Friday, February 1, 2013

Today I was in a car wreck

Well, to start off I'd like to thank everyone who answered my call for prayers while on the road today. I am a firm believer that God not only hears, but responds to our prayers. I believe that today I was extended a great amount of mercy and grace, and I'm very thankful that God chose to protect little Violet and I from harm.

Late this morning I had a wreck on northbound I-35 just a few miles south of Waco. If you are unfamiliar with this stretch of road, the interstate shrinks down to two lanes and there is a stretch with no shoulder on the left side. There is a big concrete median on either side of the road (however the right side still has a shoulder between the road and the median). I hate those medians. It makes me very nervous to drive so close to the median when it's a big concrete barrier like that. This particular stretch of interstate also has some curves. They aren't really big, so you have to really watch the road to notice them and stay in the lines.

Note: last night Cameron and I stayed up past 2am packing. I was then unable to get to sleep. I rested in bed for several hours before getting up because I simply wasn't tired anymore and felt alert. I left our apartment just before 8am. I've been suffering from insomnia for quite a while now.

Ok, so here I am, driving down I-35 super nervous about the median, but I always drive in the left lane on I-35 and I've made this trek a million times before. All of sudden I believe that I've hit the median and I overreact (read over-correct) and begin swerving between lanes having lost control of my vehicle. On this stretch of road I would have been driving anywhere between 65 and 75mph. I try to slow down to regain control and instead my vehicle does a 90 degree spin. I'm now perpendicular to the road and blocking the right lane. A black SUV is coming right for me. He hits my car and I spin an additional 90 degrees and land on the right shoulder facing the oncoming traffic.

I took a few minutes to make sure I was calm enough to make a call, and then notified authorities. At that point I believed that my vehicle was probably still drive-able and it appeared that the SUV had also sustained only minor damage. A police officer arrived on the scene and helped me get off the interstate to a safer place.

As soon as we are all safely tucked away on the side of the access road, the man from the SUV came over to my car. He was an older gentleman who expressed great concern... but for me. He showed no concern for his own vehicle but only insisted over and over on being certain that I was not harmed. The officer spoke to the man by his vehicle about the wreck, and then came over and asked me what had happened. I told him that I really wasn't sure. I had hit the median and then lost control of my vehicle from there. The officer said gave me a different version of the story though. (His makes a lot more sense).

The officer said that it was much more likely that I only thought I had hit median (perhaps I had come very close and then over-corrected in fear). There are no scratches on the front or driver side of my car where the median was. Given the range of speed that I would have been driving when I hit the median, there would certainly be evidence on my car of the collision. The reality is- I didn't hit the median. The only impact that my car suffered was from the SUV that hit it.

The man in the SUV saw the entire thing happen and while unable to avoid hitting me, he was able to slow down his vehicle to what was estimated to be around 20mph upon impact.

His vehicle only had a minor scrape with a little bit of metal that had been pushed in near his tire. He was able to safely drive away and agreed to not press any charges, only to exchange insurance information.

My rear passenger door is completely crumpled. The metal was pushed in around my tire and I was told that I would not be able to make it back to Longview with my vehicle the way it was due to the metal rubbing the tire. I called AAA for a tow truck. While I was calling AAA and Cameron to let him know what had happened, I believe that the police officer called a friend. Not long afterwards, a man pulled up with a large truck that had tools I'm unfamiliar with. He seemed to recognize the officer and came over. The man used a tool to pull the metal away from my tire making it safe to drive. I asked him what I owed him or could do for him, and he refused any payment, but wished for my day to get better.

The officer (although he certainly could have) chose not to write me any tickets. He instead gave me tips on dealing with the insurance company to ensure they didn't try to get me to pay for things I shouldn't have to.

There are a million parts of this whole scenario that could have gone differently. I could have actually hit the median. I could have been hit by a driver who was paying less attention and was not able to slow down so much. I could have been hit by more than one driver, or a driver who was interested in getting as much as they could out of the deal. I could have been hit by a larger vehicle (read: one of many semi's that passed by after I was safely on the shoulder). I could have had a less kind officer come to the call and been charged heavy ticket fines or dealt with in a less kind and considerate manner. I could have had to have my vehicle towed and waited for someone to fix in Waco and been stranded. Violet could have been hurt.

However, none of those things happened. Violet and I were protected. We were shown great care, and offered kindness from strangers in an otherwise scary situation.

Thank you Lord for protecting us. Thank you for responding to the prayers of friends and family, and thank you for reminding me that I am here for a reason. You have a plan for the life of my family, and apparently, at least for today, that plan involves a little more time here on earth.