Monday, August 17, 2009

A Gift

Over the weekend my family and I travelled out of town so I could photograph a wedding. The shoot went well and as a bonus, we were also able to visit with family and old friends while we were there.

We headed home yesterday. I wasn't driving and was dozing for a bit as we drifted through the desert on a two lane highway. Somewhere amidst my foggy, dream-filled half sleep, I felt my husband slam on the brakes and my eyes flew open. The first thing I saw was an SUV hurtling toward us, spinning and flying through the air. In the split seconds that followed, my husband insta-decided to move into the other lane to try and avoid the majority of the collision, not really knowing which way the vehicle would land and hoping that no one was coming from the other direction. Miraculously and somehow, the SUV flew by us, missing us by inches and slammed into a guard rail sending glass, metal and debris raining down on our van. We immediately pulled over along with the cars behind us and my husband ran back to help. I called 911. It was amazing and inspiring to watch as people streamed out of their vehicles to offer help in a matter of seconds. Some were helping the people inside, offering support, blankets, hugs, consolation and hope while my husband and another man immediately set up flares and started to direct traffic to avoid further accidents. I watched with my worried kids as the scene unfolded. We were far enough away that we weren't able to see any details and the kids begged for me to let them run back to help. They were beside themselves. Finally I got them distracted enough and they hunted for rocks on the side of the road in the blazing sun and hot wind while Q and I chatted.

An hour and a half later, after giving the police a witness report, we got back on the road to finish our trip. My husband and I traded stories of what we had each seen, thought and heard. Apparently the SUV blew a tire, and because they were on cruise control, the car kept speeding forward at the same rate until the rim hit the asphalt and flipped the vehicle. They landed upside down, but all of the passengers will be fine. There were cuts, bruises, and probably an array of broken bones...but miraculously nothing too serious. The highway had been busy that day and I still can't believe that they managed to fly across the road without hitting another vehicle and that we were able to move into the other lane at the exact moment there was no oncoming traffic to contend with. There are many what ifs, but mostly I am thankful for the Gift we received yesterday...that we are still here with our kids to watch them grow. If we had collided, Landon and I would almost certainly not have made it. I am also thankful that the passengers of the SUV survived. Had we hit them, their ending would not have been as happy either. But most of all, I am so thankful to have witnessed the kindness and generosity of mankind. I watched as people ran back and forth helping. No one walked, everyone ran. And I am comforted thinking that if mine was ever the family in need, there are people out there ready to help.

And a tip for all of you....make sure you are taking good care of your tires...get them balanced, rotated and get rid of the ones with fading tread.


  1. WOW! I cannot begin to imagine the emotions you all felt. I'm so thankful you and your sweet family were protected, and that the passengers in the SUV are all going to be fine. When I read this I thought of our recent talk ... you are loved!;)

  2. What a miracle! I'm glad you are back safe and I'll get our tires checked for sure!

  3. Lou! I am so glad you guys are okay!!! Oh, my! Talk about a rude awakening! I thought you'd post some disturbing pics of the vehicle that rolled... ;)

  4. So glad you're all okay.

    I've seen that display of true humanity a few times. It really is awe inspiring. Brings you to tears actually.

  5. Whew! I am so glad that you are safe. And everyone else. It confirms what I have long felt for a long time. THe majority of us are just doing the best we can with what we have.

    You might want to give your guardian angels the night off and sleep in a padded room. :D

  6. Okay, that makes me ill. I'm SOOO glad you're all fine. Life is a crazy thing...

  7. What a story...I am so glad that you guys are safe and that the other vehicle was also safe.

    Good for your quick and assertive hubby for taking care of you guys as well...that he was alert and watched out for you all. Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it all.

    Too close for comfort.

  8. So true some times tragedies bring out the best in people...oh and by the way can you rotate my tires for me?

  9. So glad you are still here! We love you guys. We would always take your kids if you wanted or needed us too - just fyi! :)


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