2006 Subaru Legacy GT Wagon Crash

As we were heading to my youngest daughter's 5th birthday party one fine August Saturday morning a Suburban pulled in front of us from a side street. I stood on the ABS and tried to steer to avoid but there simply wasn't enough distance. We were all OK apart from some seatbelt bruises, burns from the front airbags, stiff necks and a few minor scrapes and bruises. My right leg was pretty sore in the days following from standing on the brake pedal when we collided. Fortunately traffic wasn't too busy and came to a halt allowing us to scramble out of the wreckage and get off the street.

We were driving in the left lane of a 4-plus-turn-lane surface street in full daylight. In the right lane an oversized, Suburban-like light truck was making a right turn onto a side street, blocking the view of traffic to the black Suburban waiting to turn left from that same side street. There was a small break in oncoming traffic (right from the Suburban's point of view) and, despite not being able to see anything to his left, the driver pulled out at what I'm guessing was full throttle to get into the apparent opening.

By the time I saw him emerge around the truck in the right lane it was too late. I had enough time to get my right foot fully on the brake pedal but not enough distance to avoid the collision. I remember steering left to avoid which probably took me a short way into the empty left turn lane. My right bumper connected in front of the Suburban's front left wheel. At that point the airbag blew my hands off the wheel and any possibility of control disappeared. The energy of the Suburban moved our 45 mph, 3500 lb Legacy nearly 90° off our direction of travel into the oncoming lanes of traffic. (I know it was exactly 45 mph because that road is heavily patrolled by CPPD so I use cruise control to avoid the natural tendency to go a little too fast on that wide, flat boulevard.) We were exceedingly fortunate everyone got stopped before any secondary collisions happend.

After a quick health check in the car and appraisal of traffic around us, my wife and I quickly got the kids and ourselves out of the car and up the curb. The Legacy was clearly immobile so there was no point attempting to move it.

A kind fellow working at a shop nearby called 911 and emergency crews arrived shortly thereafter. Fortunately their duties included little more than a quick health check of the kids in both cars, directing traffic and sweeping up broken plastic.

The Suburban driver made a terrible error in judgement. He fully admitted fault. CPPD cited him for failure to yield. Fortunately his insurance was decent and worked with us on a rental car and total loss of the Legacy.

Mechanically it was a terrible shame. Station wagons were no longer selling well enough in the US that we could get a long-roof replacement. What few wagon models remained here lacked sufficient back seat legroom.