Tuesday night Nov. 14 around 10 p.m. I was heading home from Port Angeles to Forks. The weather was absolutely horrible. High winds and rain. I just passed the 1st stop signal and a rock about the size of a basketball entered the road, I could not avoid it. I tried but ended up running it over on the front passenger side.
It blew out my tire and my right headlight bulb from the jolt of hitting the rock. I stopped and got out and rolled the rock off the road. It was between my right front and back tire. I then reversed out of the road. Managed to turn around and slowly drive to find a turnout.
The front end of my Jeep was binding up and making grinding noise. At this point I thought it was because of my tire being flat and rim may be bent as well, because of my Jeep being all time four wheel drive, I thought the tire was for sure the cause at this point. So I slowly kept driving, couldn’t park at the first turnout because of equipment there. I ended up at a small turnout on my left. I parked there and called 911.
Told them my tire was flat and headlight blew out in result of what happened. Which at this point I still thought that’s all that was wrong. Told him I should be good, all I need to do is change my tire. He said ok and said he was going to let Park Rangers know and road department. Thought I had a flashlight so ended up changing my tire around 3 a.m. with the light from my cell phone. My spare is a little smaller than the others. Started to drive back towards Forks and the same thing, front-end binding, and wobbling. So I had no choice but to pull into the big turnout where all the equipment was parked.
The weather was still horrible at this point, No cell signal. I tried to stay positive, I thought maybe the spare being smaller might be the problem. So I got out and was about to Jack up the whole right side of my Jeep and switch tires from back to front. Getting prepared to do so and that’s when a Park Ranger drove up. I said I’m the one that hit that rock.
He then told me to step back, got out of his truck and ask to see my drivers license, which I gave him. Told me I can continue to work on my tire changing. Came back give me my license, told him what happened and it’s really hard doing this because I’m recovering from a shattered wrist and limited on what I can do.
I was cold and couldn’t get any wetter than I was. He said do you need a tow truck, I said I don’t think so, told him what I was doing and it’s most likely the problem. He then said I would give you a hand but, have do get back to work. He then drove away parked between a sign and me. Not 20 yards behind me. And was pulling people over for speeding I presumed.
Every time he would come back and park behind me, and pull people over. And this was the first officer I seen since this happened. So I switched tires, which was hell. Tried once again and entered the highway with the same result. I barely made it to another turnout. I sat there for another hour and a half and finally waved down a Park Officer and once again explained what happened. He then asked if I needed a tow. I told him I can’t afford a tow and who’s responsible this.
Well, your insurance should pay for a tow. I was just a little angry at this point, didn’t have a choice and told him, yes I obviously need a tow. Then a friend of mine pulls up and says he can get a dolly to tow me home. So I canceled the tow and told the officer a friend was going to help me. Well, ended up friend couldn’t help me with the tow. So I ended up walking over a mile until I got a cell signal and called West End motors for a tow. And West End was very understanding and polite. And that’s where my Jeep sits until I pay the tow bill. And home is where I sit with upcoming doctor appointments in Seattle with my wrist injury and appointments for diabetes. And can’t get a hold of anyone to help me with a phone number or anything on who’s responsible for my Jeep.
Editor’s note: When Nick contacted the Forks Forum I contacted the ONP media person and she gave me the contact information for the Lake Crescent project. Nick contacted them but, I am not sure if he has heard back.