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A trip across North America that was four years in the planning came to an abrupt stop in Detroit, MI, for Gaby and Jackson Richards, an adventurous couple from Australia. Driving a 2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara, shipped from their home in Brisbane, Queensland to the U.S. for the anticipated year-long journey, the Richards’ vehicle was hit on the right side in a car accident in Detroit.
“It was only a couple of days after New Year’s, and we had just visited Eastern Market when the accident occurred,” said Gaby Richards. “Fortunately, no one was hurt and the car was still drivable.”
The SUV’s right side was damaged. For Australian vehicles, this is the driver’s side.
According to the couple, it was Korte’s Collision in Dearborn Heights, MI, that quickly came to their rescue. Jackson found Korte’s Collision through an Internet search. Jackson and Gaby drove to the shop and met Matt Korte, who immediately gave the vehicle a thorough inspection and provide a detailed quote. Korte also encouraged the couple to seek other quotes.
“A second collision shop said that they couldn’t look at it until the next day, and a guy at a third shop quoted the repairs before he really looked at the vehicle,” said Gaby Richards. “He blew off our concerns, so we went back to Matt because we had really good feelings when we met him.”
Since the Richards’ arrival in Los Angeles this past October, the pair have traveled over 14,000 miles through Canada and Alaska and back through the northern U.S. to Chicago and then to Michigan. They spent time in Traverse City and at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn before the accident.
While Korte’s Collision repaired their SUV, the owners Matt and Lisa Korte invited the couple to dinner with their family and to a fundraiser to play euchre at Divine Child, where their sons attend school in Dearborn.
“We have euchre in Australia, but we’d never played it before,” said Richards. “It was fun watching and talking with everyone.”
Helping the Richards was also an adventure for the Kortes who learned about customs and culture in Australia.
“We didn’t have any challenges with the repairs, but having the driver’s position on the right side of the vehicle took some getting used to,” said Matt Korte. “I don’t know how many times we went to the left side only to get out and go around.”
He added that everyone was also fascinated by the look of the vehicle, the large antennas, bull bar and snorkel coming out of the fender that made it look like it was ready for the Australian outback.
The Richards are back on the road driving their fully repaired vehicle. The couple’s adventure can be followed on their blog at www.gabyandjackson.com.
About Korte’s Collision
Established in 2003, Korte’s Collision is a family-owned business located at 27100 Van Born Road in Dearborn Heights, MI. A complete vehicle repair facility, Korte’s Collision handles everything from dings and dents to severely damaged and recovered vehicles. Along with collision, glass, frame, paint and theft repairs, the shop services all makes and models, fleet vehicles and lease turn-ins. To learn more about Korte’s Collision, visit: