Most folks shopping for a new truck these days want capability, dependability or even certain luxury features that were, until recently, reserved for high-end cars. While you hope to never put it to the test yourself, safety has also become a more important factor. That’s especially true when, say, you’re rear-ended while stuck in stop-and-go traffic by an inattentive driver, as David Fulkerson and his fiancée were in Texas.
Here’s his story, as he recently shared with us at firstname.lastname@example.org:
2021 Toyota Tundra crash: ‘We were sent spinning for 50 yards’
“Hey, I love your YouTube videos! Thank you for the great content.
After researching for months, I decided to buy a 2021 Toyota Tundra Platinum 4×4. On the 5th of December, I purchased a brand new dark grey Tundra. The next day, I put [BFGoodrich] KO2s on the stock 20” rims. I loved this truck! A week after I bought it, on December 12, with about 500 total miles on the odometer, it saved my and my fiancée’s lives.
We were coming to a stop on a Texas highway, at the end of a long line of cars stopped by a wide load that was blocking the road. A newish Chevy Impala hit us from behind, and hadn’t slowed at all. It hit us so hard, we were sent spinning for 50 yards. My fiancée’s seat headrest was snapped off and her seat back flattened. My seat was mashed in the middle somehow and bowed up inches. All the dashboard stuff like the radio was now in the back seat.
I saw the car in the rear view mirror right before it hit us. Everything slowed down and I braced for the impact. I yelled, “hold on!”. In my mind, I registered that this was real bad and we were probably gonna get hurt. Life was going to change or end. I thought about the weight of the car hitting our truck, I thought about the airbags we had. I came to the conclusion that we might be OK.
Then the car hit us.
It was so violent a hit, it was so much harder than anything I ever experienced. I realized that I was not right about being OK. I had thought the car I saw just before it hit us was just going to be going about 35 mph. At that time, I did not realize he was going full highway speed and never hit his brakes. The acceleration when we were struck was unbelievable. Everything was still in slow motion and it hurt so bad. The car stopped where it hit us, and we were launched like a billiard ball being hit by another dead on. There was a small silver car stopped 20 feet in front of us, and I realized that I was going to hit it hard.
It went through my mind that the safest thing to do would be just brace and ride out whatever was happening, but my reflexes were just working on their own, I guess. I turned the wheel to the right, and that’s the way we went. I don’t think we hit that car at all, but some debris did. Then I tried to countersteer and correct that, but there was nothing happening in response by that point. Things were just a blur then. Spinning images too fast for me to know what direction or where I was even facing. The “slowing down” moment was gone. I was just there, I had no further control over what was going to happen to me or my fiancée.
I kept saying, “we’re alive”‘
We came to a stop down the ditch from where he hit us. I looked around, I looked at my hands and legs. I hurt, but I saw no blood. Then I realized there was a voice talking to us. A lady from Toyota emergency services had started talking to us before we even came to a stop. Her calm voice was telling us a crash has been detected and she was dispatching emergency services.
I asked my fiancée if she was OK. I checked to see if she was bleeding, and she wasn’t. Not one airbag had gone off, since we had not hit anything in front of us. I was bewildered and couldn’t think clearly. I kept looking around, stuff was destroyed but not a broken window. My fiancée said, “oh sweetie, your truck!” She did not realize what had happened. Her concussion is worse than mine and she was pretty out of it for a while. I said right back to her, “Babe, it saved our lives! We are alive! Oh, my god babe. We are alive!”
I was giddy with relief and could not believe we weren’t dead. I just kept saying, “we’re alive.” We were discharged from the hospital later that day. We are both suffering from severe whiplash and are bruised. It’s going to be weeks before we feel all better from our injuries I’m told, but we are OK.
“TaTonka” and “TaTonka II”
I had named that tundra “TaTonka”, as a Buffalo/Tonka truck kind of thing. I owned it for just 7 days and 500 miles. It was the best purchase I’ve ever made. I truly believe if I had been in a car or small SUV, I would be dead or maimed.
Yesterday, I bought another 2021 Toyota Tundra Platinum 4×4. This one is black, and I’m having the dealer put a 3-inch lift and TRD catback exhaust on it.”
Editor’s Note: I edited David’s story for grammar and formatting, but otherwise it is complete. It’s a crazy tale of two Tundras in just 10 days, and we wish the best to David and his fiancée on a full and speedy recovery. Thanks for sending in your story!