It’s every new Corvette owner’s worst nightmare – a crash on the very first day of ownership.
But fortunately for this Killeen, Texas man, the nightmare wasn’t a total horror story as he survived an accident less than 45 minutes after he had just picked up his blue C5 Corvette in Bellmead, Texas.
Gerald Helmandollar was in Temple, Texas about 10:30 a.m. last Thursday when an 18-wheeler made a sharp left turn from the wrong traffic lane, with the back wheels of the cab first rolling across the front end of his Corvette and then the front wheels of the trailer following suit. Photos afterwards show the passenger side fender smashed off, the hood damaged, and a headlight cover missing, but surprisingly the windshield appears to have escaped unbroken. Can’t tell what might have happened to the engine from all that weight going over it.
Then the truck driver then took off.
While Gerald escaped with no injuries, he did get pretty emotional in the minutes just after the accident, telling his wife once she arrived at the scene that all he could think about was the truck’s tires were going to wind up in his lap. Eventually, Gerald began to hyperventilate so badly that a Temple Fire & Rescue worker had to help him in the cool cab of the EMT truck to keep him from passing out.
Whlie all this was going on, fortunately for Gerald, a Good Samaritan in a Jeep who appeared to be a young man in his 20s, pulled up next to Gerald right after the incident and offered to follow the truck to try and get the driver to stop.
“The ‘Jeep guy’ caught the trucker, told him he had run over the Corvette and was able to get the trucker to make the block and come back,” Gerald’s wife Cynthia said.
Now Gerald and his family want to thank that anonymous “Jeep guy” Good Samaritan for his willingness to help a stranger.
“We are thankful there are still good people out there who will do things like that,” Cynthia said. “We just want to tell him ‘thank you’ or buy him a coffee – or a steak dinner. People who do things like this need to be recognized.”
This story is still developing. Gerald remains sore but recovering, and he’s still waiting to hear from the trucker’s insurance company – if he had insurance. Hopefully, he and his Corvette will soon be back on the road.
As for the trucker, he received a moving violation for an improper turn, according to Temple Police spokeswoman Ellen Morton.
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