Warning: This post is emotionally charged. Read at your own risk.
This evening we witnessed the worst car wreck I have ever seen in my 38 years of life. The kids and I were on way home down “TV Highway” – a road we travel multiple times a week, sometimes multiple times a day. As we were heading home, I noticed a truck with a trailer a few cars ahead of us. It was swerving in and out of our lane for a minute, and then swerved left, into the turn lane. The kids and I watched as the truck stayed in the turn lane for a minute. I could not shake the feeling this truck was going to be a huge hazard on the road, and thought to myself, “This truck is crazy. Maybe the driver is having an emergency and he really needs to turn (brilliant idea for swerving into a turn lane, right?) Maybe he’s just a dumb ass. Maybe he wasn’t paying attention for a second and forgot *he needed to get into the turn lane…” (btw-not sure *he was he, but assuming he was, and calling him a *he for this stories sake) These are the thoughts running thru my mind for a few seconds, only to realize NO. *He’s just crazy.
He begins to swerve right, out of the turn lane and back into our lane, cutting off the 2 cars ahead of us, which were the only 2 cars between us. I’m slowing down more, thinking – I need to call 911 and report this driver – But I can’t call while I’m driving – it’s illegal!! Within 30 seconds – I’m telling the kids – “This is why we always pay attention when we’re driving. This is why we don’t drink and drive. He must be on drugs or something… Something is really wrong with this guy… What a dumb ass. He is such a crazy driver.” Within the next 30 seconds – as I’m giving my wonderful driving advice to our 11, 8 and 5 year olds – He swerves into the right lane, driving full speed (about 40-45mph), crashing into several cars stopped at the red light at 185th, a major intersection along TV Highway, on his way to crashing into the Chevron gas station, finally halting his path of destruction. The sights and sounds of the crash were surreal. Our eyes glued to the catastrophe merely 2 cars ahead of us… we were in shock.
I am crying out “Jesus Jesus, *Let no one be hurt!” The kids were crying as they witnessed the whole thing right before their young eyes. I’m calling on the name of Jesus and speaking in tongues praying over the whole scene. I pull over and wait. I felt like I should wait for a minute. Thoughts swirling – I’m praying – I get out of my car and ask the 2 cars ahead of us (barely missed by the rampant truck driver) “Do you know if everyone is okay?” They thought so by what they could see. People are swarming around the scene. A few moments later, the first cop arrives. I wait for a few more minutes, wondering should I stay and try to pray for the people? How can I do that? Can I leave my kids in the car and jump onto the scene of the accident? Should I hang around to give a witness statement? …..A few more moments pass, and as multiple police and fire units respond, I decide it’s probably best to move out of the way.
We drive home the back way. I talk thru what just happened with the kids – “This is why we have to pay attention all around us. We might be a great driver, but we have to watch out for other crazy drivers. We don’t know when another crazy driver might be right behind us.”
Suddenly the reality of the situation sinks in. The depth of what ‘could have happened’ is revealed in my spirit. We had just been at the store. If we had we left ONE minute earlier… We don’t know where we would’ve been on TV Highway in relation to the crazy truck driver. The kids were over-done by the time we left the store, so we were rushing out. But… If we had not stopped for that one more thing – we were about to check out… and “WAIT! I forgot something!” Chocolate – Momma’s got to have her chocolate!
We never know when the one more thing could be the thing that keeps us from being involved in a serious accident. The Holy Spirit guides us in all wisdom and leads us in the paths of chocolate… But seriously. He leads us. We need Him, wherever we are on the road, and wherever we are on this journey we call LIFE!!! We need to be attentive. Wherever we are on the road, whether we are in the direct path of a crazy driver or not. I’m not a perfect driver, but I try to drive with awareness of all that is going on around me. On the way home, I’m reminding the kids what a great driver I am and I’m sure they were taking notes… “Mommy’s never been in a wreck that was her fault. I’ve only been in three car accidents and none were my fault. And once I hydroplaned across a 4 lane highway miraculously avoiding hitting any other cars. One wreck happened when another car ran thru a 4-way stop sign and sideswiped us, another time I was rear ended while stopped at a red light, and another time I was sideswiped while driving thru a neighborhood, by a truck who was being chased by the police!” Thankfully, I was not injured in any of the car accidents or hydroplane incident. So Thankful.
The reality settled deeper into my spirit. Pay attention to everything. I don’t know why all this happened, but I do know God is in control. And He says – Pay attention to the ‘one more thing’. But what about the things we can not see? The Lord spoke to my heart and reminded me, He is our rear guard, our protection from what we can not see and when we can not see. The cars who were in the path of the crazy driver most likely did not see him coming, unless they were looking into their rear view mirror right at that moment. They did not have a chance to respond, and even if they had, there was nowhere to go. They were locked in. There was no escape route for those cars. I don’t know why all this shit happened?!? But I DO trust God and I know He is in control. Things could have been much worse, from what we saw unfold before our eyes.
In spite of terrible car accidents, in spite of crazy drivers and whatever or whoever may try to pummel you from behind. In spite of everything evil in this world, He will make right the wrongs in this world. He holds all things together. In times grief He will be our comfort. He will bring forth mercy. There will be justice.
I am grateful. I am grateful for life. For my family. For stopping for the ‘One more thing’… which happened to be chocolate. Hug your kids a little tighter tonight. Hug your spouse a little longer tonight, or yourself if you’re single. Hug somebody, appropriately of course!!!
And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE — DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE OR DO DRUGS AND DRIVE OR TEXT AND DRIVE — in fact, don’t do any of those things even while not driving, except the texting, in moderation of course. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!
I don’t know if the crazy driver was on drugs, drunk or driving while asleep at the wheel. What I do know is he was not supposed to be behind the wheel. He should not have been operating a vehicle… with a trailer for pete’s sake… and I pray he will be prevented from operating a vehicle ever again!
Thankful for the ‘one more thing’ tonight and grieving for the families involved in this car accident we witnessed. *As I was writing this post, I read the update (posted in the link above) to find out there was one death and several injuries at the hand of this accident. My heart is breaking and my prayers go out to the families involved. I’m also praying for the crazy driver.
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In Him, Leslie