I wanted to write about what happened tonight before it started to fade.
My sisters, Erin, Hanna and I were involved in a hit-and-run tonight.
We were driving back to Berean (our church) to chow down on some chili dogs after pwning each other at laser tag, and I turned down a residental street (Boone, by Dairy Queen) to get to the church, which was a couple blocks down. The road was icy, because the snow had melted during the day and then froze when the temperature dropped in the evening.
I was going about 25 mph (standard for a residental road), and I began to push on my brakes because there was a stop sign up ahead. However, I didn’t give myself enough room to stop, so I began sliding out into the middle of the road. All of a sudden, a brown Oldsmobile came out of nowhere, and I T-boned him, taking off his side panel. He had to have been going at least 45 mph (in a 35 mph zone).
The first thought that went through my head as I watched myself fly toward the other car was, “This shouldn’t be happening to me.” Sometimes, I think I feel excempt from the bad things that happen to other people, such as car crashes. You never think something is going to happen to you until it actually does.
After I hit the Olds, my car turned 90 degrees and came to a dead stop. I watched the Olds, wondering when it was going to stop. But it didn’t. The impact of the crash had pushed it to the other side of the street, but it was still facing the same direction. The driver realigned to the right side of the road, gassed it, and fled the scene.
My second thought was, “Wow, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.” The impact of the two cars barely jolted everyone in my vehicle. It felt like a very hard, very fast stop. The airbags didn’t even go off. I immediately went into shock and started to push the gas, trying to get the car off the road. The engine, however, didn’t comply, and made really scary noises.
My sister, Mary Ann, was the only one that kept her head at this point. She yelled at us to get out of the car, and by then, the people that had been shoveling their driveways were coming toward us, asking what had happened.
It wasn’t until I saw the extent of the damage that it started to sink in. The whole front bumper was gone and the hood was crumpled, not to mention the scary engine noises. I could barely breathe…I didn’t know what to do. My only thought was to contact someone at Berean to come help us, so I called Jerod and whimpered that we had been in a car wreck. Within two seconds, he and his brother, Nathan, were sprinting down the street toward the accident. Miss Donna saw them running and picked them up halfway in her van before meeting us at the crash site.
After calling Jerod, I called 911 to report the accident. Before I even finished the call, a cop had shown up, so I spent the next 20 minutes talking to him and all that. Mr. Don showed up in a fire truck, checked on us, and then found the side panel of the Olds a little bit away from the site. This helped identify the car so the cop could put out a bulletin for it (we were having a hard time describing it because everything had happened so fast). Jerod called my dad to let him know what was going on, and Mr. Scott came, too, to make sure we were ok. The neighbors were really nice, too. One lady invited us into her house, and when we declined, she gave us a blanket and told us to come to her if we needed anything else.
Finally, the tow truck came, loaded up the sorry mess of a car, and followed us back home. The remaining pieces of my beloved white Subaru Outback now sit in my garage, reminding me that without the Lord, the girls and I could possibly be dead. If I had been a few seconds too early sliding through that stop sign, the Olds would have T-boned us, which could have been fatal.
The Lord was really looking out for us tonight. All I could do when I got home was lay on my bed, cry, and thank Him over and over for keeping us safe. He really showed Himself faithful to all of us, and to walk away from that kind of a crash without so much as whiplash is a miracle. I am so, so thankful that Sarah, Mary Ann, Erin, Hanna and I are all alive and safe.
Jesus also sent some amazing friends to help us through the night: Miss Donna and Jerod kept me calm for most of the night, talking to me through my tears and speaking truth to me, even when I didn’t see it. Nathan held me and let me cry at one point (he was a very reassuring presence), and Jordan brought me my Christmas present (which was a blanket, ironically enough). 🙂 Cory came and sat with Sarah, and Mary Ann, Hanna and Erin all took care of each other. The policeman that helped us was exceptional, too. He was very patient and understanding, which is exactly what we all needed. He said he would be looking for the guy who hit us, who we assume was either drunk, on drugs, didn’t have insurance or some combination of the three.
In retrospect…I think God smacked me upside the head and made me realize how precious life really is. Any one of us could have been killed tonight…I wouldn’t be here writing this note about God’s amazing faithfulness and love if He hadn’t protected us. I am so grateful to be alive, and to understand more fully the wall of angels that He has constantly around me. Never take Jesus’ protection for granted.
It’s more real than we know.
~ no holds barred ~