For the second time in as many decades, an Audi sedan saved the Lipton family from a day-eternal.
Driving home from a family "girls-weekend" at the Weathervane Inn in South Egremont, Massachusetts, a frequent Lipton family destination at the time, a five-year old Buck Wheat and her mother were likely singing, playing Eye-Spy or THE license plate game.
Thirteen-years before a Panda became THE Buck.
Using nearly all of the 104.12 miles of New York's Taconic State Parkway, the trip home should have taken a little under two-hours.
Winding, narrow, hilly with blind turns and drops of over six-feet from the road surface to terra-firma below, "THE Taconic" as locals refer to it, is known for its treacherous nature.
At the time the Taconic State Parkway Commission recommended in 1925 that this road be built, future president Franklin Delano Roosevelt (the commission's chairman), would not have known that 91-years later THE Taconic would be called New York’s deadliest highway.
A statistic nearly enhanced by the addition of two Lipton’s.
On the wet surface, my wife at the time briefly lost control of her Audi A3. Leaving the road and down the sloped embankment to the earth below, the car spun two different “360’s!” Spinning both clockwise and then rolling over as it tumbled down the embankment.
Hours later when I met the EMT who transported Panda and her mother to the emergency room, he shared his view that he had, “Never pulled survivors out of a car so badly damaged.”
To this day, the only thing Buck remembers of the accident was telling her mother as they crawled out of the broken windows that she needed to “Go back in and get daddy’s tennis balls.”
What I remember was a car which had crumbled. In its successful effort to keep its occupants safe.