Charles Engelke's Blog

May 26, 2009

An “Incident” on the Highway

Filed under: Uncategorized — Charles Engelke @ 9:22 am

Laurie was driving, and I was working on my laptop.  We were on our way down to Sanibel Island in south Florida when suddenly there was a loud bang and a bright flash, and Laurie quickly pulled over to the side of I-75.  We’d hit (actually, we think we’d been hit by) this:

Jack Shaft

Jack Shaft

That’s apparently a jack shaft from a tractor-trailer; both Laurie (former Army transportation officer) and the Highway Patrolman agreed on that.  This piece is less than half of what hit us; we broke it, and the other piece is even larger and heavier.  This part is about two feet long and about 25 pounds.

It shredded a tire, cracked all the way through the wheel rim, and because of how it hit the car, made the two passenger side airbags deploy.  It similarly disabled four other cars.  The truck it fell off of apparently kept on going.

Being hit by airbags is no fun.  Four days later my hearing’s still a bit off; the first day I could hardly hear at all.  I’ve got a bruise on my arm where it hit me, and I was really shaken up the rest of the day.  Worst of all – we spent all most all Saturday of our long weekend in Sanibel at the car dealer instead of the beach, and we’ve got to run around to insurance adjusters, dealers, and an audiologist today.  And I’ve got to catch a flight this afternoon.



  1. Your post came in my Google Sanibel Alerts, that’s why I dropped by.

    WOW….what a terrible and scary thing to have happen. I’ve never been hit with one of those airbags, but I have heard that it is very painful. Thank goodness that neither of you had worse injuries. It could have been a tragic accident. It’s sad that you had what could have been a pleasant weekend, ruined. I think you both deserve a do-over trip! 🙂

    Comment by Tootie — May 26, 2009 @ 11:27 am

  2. I’m glad to hear that you and Laurie are okay. I hope that you are feeling better soon.

    Comment by Ann — May 30, 2009 @ 10:34 am

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