Sunday, April 15, 2007

Car Crash!

Oh my gosh, Marco and I got into a car accident friday evening!

We were one block from my studio crossing an intersection (with the green light, I may add), and a car drove right through the red and slammed into Marco's side of the car.

Fortunately nobody was hurt at all. But it dented the door in. The unusual thing was that the driver of the other car got out and started saying "I haven't got papers, I haven't got papers". I don't know which papers he meant, exactly - driver's licences, insurance, proof of ownership? Don't know. But he and his friend were super agitated. They gave me a business card for a mechanic's shop and said they would fix our car as long as we didn't call the police (calling the police is standard procedure here, for anyone French who's reading).

I told him I needed the police report to file for insurance, especially since this wasn't our car (it belongs to John, a friend of the family). Then he tried to hand me the keys to HIS car, saying "just take our car - don't call the police."

I was super torn. The guy had a spanish accent and he spoke spanish to his friend. It was possible he was an illegal alien. I really had no desire to get this guy in trouble. On the other hand, insurance won't pay for the damage without a police report and I would have been in big trouble. So I had to call.

When I started to call the two guys got in their car and took off. So it officially became a hit-and-run.

The police guy took forever to show up - almost 40 minutes! But he was pretty nice and easygoing when he arrived. Marco and I had a witness - a guy on the corner - who confirmed we were driving through the intersection during the green light. The cop looked up the other car's license number and already figured out who the guy was.

We were really lucky because nobody was hurt and the car's not too bad. But I really feel bad for the other guy. I feel like we've dropped the axe over his head. Not only is a hit-and-run a crime for which he is in trouble now, but he might be an illegal alien and get deported for all I know. He didn't seem like a bad guy - I mean he didn't look like some kind of drug runner or gang banger, just a young working immigrant. He really seemed terrified of getting caught without his papers - whichever ones they were. I hope he'll get by allright.


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