It all happened as if in slow motion. From a distance, it looked as if a blossom of plastic shards suddenly burst out from the front of Dennis’s Proton Saga BLM. My first reaction was to alert Wei Han, who drove the Vios I was riding in. He immediately applied the brakes, slowing down our speed to halt on the side of the road near Dennis’s car. As we got closer, my mind begins to register what happened. Dennis had just ploughed his car into another one’s bumper. Somehow, all this felt familiar and as this deep sense of Déjà vu developed, I thought, “Not again!” :p
We had just left Kedondong Recreational Park (http://thequantumsingularity.blogspot.com/2009/05/lata-kedondong-hidden-treasure.html) when Dennis uncharacteristically started to speed away from Wei Han, Vincent and myself who were in the second car behind him. Questions were bandied about among us as to his sudden haste. Strangely, the tune of ‘Mara Bahaya’ started playing in mind. (Jauh ku meluncur jauh semakin jauh, kanan kiriku tiada di depanku…) as I saw him took a corner at high speed. I urged Wei Han to pursue, not wanting to lose sight of him. Wei Han acceded though I instantly had second thoughts when his Vios sort of started to swerve dangerously over the solid line at the road’s shoulder. I remembered the thought foremost in my mind was to be thankful that at least Wei Han’s Vios had a SRS (Secondary Restraining System) for the front seat passenger, a position which I currently occupied. :) We were on a straight road after rounding the corner when the accident happened.
Dennis's car immediately after the accident
As I got out of Wei Han’s car, I immediately went over to the guys bailing out from Dennis’s crippled vehicle, thick white smoke gushing out from within the confines of the car. The air bag had deployed on impact.
Deployed Air Bag
I asked everyone inside, Dennis, Henry, Hong Yi and Aaron whether they were all ‘Ok’ and was relieved when they all replied in the positive. Then, I took a look at Dennis’s car. Its front portion was devastated, the bumper crumpling into the engine compartment. The radiator looked totaled, as with the front headlights. The battery case was displaced and the engine cover bent. Thank goodness the windshield did not shatter as it did in Cambodia. :p (http://thequantumsingularity.blogspot.com/2009/04/cambodia-day-2-death-on-wheels.html)
Front section of the Saga all crumpled
Interior of the engine compartment
The guy that was sitting in the older Proton Saga which Dennis smashed into staggered out, blood flowing from a shallow cut to his forehead. His car fared slightly better though, major damage inflicted only on his rear bumper. The booth side paneling, although warped could probably be fixed with a few knocks at the repair shop.
Looks like Proton's quality declines with time? The older version doesn't look as bad!
As I looked at the man, he immediately launched a tirade, surprisingly not at Dennis, but at the two ‘ah sohs’ that had been pushing their stalled car in the middle of the road in front of him. Apparently, this guy had stopped/slowed down on seeing the two and Dennis who was at high speed, didn’t realize he did before slamming into his rear end. The Ah Sohs tried to vainly defend themselves but once they managed to get their car moving after a rolling start, immediately made themselves scarce, putting good distance from the mess they had a hand in causing.
'Ah Soh's attempting to make a quick getaway. Note: Aaron is not an 'ah soh' ;)
That leaves us and the man we now knew was a lookout for a tow truck operator. What luck! :p A tow truck came in no time, as Dennis started working the phones. Seeing this, I had not offered much of my two cents worth, thinking probably that he knew what he was doing. Instead, I helped Aaron set up some hazard triangles and directed cars to avoid the damaged cars. While we were doing that, another car came, this time bearing this hefty looking Chinese dude which I had initially thought was a busybody. Turns out he is the boss of a car repair workshop which operates the tow truck as well as the boss of the injured guy Dennis had slammed his car into. The car might probably be his as well. A short discussion later and we were off to Batang Kali police station, Dennis's car in tow.
