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  • #788226
    692 Posts

    Hey everybody,

    I just wanted to post a little story about a car accident I was involved in on Monday morning as a reminder that most accidents in fact DO NOT happen as a result of avalanches, but rather, bad driving.

    I’ve been working on my “Dream Toyota 4×4” project for over a year now, and the highly badass engine conversion was just finished on Friday. Its a 1995 Supercharged 3.4L converted automatic, with a custom built gear-driven T-case, with full ARB suspension all around, and many more modifications in the pipeline. Through and through, this is my own personal #YOTABONER rig. The conversion was finished on Friday, I slapped brand new 33 inch BFG’s on it, and enjoyed her for 2 days, driving her in the snow in the Cascades, and up fire roads (totally blown away by the power, torque, smoothness, raw acceleration, and true offroad capability)

    Yesterday, on my way to work, I pulled out onto the country road near my house, with no other cars on the road. The minute I hit my accelerator, I noticed that my rear wheels were spinning. I stopped accelerating, and eased out onto the road. Not going more than 5mph, I realized that the rear-end of my Toyota 4Runner was sliding off to the right. It became clearly apparent that the road was totally covered in black ice (the worst ice I’ve ever seen in my life). I pulled my truck off to the side over the right side of the white line. I put my truck into neutral, and shifted her into 4×4. I sat there for about 30 seconds, and began to formulate a plan to wait a couple of hours before driving to work, in order to allow the roads to thaw out.

    Within a few seconds of having that thought, I glanced at my rear view mirror (still stopped, not moving, with foot on the break). What I saw was a white car, out of control, sliding left and right, barreling down on me. At that moment in time, I assessed her speed to be 40-50 mph, from visual cues. I thought to myself, “holy shit dude, I’m literally about to FUCKING die here!”. Then came the impact….. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!!!!!

    The violence was unbelievable.

    I whiplashed back into my seat, and my truck went flying forward across the ice. I traveled about 100 feet (foot on brake the whole time) before my truck went off a rock wall and fell about 10 feet, rolling over onto its side and roof. I landed upside down in a small creek / river. The glass from the passenger side exploded into my face, and I found myself hanging upside down in the cab, by my seatbelt. My snowboard and touring poles came flying forward from the back, smashing into the side of my head.

    Water bagan to fill the cab, reducing the volume of air inside the truck by ~about 40%. This was the point at which I began to scream the “F” word over and over, louder than I’ve ever yelled in my life. I’m also not religious in the slightest, but for some reason I started to pray as well….It was super bizarre. Just pure survival I guess. I figured out, eventually, how to brace my body against the center console and steering wheel, and was able to turn off the ignition and kill the engine. I then unbuckled my seatbelt, which caused me to fall into the water. I stood up against the center console, and opened the un-damaged driver side door. I was able to crawl out the drive side door, which was pointed slightly passed vertical.

    Just as I was doing this, I realized that the police were already on the scene. I looked over, and saw an Audi SUV come around the same corner, loose control in exactly the same way, and smash into the police cruiser. It then spun over towards me, and missed pancaking me by a few feet. I yelled “F” a few more times, jumped across the running water onto the other bank, and ran away from the truck.

    The woman who hit, apparently had severe neck pain and trouble feeling in her legs. I really hope she’s okay.

    Eventually, the fire department arrived, they took my vitals, and packaged me onto a backboard in an ambulance, and took me off to the emergency room. Xrays showed 4 broken ribs from the impact of the seatbelt, but despite my experience of having my shoulder pop out of joint during the rollover, and my sternum popping, X-rays didn’t show anything else of clinical significance. I was amazed that I didn’t feel any pain at the time. Adrenaline is an amazing drug!

    Needless to say, I’m grateful to have survived. My “brand new” truck, is a goner 🙁

    The good news:

    It appears that 95% of my conversion parts are in tact, and I’m looking to re-do this swap into another automatic 2nd gen 4Runner. And if insurance plays ball, as it should once I get my lawyer to kick some ass, I’m going to reawaken the Phoenix, so to speak.

