For the last handful of years I’ve done a daddy-daughter summer trip “Up North” in Michigan. It was a great outing as trips come – awesome cool evenings, warm Michigan beaches, countless satellites and shooting stars in the pure black night sky, and the best of the Leelanau Peninsula. Satisfied and sun-kissed we made our way home.
After enjoying many unforgettable great moments with my daughters we were left with an unforgettable yikes moment on our way back home. We were on I-69 just south of Lansing, freshly out of a thunderstorm, going about 70 mph when all of a sudden our Toyota Sequoia started wildly and almost uncontrollably shaking.
As cars and semi-trucks whiz by us on the highway, I was able to pull over and venture out to investigate further.
To my shock, we had just two of the five lug-nuts remaining on our front passenger tire. One of the two I rotated half a turn with my hand and it immediately fell off. The other was about half way off its pin and I easily turned with my fingers. One of the pins had completely snapped. Talk about a “What If” moment.
I sighed relief that nothing terrible happened. I thought of my daughters. I thought of some of the terrible accidents of clients and loved ones I’ve seen. I felt shame for not having checked my wheel sooner, my heart pounding with both anger and relief. I thought of my car dealer, where a week prior we had the oil changed and tires rotated. Yet, at 70 mph with adrenaline immediately spiking I knew nothing of lost lug-nuts. Only that something was terribly wrong. Praise God we were able to slow down and pull off immediately to safety.
I knew about insurance. I knew about car dealers garage liability. Yet I also know insurance has limitations, it responds but it cannot reverse the terrible. And in that moment none of that mattered. I looked at my daughters and knew we were fortunate. I also knew how thankful I was.
We had immediately stopped in front of a highway exit where a good Samaritan stopped and helped me tighten my two lug-nuts. Then I was able to slowly drive to an auto parts store a half mile away where I bought a couple more lug-nuts to make it home.
Yes, the dealership replaced a number of damaged pieces. Yes, do a vehicle pre-check before a long road trip. Yes, insurance could have come into play.
Even better, get home.
Jeremy Hyde | Colligan & Company