

Although maybe the A7.........
 

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WOW. Good to see the car did a good job protecting you. What happened to the other driver? Was he ticketed or arrested? It's easy to make a judgement call afterwards but would you have gone off road? It's still better than hitthing someone head-on.
 

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Wow!

I'm also glad to hear you survived with minimal injuries. Keep a keen eye on how your neck/back feels because any jarring activity like that might shake something loose which may not manifest until later. Take care of yourself.

As for the car, well it gave its life to save yours and you can't ask for more than that can you. Are you going to be like the guy in the Subaru commercial where he visits his wrecked car and takes the owners manual and gear shift knob and drives away in an identical subie?
 

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Kinda like a Timex.

Nice to know my lil hot rod can take a lickin and I'll keep on tickin.I'm really glad your alright. What a mess.
Just no accounting for some ppls kids. There's only so much we can do. Most days I just feel blessed being able to come home in one piece. I've been weeding out as much traffic as possible on my routes to and from work. It's taken some time but I've finally devised a way that doesn't take me through to many places that I won't have an out. Places that don't take me go through a "wrong" part of town or take me way out of the way. Always avoiding the xway. (I40 & 240 in Memphis rush hour is pretty much the pits like most places only you have to ad 2 women talking to one another driving 25 mph on a three lane road during rush hour and no one knows how to merge.)
I was involved in a hit and run a few years ago in my 06 mkV. It suffered minimal damage to the vehicle but it took a while to get over the lack of trust I have for some other "drivers."
It's not so bad anymore. A nice break now that school is out.
Take good care.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The guy was arrested at the hospital and charged with a DUI-he blew a preliminary .25. Most people cant walk with a .25 and he was driving. He couldn't walk after the accident due to the broken pelvis.

I only had two options-stay in my lane or move into the left lane. Moving right would have taken me into a revene and a bunch of trees. If i moved into his lane and he corrected we would have hit head on for sure. My best option-which I did, was to hold my course and avoid a direct head on at the last minute if the guy didn't move. Hindsight what it is had I moved left from the start then this would be a moot point.......

The new Golf mk6 TDI has my eye but I may actually hold off replacing until the new A3s come out. It'll be a wait but that was such a great car anything else would be settling....I did think about the Subie commercials though. Maybe I can talk Audi into do a similar one. I'll do it for, say, a new A3. Think they'll go for that?

The other car turned out to be a 1985 Toyota Stationwagon.
 

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update

Recieved a witness subpoena from the Ventura County DA today. They want me to appear in court to testify in the crimal case. The other driver is being charged with 7 counts-two felonies and 5 misdimeanors. Counts are as follows:



23153(a) DUI causing injury Felony plea not guilty

23575(a)(1) Level .20 and refused chemical test Misdemeanor plea deny

23578 S/A Enhance-driving w/ blood alcohol of .15 or more Misdemeanor plea deny

23153(b) Driving w/ a .o8% blood alcohol cuasing injury Felony plea not guilty

23575(a)(1) (same as above 23575. must have refused twice?)

23578 (again same as 23578 above)

12500(a) Unlicensed driver Misdemeanor plea Not guilty



I looked up the guys record and he had a DUI in 1994 and in 1998 was nailed with no registration, no license, failure to provide financial responsibility, and driving on a suspended license.



Guy is a piece of work who apparently didn't learn back in '94.



I'll keep you posted on what goes on in court.



Peace.
 

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That's just nuts, obviously the guy should have one foot nailed to the floor because he has no business being in a car, he's done this before and chances are he will do it again. The next victim might not be so lucky. Pretty ballsy of the guy to be pleading not guilty to everything.

We will anxiously await the results of the trial, and how much time the judge gives him for what he has done (again).
 

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Sweet barking cheese. That's terrifying. But your horrifying collision illustrates why I prefer German cars over Asian cars. My company wanted to put me in an Accord but I pitched a minor fit and got the Jetta wagen I preferred...safety.

Best wishes for you and your son...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Court

Okay...went to court last week. Guy changed his plea on the first charge (DUI causing an injury-felony)to guilty in exchange for dropping all the other charges. He goes up for sentencing in Aug. where he could get three years. which in CA means he'll be out with time served.........
 

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He could get three years means there's no way he will get three years. How can you stop someone like that from driving again until they kill someone?
 
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