I should not be here but I am. We experienced a miracle this past Good Friday. Ginger, his friend and I were in a terrible car accident that we should have have been able to walk away from, yet we did. God was truly with us.
April 6th was a beautiful day – we decided to go to the Atlantis Marine World Aquarium in Riverhead, Long Island. As we were three families, we had to take two cars. I drove and my friend Barbara drove. Ryan was upstate so it was only Ginger and me. All of the other kids were of the female persuasion except Barbara’s son, Mike. They booted him from the girly mini-van and he came with us. The Aquarium isn’t too far but it is a bit of a trip – a little over an hour to get out there. It was a bright sunny day but a bit crisp – noticeable considering we had 75 degree weather only a few weeks ago. The kids had a blast at the Aquarium and we left there around 2:30pm to head home because we were afraid traffic would start to build.
We were driving on the LIE and the traffic wasn’t bad. I was traveling in the fast lane when all of a sudden I heard a crash and, out of the corner of my right eye, I could see this grey sedan start to spin. I immediately accelerated and swerved to the left to avoid him and I really thought I had until I felt him hit us. The only thought that went through my head was “Oh, shit!”. I gripped the steering wheel as my truck started to spin, lift and tip over. We rolled three times, in the air, before landing in the shoulder of the slow lane. Thank God we landed upright and that no one else hit us. I called out to the boys “Are you ok?” and thankfully they both answered “yes”. I unlocked my seat belt and got out. Mike was sitting behind me and I tried to open his door but could not. Ginger was already out of the truck and he had come around the front. I yelled to him to go get Mike out because I couldn’t open his door. Without a thought, Matt ran back around, dove into the truck and dragged Mike out. I am so proud of my boy.
I was nervously eyeing the fluids pooling around the front of the truck and all I wanted to do is get the boys away from the car, in case it caught fire. I know I went back into the truck and pulled my keys out of the ignition too and frantically started to look for my bag and my iPhone. All of our stuff flew right out what was the sunroof and was strewn all over the highway. I also keep hearing a loud voice, “HELP IS ON THE WAY”. Apparently, the X5, upon airbag deployment, calls emergency personnel and gives them our location by GPS. Gotta love technology!!!!!!
All of a sudden, several guys came over and gently guided me to sit down on the guardrail. They brought Matt over to sit with me. I don’t know who these guys were but I want to thank them for their kindness from the bottom of my heart. Now that we were safe, I was hysterical. I guess at that moment it all caught up to me what had happened and what we had, against all odds, survived intact. My other friend, Alyssa, rushed over to us. Barbara had gotten her son and was so relieved that he was ok after thinking the worst. You see, they were two cars behind us and watched the whole, horrible, accident. It is a vision that I thankfully do not share and I don’t envy them that one bit. Ginger and Alyssa retrieved my iPhone from the middle lane and miraculously it was still working. Alyssa brought us water and took my phone and started photographing my truck and the scene. Ginger called Danny to tell him what happened and reassure him that we were ok. Danny was frantic and screaming (of course). But he left work in Staten Island to get to us. He would meet us at the hospital – it was a good thing he wouldn’t be able to be at the scene. Well, good thing for the asshole who hit us as he would have gotten
the beating of his life such a talking to! I also called my parents who live out there in the sticks Ridge. I told them we were being taken to Stonybrook Hospital to be checked out and they left to meet us there. Danny had a grueling two and a half hour ride to get to Stonybrook. My sister in law promptly jumped in her car and drove out to be with us as well. I was so glad to have my family there for what was probably the most frightening experience of my life.
So, we are, for the most part, ok. I have left back pain, neck pain and bruising. Ginger has some neck pain and bruises all over his back. Mike has back pain and nightmares which I hope will subside soon. It could have been far worse and I hate to think about what it could have been. The police that responded had told Barbara that he has witnessed many accidents like this one but he never saw anyone walk away from it before. It was truly a miracle. We had much to be thankful for this Easter.
So three things I want to share with you from this experience:
1. ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEAT BELTS NO MATTER WHERE YOU SIT IN A CAR. And, I mean ALWAYS. If the boys had not had their seat belts on, they would have flown right out the sunroof. See the giant hole in the top of my car where the sunroof used to be?
2. Do not keep anything heavy in your glove compartment including those books that came with the car. Now, Ginger was sitting in the back with Mike but if Mike wasn’t there, he would have been sitting in front with me as he is tall enough to do so. My glove compartment opened all on its own from the impact and I hate to think what that set of books would have done to his face. Keep them home. Get a little plastic thing to hold your insurance cards etc. Whatever is in that glove compartment can be a projectile missile.
3. If you can afford it, upgrade your vehicle. The safety systems in these newer models are absolutely incredible. Just check out the airbags and the rollover airbag system. We were so cushioned!
I also want to say thank you to our friends and family for being there for us and all the well wishes. You have no idea how much it means to us!