Making a wreck of things: Mechanics recount their most interesting accidents
Comedy is tragedy plus time, and wrecking a car in a bizarre way can turn into a funny story.
Barry Allen, mechanic at Webster Auto Service Inc. in Marion, could recall the strangest damage he has been asked to tackle.
“The craziest thing was one that was hit by lightning,” he said. “It did a lot of damage to that car. I think the insurance company was wishing they had totaled it by the time we were done with it.”
Many think the rubber tires of a car will prevent lightning strikes, but cars are as likely to be struck by lightning as any other object in a storm.
Allen said there were thousands of holes in the Jeep Cherokee’s tires where the electricity discharged.
“I’d never seen anything like it before,” he said.
Kevin Klassen, mechanic at Kevin’s Body Shop in Goessel, said he has had mishaps on his shop floor worse than the accident that brought the cars in.
A friend who worked in another shop was asked to replace the pins in a truck’s door.
“The customer got the car, and we hear this crash,” Klassen said. “The mechanic forgot to put the keepers on the pins, so when the guy opened the door, the door fell off in the driveway!”
Klassen also fixed a Saturn that hit a cow, which landed on the base of the vehicle’s hood and crushed the dash. He also fixed Goessel High School’s Chevrolet Suburban after a turkey flew into the windshield and took off the roof of the car.
After 38 years of working on vehicles, Klassen has a trove of stories about damage. It is hard to single out examples of mishaps when accidental damage is your life’s work.
“What’s weird to other people is normal stuff to me, I guess,” he said.
Last modified July 29, 2021