A Different Way
Submitted by Barbara M.

I have put off sharing this story to anybody other than family because I can't find the traffic ticket I got so I don't know exactly where in Virginia this happened or exactly what year. After moving back to Ohio in 1991, I traveled about twice a year from Columbus, OH to Mauldin, SC to take my 4 children home to visit my mother. I know it was before 1995 because my 4 kids all fit in the back seat together because my brother (we're Irish twins) decided at the last minute to go with us and I had already rented a car. On the way back to Ohio he wanted to go through Virginia which I never did. I always went SC, NC, Tenn, Kentucky and OH. As we drove at about 70 mph on a 4 lane highway, I saw a sign that said left lane ends, then a sign that said the highway split into two 2 lane highways. So I thought the far left lane of the 4 lanes was ending which didn't impact me because my highway used the 2 right hand lanes. It wasn't until I saw the van in front of me jump lanes in front of the first of 2 semis driving beside us that I realized that the left lane (after the split) that I was driving in abruptly ended and I was trapped in a breakdown lane going 70 with 2 semis in the only driving lane on my right. The guardrail was coming up fast and I knew I didn't have enough room to stop and not hit the guardrail head on which would push my car into the semis. So I tried to race ahead of the second of the 2 semis and squeeze in between them. I was afraid to break too hard because the semi in the back would hit me so I was too close when I changed lanes and the front of my car was clipped by the back of the first semi. This spun the car around so now we were going over 70 mph backwards trapped between the 2 semis which were driving forward. For an instant I was deaf and blind than I heard my oldest daughter saying over and over "mommy make it stop, mommy make it stop" but I was still blinded not by darkness like before but by a brilliant light that I initially attributed to the 2nd truck because our vehicles were facing each other going at least 70 mph, my car backwards and the truck forwards. Then I felt these strong hands that went from my shoulders down over my hands on the steering wheel and another foot took control of my right foot at that instant the other hands made me jerk the steering wheel to the left and the foot made me first press the gas then the brake. My car shot out from between the 2 semis jumped over the right hand breakdown lane, landed in the grass turned back facing forward and stopped. The semi drivers stopped as soon as they could and ran back to our car. My kids were crying in the back and my brother reached over put the car in park and turned it off. Then he jumped out of the car. I sat white knuckled gripping the steering wheel. The truckers got to the car - they said we thought you were all dead that was some driving boy. My brother said it wasn't me and pointed inside the car. I was still stuck white knuckle gripping the steering wheel. My mind kept racing back and forth between what could have happened (all 4 of my children dead, my brother dead, me dead) and what happened I knew I had felt the hand of GOD and that HE had saved everything I loved on this earth. After that, through a trick of the devil, I actually bought into that old saying if GOD doesn't do anything else for me HE has already done more than I could ever earn or deserve. Thank GOD HIS graces and mercies are new every morning. I must admit that I never went back to Virginia to pay the ticket I got for the accident. I was still sitting white knuckled when the police got there about 30 minutes later and it was over 10 years before I would even drive through Virginia again.

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