On my way to deliver a framed painting, I hit a fifty foot stretch of ice on Franklin Pike this morning. The subaru's all wheel drive was no match for the ice and we shot down the hill and up over an embankment into a pasture six feet below.
The car clipped the top strands of a barbed wire fence and was airborne for about 15 feet then it touched down and slid to stop under an apple tree some forty feet from where it had left the road.
The engine was still running, but I could not get traction in the deep snow. The visible damage was limited to the left front tire and the underside of the front grille.
The temperature was still in the teens and the wind was howling so I was hard pressed to stay warm. I called neighbor Ann Bower and she picked me up and brought me home for some coffee until the tow truck and State Police arrived.
Bell's Towing and the State Police showed up within 15 minutes and they both got into action with no delay. They are both old friends. The last time I had seen Tommy Bell he was winching my van up onto his tow truck.
Trooper Anthony Mackian asked if I was on my way to deliver one of Gretchen's paintings. After getting my insurance data, etc. he walked up the road to investigate the accident scene. It was so treacherous that he had to do some fancy footwork to keep from falling on the ice.
We were very fortunate that there was no traffic from the north end of Franklin or we might have had a nasty pileup against the tow truck. There was no way to stop or change course once a car was on the ice.
The Subaru was still operational and I put it in reverse while Tommy dragged the car back to the opening in the fence. Once the car was positioned on the bank, Tommy had to lift the Subaru up the bank and drag it onto the road.
The Subaru looked pretty good considering what it had been through and Tommy was able to drive it up onto the tow truck for the ride to the garage. This was fortunate because the tow cable had come off the spool during the final minutes of rescuing the Subaru from the pasture.
This is more proof why Subaru is the "car of choice" in Floyd Virginia. If you do not have four wheel drive you are helpless in this weather.
All's well that ends well. The Subaru is fixable, the fence can be repaired, and I escaped without a scratch.
For those of you who are interested in details, here is an annotated shot of the jump area.
If you are traveling south on Franklin Pike this week, watch out for the ice on the hill just south of Silverleaf Lane. It is unsafe at any speed.