Crash sends family of nine to hospital
June 22 is a date that no one in my family will forget. It is a day that held the greatest horror of our lives yet became a defining moment in a million other joyful ways, Today is the one year anniversary of the car accident that changed our lives.
We (myself, my husband and our 7 children) were traveling to Little Rock, Arkansas where my husband worked during the week. We looked forward to this trip and had several fun summer activities planned to fill our days while my husband was at work. The day was beautiful, sunny and clear and we had just commented on how there were very few cars on the road. No sooner had those words left our lips than a white Firebird traveling in the opposite direction came careening across the median, hitting us head-on at 70 miles per hour. When a little car wedges itself under a very large van, it cause the very large van to somersault over it. We flew through the air end over end, rolled several times and came to rest on the driver's side...and then caught fire. Then, the moment I feared most...turning around to see if all of children were still there....and alive. Their cries were the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard. There they all were. Scared, banged up but securely belted in their seats...all seven of them. Thank you God! Then, angels descended upon us in the form of a guy with a fire extinguisher who put out the fire and pulled my children to safety, doctors, nurses, firefighters, EMTs...and these were just the passers-by! They brought blankets, water and comfort to my children. Meanwhile my husband and I were still trapped in the van. I was suspended by my seatbelt and had a broken arm and several broken ribs. My husband was much worse...his door had been peeled open and his leg was trapped between the van and the ground. He leg was shattered from top to bottom as well as several of his ribs being broken. I just remember a man appearing, he had a white ponytail. He climbed into the van with us and stood next to me and stooped over. He instructed me to rest on his back. I was hanging by my seat belt and it was slicing into my hips and he stood there for probably 30 minutes hunched over trying to alleviate my discomfort...I'll never forget him.
Anyway, here we are a year later. My husband ended up being in the hospital for a month and unable to return to work for almost 12 months. But God loves us and we have experienced the fullness of His grace. Our scars are fading, our life is still slowly returning to normal and we have forgiven the young man who caused this (by the way, he walked away without a scratch). We received an outpouring of prayer and love from people and churches from all over the country. I am grateful beyond words to everyone who stopped and helped us, the bystanders, the police, firefighters, hospital staff and all of those who I will never know. We have grown closer as a family, realizing how precious each day...each moment is because in the blink of an eye, it can all change.
So, even if your state doesn't have a mandatory seat belt law (Texas, where we're from has for years but Arkansas' law didn't go into effect until July 1, 2009...9 days after our wreck) WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT, keep your kids in child safety seats as long as possible (my nine year old is still in a booster...it saved his life) and don't use your cell phone while you are driving....you could be saving your and someone else's lives.
Oh yeah, here's the other guy's car....