"Tegas, Adil dan Berhemah"
Now here was where it started getting messy. We did not enter Batang Kali police station immediately. Instead, the big Chinese dude had his tow truck stop at the side. He now attempted to get Dennis to send his car to his workshop to have it repaired. Dennis refused, citing that his workshop in Batang Kali was way too far for him to have his car repaired and indicated his preference to have it done at his friend’s place instead. The guy tried convincing Dennis, offering to ‘settle’ everything (saman included) in one lump sum if he chose to have his car transferred to him. Dennis was however, adamant. The guy’s demeanor changed, converting in an instance from savior to bully. He threatened to bring Dennis to court, claiming that with his foreman now ‘injured’, he could escalate the simple car crash into something bigger by bringing his worker to the hospital. A moment of hesitation and Dennis was fiddling the phone again, this time talking to his friend who also happens to work in a car repair shop, hopefully seeking good advice! Dennis told the guy that a tow truck from his friend’s shop is on the way to get his car and his friend is coming to negotiate, to which the guy responded by ordering his tow truck driver to tow Dennis’s car to his workshop! We demanded to know what he was doing and was told that while in the guy’s car, Dennis had actually signed an agreement to have his car brought to the man’s workshop and he was merely following exactly to what was stated in the contract. Not mentioned now was that Dennis’s car was effectively held for ransom until this conundrum about which workshop is going to repair the car is settled. We waited for hours, the shade of a large tree our only shelter from the hot afternoon sun. The 15 minutes Dennis’s friend had promised to take to arrive at the police station turned out to be more than 3 hours! In between, there were further negotiations, this time by phone, as Dennis’s friend got his own boss to speak to the workshop towkay. Finally, a settlement was made. Dennis and the towkay was going to make a report at the police station while a RM1000 payment be made to return the car to Dennis’s possession. Throughout, Wei Han, Vincent, Aaron, Henry and myself stood pretty much at the sidelines, while Hong Yi and Dennis did much of the phone calling and negotiating. The ticking hours took its toll on our weary bodies and a decision was made to get ourselves some makeshift lunch. Wei Han, Aaron and myself went off to bring back a Malay chicken rice and ice lemon tea combination which everyone except Dennis and Henry wolfed down.
The day's ordeal taking its toll on Dennis
The towkay shamelessly tried to help himself with our chicken rice too and appeared displeased when Aaron calmly went over to the big dude to ask for money. :p (Yeah right! After that con job, you’d expect a freebie?!) The whole thing wasn’t really over yet though because there was another person we had to wait to get the police report settled, the traffic police sergeant! Taking his time, the sergeant only arrived 1 1/2 hours after the report was made.
Waiting for the sergeant
'Enjoying' the breezeless afternoon...
By then, Dennis’s friend had at last showed up, but at the towkay’s workshop. We all drove over there, meeting his friend who had brought his own tow truck.
His friend also brought 3 others, tough looking dudes you’re more likely to see wielding pipes at one another in back alleys! :p He neglected to take into account that by bringing these ‘dudes’, there was practically no allowance in his Proton Satria to bring back Dennis’s displaced passengers! :p That meant that we had to squeeze 6 people into Wei Han’s Vios on the way back to TTDI later. Hong Yi will squeeze with the ‘dudes’. :p At this point, Dennis paid the RM1000 ‘ransom’ to release his car. We went back to the police station when we got word that the traffic police sergeant had arrived. Taking a look at the car, he finalized the report that made Dennis poorer by a further RM200. ;)
Outside the police station with Dennis's friends and tow truck
Once that is done, it was time to head back. Leaving Batang Kali, we took the route to Rawang, exiting on the North South highway and reaching TTDI at about 7:00pm.
Passing Sungai Buloh Hospital... Beware! H1N1!
We were hungry and tired, our customary Trail Tracker banquet denied us so far. Therefore it was off to ‘Lanun’, located at the uptown Damansara food court where we all satiate our hunger with a good serving of sizzling steak topped with their specially made ‘Lanun’ sauce… (Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of Rum! :))
Where is Jack Sparrow?
Lastly, some lessons learnt…
a) Never speed no matter what your current state of emotion
b) Always wear seatbelts
c) Never sign anything that you are not sure off
d) Never ever distract the driver! Hahaha!
Until next time… hang in there…