On Sunday, June 25th 2023, we were involved in a car crash on the Autobahn. While our camper is beyond repair, we were very lucky and escaped with only minor injuries.
It was between 18h and 18:30h, we were on the first day of our vacation, and we were driving on the right lane of a three-lane Autobahn (the A5 north of Freiburg) at approximately 110 km/h, when a car hit us in the rear left of our campervan. We immediately started spinning.
I clearly remember my disbelief, the fear of what might happen next, and the other car sliding and spinning by our windshield. Fortunately we didn’t hit anything and weren’t hit again by another vehicle – as I feared. But our camper flipped on its right side.
Zoe and I were in the front, still firmly attached to our seats afterwards. I really couldn’t believe the two of us seemed unharmed. Nicole was in the back in the living area of the campervan. She wasn’t so lucky unfortunately: she was mixed in all the rubble from the insides and was bleeding. The result were several bruises (mostly in the face) and a cut in the upper lip. She was bleeding, visibly shaken and confused, but concious.
After unbuckling myself and quickly checking with Zoe, I first helped Nicole out of the rubble and out of the vehicle through the roof window. There were already people waiting outside, further taking care of her. After that, I returned to the front, unbuckling Zoe, and then we stepped out together – again, with the help of other drivers who had stopped to help.
Then I saw the other car – the one that hit us – a few meters ahead; it was pretty much completely destroyed, with a fire burning beneath it (which got bigger and bigger, ending up completely burning down the wreck). Its driver was unharmed. No other cars were involved.
A burst tyre seems to have been the cause of the crash. Then the driver lost control and crashed into us.
I was able to quickly go inside the camper once more to recover my phone, a few valuable items and flip flops for both Nicole and Zoe (who were driving barefooted). Then the police and ambulance had already arrived (the fire brigade took a little longer). We were taken to the ambulance car for us all to calm down and for Nicole to be checked. At that point she was already fully present again, out of that first shock. A few minutes later we were taken off the scene and to a nearby hospital.
We still can’t believe how much luck we had (after that bad luck that was the crash itself). I’m very thankful for all the people the helped and cared for us in the first minutes (including the driver of the other car), the ambulance, and everyone else who helped that evening and the following Monday.
And after said (a little hectic) Monday, we were even able to continue our vacation. We had the opportunity to get a rental camper as a replacement real quick, and so FUCK IT! WE’RE GOING ON OUR HOLIDAY!! ;-).
So, we’re currently in eastern France, having spent half of our vacation now. Nicole’s bruises and lip are healing ok, and we’re having a good time. I think it was the best decision to forget about this incident most of the time. The paper work is taken care of by someone else for now, and we’ll deal with that ourselves next week again.
Oh, and here are some (German) news articles on the accident:
- Rauchsäule über A5: Vollsperrung nach Unfall am Sonntagabend
- Pkw stößt nach Reifenplatzer auf der A5 bei Renchen mit Wohnmobil zusammen und brennt aus
- Auto kollidiert nach Reifenplatzer auf der Autobahn mit Wohnmobil, dieses überschlägt sich und landet auf der Seite – Auto geht sofort in Flammen auf – eine Person wird leicht verletzt