I was 18 at the time, barely out of high school in a small town. It was summer, so I was spending some time with my sister and my brother-in-law. They decided to send me to a local restaurant, Dog-N-Suds, to pick up some dinner for the three of us. Fine by me. I love a good burrito. She called in the order, and I was supposed to go and pick it up.
I climbed into my 2004 Jeep Liberty, cold air blasting through the vents, and answered a phone call to my mother when I reached the stop sign. I put the phone on speaker and headed left and straight down the street. Reaching over to turn the air down so I could hear my mother better, I was approaching a two-way intersection that was commonly empty. However, when my eyes lifted back to the road, I noticed a vehicle advancing all too quickly to the stop sign at my left. My brain realized what was about to happen, but my body could not react in time.
I don’t remember the feeling of the impact. I don’t remember the airbag deploying. I don’t remember blacking out. But, I remember the sound of the tires squealing and of glass shattering. I looked up to see my vehicle facing the direction the car had come from, but I was now in someone’s yard. I heard my mom asking what was going on and myself muttering about being hit and how it was bad as I took in my surroundings. My head and left forearm were hurting, and I saw smoke inside the vehicle, so I hurriedly stumbled out, scared that I was alone and wondering about the other car behind mine.
I tried to explain where I was to my mother in order for her and my stepdad to get there, but I was too dazed and scared to explain that well. Luckily, my uncle had been driving behind me and stopped to see if he could help. The relief that flooded through me when I saw him was instantaneous. The driver of the other car walked up and apologized to me, and the next time I saw him or the others, they were being carried out on stretchers or being cut out of the car.
My parents arrived, following the paramedics and first responders who were at the scene trying to figure out what had happened. I finally got a good look at my jeep. The front end was smashed in, and the back was as well, but the cab seemed fine. There were pieces of the telephone pole chipped off and lying on the ground, feet from the fence that was resting underneath my vehicle and his. The stop sign from next to the pole was under his car.
I was the only one of the accident to walk away rather than be taken by ambulance to the hospital. I stayed at the hospital from about 7:00 PM until around midnight, and they concluded that among the bruising and bumps on my head, I had obtained a concussion. The others from the wreck are fine now as well, I believe. But we did discover later that the driver, as well as others in the vehicle, had indeed been drinking.
I didn’t realize the severity of the moment until much later. Even after my brother and my sister showed up to the scene, where I heard my brother speaking on the phone about how he didn’t know how I was alive. I looked back later, and it finally registered to me that had I only been going a few miles faster, he would have struck my driver door and most likely killed me from the impact. I knew at that moment that the only reason that I was alive was that God was with me. He saved me from death when I could have easily died at such a young age, and I am grateful. Without His mercy, I wouldn’t be here right now.
Amanda Oden writes from Arkansas.© 2002 - 2019, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.