The crash occured on I-24, near downtown Nashville. We came to a stop just past an exit ramp, and evidently there was enough room behind the crashsite for the police to route folks down the exit ramp, for which I'm sure all the people behind us were glad. All of the public servants we encountered were helpful and considerate - I was pleased and grateful.
I forgot to mention in my last post that there was no declaration of anyone being at fault and no tickets were issued. That's a big praise, because often even when there's no wrong done, the driver whose car does the "hitting" is issued a ticket.
When we were given the okay to go (I signed a refusal of medical care form because they wanted to take me to the hospital and we decided to wait and seek care later if needed), they cleared the ramp so that we could back up and exit the interstate. Thankfully, the van made it down the ramp and to a nearby hotel, where we unloaded every bit of our stuff, thinking that the tow truck was going to come and tow the van that night. While he was gone to take the remains of the first car we hit to the salvage yard, we decided to wait to have it towed and see if we could get it to a mechanic in the morning. We finally got to sleep sometime after midnight.
Thursday morning, Jonathan went out to look at the van and discovered that the impact had destroyed the radiator and it would not hold any coolant. See?
Since we only have the required liability on our van and our insurance would not be covering our vehicle, we decided to see if we could limp our way to NC, stopping to let it cool off whenever it got hot. We might have made it ten miles at the most before we overheated the first time. Not the 40 miles or so for which we had hoped! It became obvious that we were not going to limp our way to North Carolina. As a matter of fact, we only managed to limp to the bottom of an exit ramp before the van died for good.
In the meantime, our friend Bob was working all through the day to secure a rental vehicle large enough to transport us all. We're so thankful for cell phones - I'll have to count the calls we made that day once we get our bill. Bob's people were finally able to find a van for us; a policeman came and called a tow truck as well as a "flashing lights truck" to guard our backs and direct traffic around us. And Enterprise really does pick you up!
Here's our van being prepared for towing.
And here we are on our way to the Enterprise office to finalize details.
We were told we would not be taking this same van as our rental, but were so grateful when plans changed and we did not have to unload and reload all of our stuff yet again. By 6.30 (central time) that evening, we were finally on the road again, and arrived at my folks house around 3am (eastern time). The drive took some extra time because there was no way we were eating in that rental van. Not after seeing the havoc that the drive from Missouri to Nashville had wrought on our gray van (which had been swept before we left home)!
We are supposed to go by the towing company's office on our way back through Nashville to settle with them. I was suprised they let us go without taking payment first, but that $65 or $75 in gas left in the van probably had something to do with it!