The Joy of a New Car and the Sorrow of Its Wrecks


(Courtesy of Atticus Picardo)

This is Atticus Picardos Ford Fusion after he got in a wreck. This is on East Market street.

Since he was small, senior Atticus Picardo looked forward to April 11. 2020. On that day he turned sixteen. Not only that but he was also gifted his first car: a 2006 Ford Fusion.

“It was my birthday, and I was walking out of my birthday dinner with my eyes covered,” Picardo said. “My dad was trying to surprise me with a car, but it was a little obvious what he was planning. Once I got out there, I got in and looked around. Then, my family made me take so many awkward pictures.” 

Picardo’s family had a bittersweet moment when he was given the car. Soledad Woolever was beginning to think he was growing up a little too fast. 

“I was happy for him,” Woolever said. “I knew he would like to have a car and also get more freedom from it. I also, at that moment, knew that he was growing up fast. At the same time, I knew he was turning into someone I’m proud of.”

On his 16th birthday, Atticus Picardo was surprised with a car. (Courtesy of Atticus Picardo)

Picardo was interested in cars from a young age. When Picardo was a young boy, he was quick to ask if he could switch the gear or turn the wheel while sitting on his mother’s lap.

“When I was about seven, my parents would take the car to the yard and set me on their lap,” Picardo said. “Once we were out there, they would control the pedals, and they would let me drive in circles. Sometimes, they would even let us move the gear shift.”

Often, high school students get attached to their first car, even naming the car. Picardo came to love his car and named it Ford. 

“It was my first car,” Picardo said. “I thought it looked nice and ran pretty well. It got me from point A to point B and never broke down. I named it Ford because it was everywhere on the car, and I’d always remember.”

However, Picardo gets in his first small accident. He hit a mailbox on his way home and started to panic. While under all the pressure, he was quick to fabricate a whole story. 

“So, I was leaving my friend’s house, and I wanted to play a song on the way to my house. So, I was looking down at my phone, and I didn’t realize my car was swerving to the right. I looked up, and I wasn’t able to miss it in time. So, I pull over to see the damage, and it wasn’t that bad. But it was still noticeable, so I came up with a plan to cover up the hit. So, I got my cousin to think I hit a wall, and it worked. She believed that I hit the wall. ”

Once he convinced his cousin that he hit a wall instead of a mailbox, she believed him pretty quickly. His aunt quickly covered for him so that he would get in less trouble with his dad.

“We were in his driveway, and he looks at me to say something, then he just kind of stops,” junior Camila Flores said. “There was like a crash. He moved the car forward so we could look at it, and he was like ‘oh crap.’ So, we called my mom and she just kept telling him not to tell his mom. My mom was freaking out so we drove to my house. My mom had told my aunt that it was hit on the side of the road. ”

Although his first accident was covered up, his last one with this beloved car was difficult to hide. 

“When I hit the car, it was a blink and my car was full of smoke. The airbag was out, my ears were ringing, and everything was black,” Picardo said

Picardo was scared and wasn’t even sure what had happened.

“Then, it hit me. I hit someone. I felt like I was going to cry, but I had to hold it together,” Picardo said. “So, I get out of the car, and I see the damage. I think my dad is going to kill me, but then I see the other person’s car, and I was like did I even hit this person? Her car looks fine. So, we talked, and we had to call the police to come get my car.” 

Picardo had a lot going through his head. He then thought of his parents and how they would react.

“I had to call my parents, so my mom comes up to me and says ‘Are you ok?’ I was like ‘I’m fine.’ I was just shaking a lot,” Picardo said. “Then, my dad pulls up looking like the Russian mafia and goes ‘What happened? Then, I start crying.”

After his crash senior, Atticus Picardo takes a selfie with what’s left of his car. (Courtesy of Atticus Picardo)

Despite his stern demeanor, Picardo’s father was anxious to see if he was alright. Woolever was worried about her son after his car crash. She dropped everything and ran to her son as soon as possible.

“When his dad told me about the accident, everything around me froze,” Woolever said. “I left right away to come make sure you were okay.”

After the accident, Picardo had a bit of time to reflect and was able to really think about it now that he no longer had a car.

“My car never did me wrong,” Picardo said. “I had a lot of fun with my car and it gave me a lot more freedom. I was upset when my car got wrecked but I had a good time.”