Went to Bairnsdale on Friday for Jumbo Pierce's funeral. Jumbo was a friend from our Bairnsdale days, husband of Marion who was one of Doortje's work mates and still a close friend. The funeral and wake went a lot longer than we imagined and it was after dark when we left Bairnsdale, after deciding we'd spend the night in Sale on our way home.
We were almost to Stratford when a truck coming in the opposite direction dropped a couple of star pickets on the road and one of them got caught under our car. As it was dark, we didn't know what was happening. Except that I saw sparks on the middle of the road as the star picket bounced along.
The steel post, about 1.5m long, was thrown up into the left hand front wheel arch, where it gouged a 30cm gash in the tyre and wrecked the mudguard panel. It made a tremendous noise as one end dragged along the road.
We were travelling at 100kmph and it took some effort to control the car and pull up on the side of the road. We found that the star picket was bent ninety degrees and jammed under the car, with one end on the ground and the other into the front of the wheel arch.
It turned out that the vehicle in front of us had also been hit, in the grille and headlight, probably by another post, the one I saw sparking along the road. Anyway, that driver stopped too, unsure what had happened, and very surprised at our damage. He helped us jack up the car, remove the tangled picket and change the wheel.
Amazingly, there seemed to be no damage to any structures under the car, and it could be driven normally! The axle, torsion arms, suspension, sump, etc, were completely untouched and we were able to proceed to Sale.
Thanks to Charles of Gippsland Amusements in Morwell, who stayed to help us get back on the road, and get over the shock of it all. We're so glad that we are still alive!