    If anybody knows of any super clean 2nd gen 4Runners out there, I’m all ears! Seriously… If I can find a mega clean 1995 Automatic 4×4 Runner, my swap can be done in 2 weeks or less. All the hard work has already been done!

    Last week, at TorFab in Everett Washington, putting out nearly 260 horsepower. GAAAWD, words cannot describe how FAST and fun this truck was:

    Supercharged and fuel modified 3.4 conversion:

    And now, absolutely ****ing HEARTBROKEN because of some DUMB IDIOT’S bad driving:

    Thanks a ton everybody. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, slow your roll and be mindful!!!!


    2486 Posts

    DAMN Glad your OK Russ. That’s whacked about your truck but it sounds like you know how lucky you are.

    Winter driving is the most dangerous part of this sport

    321 Posts

    Holy F%#$ Russel!

    Glad you’re ok Dude!! Crazy story. It could’ve been waay worse though!

    Similar story reached me last week. One of my best buddys wife. Black Ice in Germany.
    Small commercial truck unable to break from side street, truck slit in front of her and she t-boned the truck full speed.
    Result: L1 crushed, 2 surgeries, 1 for stabilization and the next to replace the vertebrae with an implant with good hope for full recovery in God knows how many months. She could’ve easily died or be paralyzed. I don’t even know about her car.

    And when I broke my back long time ago, it happened right just a week after I had a big back tattoo done and they almost had to cut it in half. Shit happens at the weirdest coincidences.

    I know you are super bummed about your car, but be happy you got away with ‘just’ broken ribs.

    After much research, experimentation and consideration, I have decided adulthood is not for me. Thank you for the opportunity.

    503 Posts

    Wow @russman. That is nuts. A guy at work was just telling me about this today. He said he knew you from his job last summer. Glad to hear you’re mostly alright. Good luck with everything.

    692 Posts

    Yeah guys, super super stoked to be “mostly” healthy. I think I’m going to have back pain for a while though… Its tough to be upright for more than 45 minutes at the moment. Its sorta like an elephant stepped on my chest!

    Hey @WhitePine, what is your buddy’s name? Did he work at Karakoram last summer?

    291 Posts

    Hope your feeling better physically and emotionally. Your rig was a beauty, looks like a crawler now. I know the time and money that go into that type of project and can only imagine how shitty that would be to lose it. Hope version 2 is even more awesomer.

    Lot’s of people drive too fast on ice. I don’t think people comprehend what slowing, stopping, and turning are going to look like when they’re traveling 50+. I try to keep these things in mind and as a result sometimes feel like a geezer. Another thing I’ve been thinking is that people don’t give themselves any extra time when it’s icy and drive at summer speeds trying to make it somewhere on time. I don’t give a shit if I think someone thinks I suck. I’d feel like an idiot if I were in the snowbank or worse, as long as I’m on the road I’m ok.

    Safe travels to everyone out there.

    503 Posts

    @russman, he actually shares your same first name. And yes, he worked at Karakoram.

    407 Posts

    Damn bro glad to hear your alright Russman!

    Sounds like a sweet YOTA build too!

    Folks around here are often way too confident in their AWD Suburus and Audi’s. I’m pretty much driving Mrs Daisy when the roads are bad.

    Heal up and stay on it brother!

    92 Posts

    Damn dude, glad you are alive! Don’t assume clean xrays from your shoulder and sternum mean there’s no injury. I’ve torn the cartilage around my sternum and dislocated my shoulder complete with torn labrum without xrays showing anything wrong. Fortunately, mine were in different accidents and I was able to get by with some PT and no surgery on both. Depending on how bad the pain in those areas is over the next few weeks, you might want to consider an MRI to see what your working with. Good luck healing up brotha!

    Go that way really fast. If something gets in your way, turn.

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    1514 Posts

    🙁 Sorry man – that is a bummer. I’m glad you’re still with us.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

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