Steve's Red Saturn 1995-1995

Before the CrashOn Sunday, November 19th 1995 at a few minutes before 4pm I was driving my girlfriend to the train station when a 16 year old driver failed to stop for his red light. There was no time whatsoever to react, and his van collided with my SC2 at about 35mph. I must have heard a noise or caught something in my peripheral vision, because I turned my head in time to see the grill of the van crushing the entire driver’s side of my 1995 SC2. This is without question the most terrifying experience I have had to date.1

Banged-up red 1995 Saturn SC2The Saturn spun 360 degrees and ended up on the sidewalk (I am humbly thankful that there was no one on the corner of that intersection waiting to cross the street) between a tree and a house. The car knocked down a good-size section of chain-link fence in the process. Both myself and my passenger went to the hospital and walked out within a few hours. I had some torn ligaments in my neck and strained muscles in my back; Brenda had more serious back injuries and was very stiff everywhere but these injuries seem at this point to be minor in comparison to what they could have been.

The driver’s side door was the only thing that came between 3000+ lbs of GMC van and me. If I had been driving my last car (an ‘86 Subaru) instead of the Saturn, I am sure that I would now be dead. As it is, the entire rear and driver’s side windows were shattered, the driver’s side window right into my face, and I suffered minimal abrasions from the safety glass.

The scene after the cops showed up was like a Saturn ad, with more than one police officer expressing disbelief that the two of us were able to speak considering the amount of damage the car took. One even tried to move me away from the scene as part of his crowd control duties.

I may not have my pretty red SC2 anymore, but I am sure that my replacement will be another Saturn. Brenda does think it would be spooky to get another red one though. My thoughts are running toward the dark green. We’ll see.

More pictures of my dear, departed SC2:

Crunch

The above picture shows very clearly the damage and the source of the impact. I remember looking up to see the grill and one headlight. Apparantly, the van’s driver’s side headlight would have been adjacent to my head at time of impact. If you look closely, you should be able to make out a dark shape protruding from the driver’s side door (I know it’s a bit difficult considering how dark the photo is to begin with.) This is a piece of molding from the bumper of the van that hit me! I guess that no one thought it necessary to put all the parts together with the vehicle they came from.

That's not where the bumper is supposed to be

Below is the accident diagram from the police report taken by the investigating officer on the scene.

Accident Report


  1. Overly dramatic much? —Steve, 20 years later ↩︎

Comments

Steve,

Thanks for the info. It really is *amazing* that these cars handle crashes so well! Thanks be for the spaceframe design! Glad you are okay!

Take care!

Dave

Steve,

I'm glad to know that you have confidence in your Saturn, and I am so sorry that that happened. I was lucky, my wreck occurred in my '80 Honda Prelude which was a junk heap anyway. I don't know where you live, but the accident was his fault, wasn't it? It seems to me that he should have to pay for at least part of the damage. (Maybe you're not as vindictive as I am.) I am so glad that you and your girlfriend are recovering, and I hope you get well soon.

Lauren '95 SL2, Light Plum

Thank God you and your girlfriend are OK. I have the exact same car 95 Red SC2. A big decision in buying it was that it might save my life. You proved that I made the Right decision. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Bernie

Steve,

I replied by mistake to Ken Crossman (University of Alberta) in reponse to your post in rec.autos.makers.saturn. I accessed your WWW site and may I say that I hope that all is well since the November accident. It was a horrific experience and I am pleased to read that the Saturn gave you adequate protection. We do not, in general, give safety a priority in our choice of vehicles. Colours, fancy interiors and stereos, etc. are the main selling features. Buyers should give consideration to other features such as the seat belts and air-bags. I did and thank goodness I now own a 1995 SL1 with belts and dual air-bags. Your post and your WEB site was a real inspiration. I wish you and Brenda the best at this time of year. Hope her back injuries are in the past. I trust in the Saturn product and you seem to also. I am sure you will both look good in "green".

Have a nice Christmas!

 

Paul Latour 

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Steve, as another Brenda I was touched by your note & web page that I went to after reading your reply to Ken. I am amazed that you & Brenda are fine; if it was the Saturn or just luck. My husband Jerry & I traded in a 89 Honda Civic on lst July on a '95 Blue/Black SW1. With dual airbags (Honda had none) and much heavier car with plenty of safety room, I am very confident driving my new baby named "Buffer" after the Ring Announcer for Vegas Boxing Matches.

Keep me posted on how both are doing & what new "baby" you do pick out. At least we know that Saturn are the SAFEST.

Thought you'd enjoy this: 4 degress, windchill of -47 & 6" of snow atop of frozen rain as I was coming home from work. There was a policewoman in her Cleveland PD car stuck in a cul de sac. I parked, ran over & asked her if she need a push. She agreed & had lost her heat in her Cavalier Police Car (Cheap) & I gently got behind her & slowly gave it gas & BINGO! Away she went, very appreciative & followed me up the street to relieve herself & have a cup of tea with me. Turns out she also has a Saturn SW1 & lives 6 blocks from me. So Saturns do get folks together when you least expect it.

Brenda

'95 SW1 Blue/Black "Buffer"

Hi there,

I was searching infoseek for information on Saturns and came accros your page. I just wanted to let you know that I'm glad you and your wife are okay. BTW, how are you feeling now anyways? (when was the page written?) Good, I hope.

Anyways, I recently put a deposit on a Saturn SL2, and your story about how the Saturn held up like that has helped take away any cocerns I had about Saturn cars' safety. (I had known that they were exceptionally safe vehicles.) Since it's the end of the 1996 model year, they have to send a driver out several hundred miles. And trust me, I don't mind waiting. I test drove it and fell in love instantly!

I was also wondering if you bought your new car yet.

While I was at your web site, I looked at your resume and noticed that you were an os/2 "advocate." Well, I just got my OS/2 Merlin beta kit yesterday, and was wondering if you knew anything about that. I've used OS/2 since version 2.1 and think it's the best "mainstream" OS on the market today. I run OS/2 alongside FreeBSD.

Thanks for listening,

Jay