The end of our story is that insurance companies are just organized crime syndicates. Here is the beginning of our story....
We were on the way home to Colorado after an amazing weekend of shows in Sun Valley, ID when the weather and roads took a bad turn across Wyoming. It was slow going but after a driver change and fuel stop the roads cleared up bit. After about 20 miles of clear roads, the van and trailer headed into the Green River tunnel and hit an unexpected patch of black ice at speed. With no real shoulder in the tunnel the van smashed directly into the concrete wall, bouncing off the wall then causing the trailer to detach and roll over sliding down the interstate. The force of this sends the van crashing directly back into the wall for a second time before grinding to a halt with a broken axle. Luckily a good samaritan came along and helped divert traffic into the open lane avoiding any further collisions. It was pretty dramatic and quite scary for the 3 band members in the van: Gary, Damon and Ryan. Miraculously, no injuries. AMAZING! State patrol arrived and helped to get I-80 East re-opened and getting all the guys to a safe place in town to relax and decompress some but not after Damon was written a ticket for an illegal lane change. Sheez. All the car and uhaul rental places had already closed and it's now 6PM on a Sunday in Green River, WY. One overnight hotel room stay later, we were able to secure a $550 Uhaul rental to try and salvage the contents of our gear from the trailer and get home. The van and trailer were both officially totaled so now it's a scrap heap. Great news though, most all the gear seems intact and looking ok. It turns out that all that money we had individually spent on great road cases paid off! Back to Colorado now right??? But not so fast, another night in Wyoming with another i80 closure and another overnight hotel in Rawlings has to happen. Not only are we wasting money on uhauls and hotels that won't be reiumbursed there were also missed wages for Damon who lost a whole day's worth of income. We were finally able to make it home and felling fortunate as it could have been worse, no one injured, gear is mostly all fine. All the big ticket items like the fragile acoustic instruments are in good condition AND we have a full coverage commercial auto policy with Progressive.
But wait... not so fast. After determining that the van and trailer were indeed totaled they use a magic formula to determine the value of the thrashed vehicle and trailer. A phone call from an energetic claims adjuster who is super stoked to inform us he has a check for us for $3600 and happy to get it to us right away so we can keep on rolling down the road and touring. Um...… what??? You mean the 15 passenger diesel van we bought for $18,500 only 4 years ago is now only worth $2500 and the trailer is worth $1100? How can this be? Our only recourse now is to hire an attorney and 6 months later maybe squeeze a few more thousand dollars out of them. In the meantime we have tour dates, places to be and worse yet is the timing of us dumping every last penny we have into our new album, promo and videos. Great.
We've never asked for a single dollar from friends, fans or family to help make music and we ended up giving it away for free via YouTube, Spotify and others. We really only make money by traveling and touring playing shows dates and without transportation, we are sunk. It's embarrassing to ask but we are absolutely stuck at this moment with no transportation. Our research has shown that we can find reasonable diesel passenger vans between 7-10K and trailers from 3-4K.
We are asking for help raising the 10K to keep us headed down the road.
If you feel so inclined or have ever enjoyed a WhiteWater Ramble concert, song, album, video or other we could really use your help right now.
You can enjoy our latest videos here to see what we're up to.
We have a bunch more scheduled to be release in Feb, March and April before finally releasing the new album.
Everyone who donates is going to get a link to download and listen to our unreleased album in it's entirety BEFORE we put it all out.
Thanks so much for your time and consideration and Happy New Year!
Damon Wood - Guitarist/vocalist
Ryan Sapp - Drummer
Patrick Sites - Mandolinist/vocalist
Andy Reiner - Violins
Gary Sloan - Bassist/Vocalist