Tragedy Strikes

May 12:  We have been rallying since 2004 and never had such a tragedy such as this on any rally we have participated in. Even on the World Rally 2011, covering 14,000 miles, no one had an accident, not even a fender-bender. Well that is a thing of the past.

Yesterday on the run from Knoxville to Memphis, ( we were making our way back from Leslie’s graduation and not actually on this run) the driver of the oldest car, the 1924 Bentley, missed a turn, attempted a U-turn and was hit broadside with enough force to flip the Bentley and pin one of the young women under it. I don’t know what kind of modern car (SUV perhaps?) hit them but both girls, sisters from Germany sustained broken bones, cuts and bruises. Both are currently in a hospital in Nashville. From the reports from other competitors and our rally organizers we have learned that one has at least one broken leg ,the other has a crushed pelvis. I don’t know the extent of the other injuries and don’t know if the driver of the car that hit them was hurt. They will both recover from their injuries, but most likely will be evacuated to Germany when that is possible.

1929 Mercedes S

The car they were driving is owned by their  uncle who is also on the rally driving  this 1929 Mercedes S. He is with them in Nashville and out of the rally as well. We don’t know if Herman will rejoin us as right now he has a lot of complications to deal with. First, of course, his nieces and their injuries, then what to do with the Bentley and of course decisions about the car he is driving and whether to continue with the rally. He brought these cars from his museum in Germany. The cars are both beautiful and expensive but not nearly as  priceless as  the health of his nieces.

Sonja and Claudia in the 1924 Bentley

We have enjoyed getting to know both Sonja and Claudia. They  brought a real sparkle to this rally with their youth and enthusiasm. We will miss them and wish them speedy recovery. This has had a sobering effect on all of us. We want everyone to get safely to Anchorage, scores are not that important. After all, this is an event for fun and comraderie.   Please drive defensively and take care on the road. Jan and Ed

About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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3 Responses to Tragedy Strikes

  1. Glad the German women survived. When you look at the car, that doesn’t look like much protection when it’s upside down. They were very lucky.
    I hope their recovery goes well. Very sorry for them. How sad ending a trip you’ve been looking forward to, in such a bad way. You guys drive careful!

  2. TBC says:

    How awful for you all, and how terrible for Herman who must feel so responsible for his charming nieces. Thank heavens that the two young ladies will recover. Be safe!

    Love to you two,

    TBC & Arnie

  3. Anggie Thompson says:

    So sorry to hear about Sonja and Claudia. I hope they recover enough to get home to Germany soon. My prayers are with them and Herman as he deals with everything.

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