GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Feb. 21, 2014) – It’s a twisted case of ‘buyer beware’ for the new owner of a used car who learned the hard way what a West Michigan winter is capable of.
Frank Sallie and his wife Shawna Bumhof will be the first to admit their timing could have been better in the purchase. They’ve been searching for a new car for months when a deal too good to pass up came along.
They paid $500 for the keys to a 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis got less than a mile down the road, ran into some ice then crashed into a semi.
“Less than ten minutes,” said Sallie.
That’s how long the couple were owners of the car they bought from Bumhof’s boss at the Arby’s on Alpine Ave. in Grand Rapids.
“We’ve been looking for a vehicle and I was like, ‘So how much do you want for it?’ He said, ‘Make me an offer,’” Bumhof said.
Frank went to the Arby’s to close the deal, got the keys and started driving home. He was less than a mile down the road, the corner of Alpine and Ann Street when the crash happened.
“I must have hit a patch of ice,” Sallie said. “The car went into a spin and when it came back, there was a truck coming towards me and then the truck hit me and I went into more of a spin.”
Fortunately Sallie was able to walk away from the crash. As for the Grand Marquis Bumhoff said, “The car got completely totaled.”
The transaction was so fresh, the car was still insured in the previous owner’s name.
“It’s good that he had the insurance on there and I’m grateful for that and I would like to thank him for that,” said Sallie.
The couple is right back to where they were before the transaction, in need of a car but out 500 dollars. Walking away from a wreck that totaled the car seemed to put things in perspective for a couple that earlier in the day had a minor argument about who would go buy the car.
“Life is too short,” said Bumhof. “You never know what is going to happen.”