It's easy to give into to schadenfreude and laugh at a viral video of a man being flung from his own driver's seat, like a James Bond ejector seat blooper. And when I first saw this video, I laughed too. An embarrassing snort-laugh. Thankfully, I work from home so there were no witnesses. Hunter Phillips, the who attempted a burnout while leaving a parts store parking lot, when the car seemingly lost control and went sideways, like a Mustang leaving a Cars and Coffee may not have been laughing as hard. Especially because, during his slide, his driver's door opened and he tumbled into the street, while his 1981 Chevy Camaro went off into an Ace Hardware. At first glance, it's a pretty hilarious video, and Phillips' friends even shared it on Facebook. But after talking to Phillips, it's hard to not feel at least a little bit bad for his situation.
The Camaro in the video wasn't only just his family's Camaro, it was the car he was brought home from the hospital on the day he was born. It's been sitting for 25 years and, after a long rebuild, he finally got it running again this year. In fact, the drive that saw him thrown from the car was only his third test drive since getting it back on the road. Now, after having an unexpected run-in with Ace Hardware, the Camaro needs further repairs that Phillips is going to pay for out of pocket since he doesn't want his insurance company to write off the car and take it from him. The car clearly means a lot to him.
Thankfully for Phillips, he ended up relatively uninjured. He's a bit sore and has some road rash but the car is in worse shape. The door that unexpectedly opened was damaged, as was the rear quarter panel behind it, the driver's side fender, the front lip, and the rear glass was jarred out of place, ruining the factory seal. All in, there's a decent amount of damage but nothing that Phillips isn't willing to fix or have fixed. According to Phillips, there was more damage done to the Ace Hardware store than the car.
He said he doesn't know why the door opened. He thinks the door simply wasn't latched all the way and when he was pushed into the door during the slide, it opened, putting him onto the pavement. According to Phillips, those Camaro doors are notoriously heavy and tend to wear out their latches, so that's his suspected culprit.
Now, though, Phillips has nothing to do except dust himself off and repair any damages he can. Not knowing that he isn't hurt, you can still laugh at the video, while also feeling a bit bad for Phillips' situation. Especially when you consider that the entire event was sort of self-inflicted, as he probably should have been wearing a seatbelt. Thankfully, Phillips learned from this incident and is not only going to install five-point harnesses but a roll bar, too.