100s are tough, but elk hurt

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JunkCrzr89

Competent Ignoramoose
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We were on the last leg of our nearly 6,000-mile roadtrip, just 95 miles from home, at 1:30AM, just below the Mogollon Rim. Having driven this highway dozens of times in all types of conditions, from afternoon monsoon rains to heavy snowstorms at night, I knew that elk were everywhere at all times. However, despite my corresponding cautious driving changes to attempt to prevent a collision with one of these monstrous ungulates (driving 10 miles below the speed limit, my wife and I both visually scanning the road and shoulders for elk, etc.), the evil stars aligned in a dark, hard turn of the highway nestled in a swag...A cow elk galloped out in front of us. I slammed the brakes, but not soon enough or hard enough to avoid disaster. The elk is dead, my 100 is mangled 😭

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On the bright side, my wife who is 7-months pregnant, our 3 year-old daughter, and our two dogs were all just fine. I also didn’t try to swerve to miss the elk, but instead hammered down in the brakes, so avoided a rollover in the curve. The Cruiser still runs great! Radiator not busted, engine still running like a top, etc. The airbags did *not* deploy, so the brakes did their job in slowing us down. Fortunately, I have AAA Gold Plus, which will tow you anywhere within a 100 mile radius for no charge; thus, we rode in the cruiser all the way home on the back of a tow truck.

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On the downside, it was dark and I haven’t assessed the damage extensively yet. The hood, fender, grill, bumper cover, etc. are toast obviously. Unclear what, if any, of the critical body supports are damaged, but I suspect at least the radiator support is jacked. Mechanical damage seemed to be limited.

The cruiser is currently sitting in my driveway. I’ll have to muster up the strength to go check it out in the daylight. Any suggestions for working with insurance (Liberty Mutual)? Certainly, my primary concern is that the damage will be too costly to fix and insurance will consequently total it out. My 3-year old is already bummed that the cruiser she helped me work on is “hurt”, but she’ll be crushed if it’s a goner!

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That's like a good day at the hammers. Typical mud response:

sorry for your loss
you can rebuild it yourself since it doesn't look so bad
Insurance companies are evil
Buy it back and repair and win
 
Ah man glad nobody was hurt, they're gonna total that for sure, just make sure you fight with them to get a good settlement and then if you want to keep it, buy it back from them. You did smart by not swerving, hitting a movable animal is a lot softer on the impact than a stationary tree.
 
Pull sold examples from BAT auctions in case they want to total it.

Glad the fam wasnt hurt.
 
And honestly it doesn't look horribly bad. Have your daughter help you just remove the broken pieces and go find replacements!
 
Glad the fam is OK. Always seems to happen when you're almost home, doesn't it? I've driven there a bunch, it is elk central for sure.
 
And honestly it doesn't look horribly bad. Have your daughter help you just remove the broken pieces and go find replacements!
Thanks for the words of encouragement. That’s my tentative plan, assuming I can avoid being figuratively sodomized by the insurance co. My only legit concern is whether or not the frame is tweaked.
 
You seem to be awfully fastidious and meticulous about your maintenance. I'd guess the best person to notice frame damage, visually, is you on your own rig.
 
You seem to be awfully fastidious and meticulous about your maintenance. I'd guess the best person to notice frame damage, visually, is you on your own rig.
Touché. There’s a part of me that fears what I may find, though! So I haven’t been out to look at it in the daylight yet. I’ll have to total up my receipts, but a conservative guesstimate is that I’ve installed around $5,000 worth of parts on this thing in just the last year...
 
Awe man... that's painful to see and one of my worst fears. :frown: From the sound of it you can probably (no frame bending happened I hope) put her back together and live to bull fight another day. 👀

I had a near Elk experience driving north out of Cuba, NM at 2am last year sometime. I installed PIAA (totally legal :oops:) driving lights when I bought my LC. The saved me on that trip. I could see "something, possibly an alien" about a mile down 550. I maintained speed but kept an eye on the "alien". It was in the middle of my lane. At 1/4 mile I knew it was an Elk so I started coasting down, expecting it to move. Nope. I drove right up to it. I was about 3' away and we just stared at each other. It was a young bull. I even honked and it just looked at me. I was about ready to back up and go around when it just ambled off to the right. Nohug, no wave, didn't even look back.
 
Sucks man. Sorry to see. North Country is a rough spot at night with Elk, least it wasn't a Moose. Put up on CSC, see who has what. What's up with the one pic that looks like the wife has an air bag out? [ first pic ]
 
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Sucks man. Sorry to see. North Country is a rough spot at night with Elk, least it wasn't a Moose. Put up on CSC, see who has what. What's up with the one pic that looks like the wife has an air bag out?

Third pic? That's a ball cap
 
@Mike6158 first pic, though isn't you, so we'll see what op says, considering he said air bags didn't deploy. just curious. Edit to say --' did not deploy.. not deploy, but looked it...what meant to say, and to not mess up thread. Glad all is well. Specially the junior.

@JunkCrzr89 I know there are alot of parts floating around here. Good time to get bumper etc, but I'm aware of a gent i gave my whole front bumper set up to. Unsure of his use, but it was the bumper and shroud with fogs. Again, reach out locally.
 
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He said they didn't " The airbags did *not* deploy, so the brakes did their job in slowing us down."
 
Awe man... that's painful to see and one of my worst fears. :frown: From the sound of it you can probably (no frame bending happened I hope) put her back together and live to bull fight another day. 👀

I had a near Elk experience driving north out of Cuba, NM at 2am last year sometime. I installed PIAA (totally legal :oops:) driving lights when I bought my LC. The saved me on that trip. I could see "something, possibly an alien" about a mile down 550. I maintained speed but kept an eye on the "alien". It was in the middle of my lane. At 1/4 mile I knew it was an Elk so I started coasting down, expecting it to move. Nope. I drove right up to it. I was about 3' away and we just stared at each other. It was a young bull. I even honked and it just looked at me. I was about ready to back up and go around when it just ambled off to the right. Nohug, no wave, didn't even look back.
For the first time in my life I can honestly say that a light bar may serve a purpose had I had one! I have driven this road (hwy 260) dozens of times over the last 3-4 years when I was traveling back and forth between Phoenix and Santa Fe (I used to work for NM Game and Fish). I knew that elk were everywhere along this 50-mile stretch...I should’ve just not driven it. I knew better!
What's up with the one pic that looks like the wife has an air bag out? [ first pic ]
She’s looking through a bag full of snacks for our daughter.
 
He said they didn't " The airbags did *not* deploy, so the brakes did their job in slowing us down."
Correct - no airbags deployed.
 
Tell us about the first 5900 miles of the road trip - the non-flatbed part.
Ah unfortunately it was not as glamorous as it sounds... The primary purpose was to go back to KY to visit my wife’s dad who was diagnosed with stage IV lung+brain cancer and a bleak prognosis. We didn’t want to fly because of the Rona, so I got the 100 in tip top shape to haul our asses across the country. We did do some trout fishing though, and putt around in my dad’s 40. And I drank a lot of beer 🤷🏻‍♂️ Of course, we also did some other traveling around to rack up a couple extra thousands of miles.
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