Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Other Side of 911

"Because you have made the Lord, who is your refuge, even the most high, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone." Psalm 91:9-12 NKJV

Our family witnessed a miracle tonight.

As a 911 police dispatcher, there have been many heartbreaking calls I've taken throughout my career. Yes, I admit it. I enjoy the adrenaline rush of an action-packed call. But, I'm forever grateful that I don't have to watch in living color what's really happening.

Tonight we witnessed a horrifying vehicle accident. One that I wish I'd never seen. I realized that sitting in a chair at the police department, and being on the other side of a 911 call is a much better place to be.

Our family was just getting onto the freeway, when my husband Paul accelerated to merge with traffic. "Geesh!" I heard him say, as a wooden garage door tumbled through the air and landed with a thud, throwing up dust and debris not more than fifty feet in front of us.

Our prior joking and laughing quickly shifted to stunned silence as we watched a small pickup truck careen out of control, skidding sideways across three lanes. As the driver over corrected, the truck was instantly airborne. We watched in horror as this vehicle cartwheeled off of the freeway and over the thirty foot embankment.

As Paul pulled our car over, I silently prayed that he would stop before the children could catch a glimpse of the potential fatality. He quickly unbuckled his seat belt and told me, "Call 911." Bolting out of our car and sprinting down the freeway, over the embankment, and out of sight.

I called my friends at the police department I work for, knowing they could get me through to CHP (California Highway Patrol) much faster than I could on my cell phone. I was so proud to hear my three youngest children begin to pray for this man and their Daddy. The lookey-lu's gathered, pulling their cars over onto the shoulder. Some even getting out and standing, peering over the edge to view the carnage below. A small crowd gathered. Maybe they were in shock, but no one seemed to have the courage to run down the steep embankment and attempt to climb over the barbed wire fence to help.

No one, except my husband.

Praise God, the driver was alive when my husband found him. His truck eventually landing upside down on a frontage road below. Partially ejected out of the passenger window, he was conscious. His work tools, ladders, and lots of broken glass had been launched and scattered alongside the road, out of the way of oncoming commute traffic.

We thought for sure this man was dead. After talking with the officer tonight, Paul was told that the driver had only a minor complaint of back pain.

I was so proud of my precious husband today. The kids were pretty amazed with their father too. One moment they were talking to their dad and the next moment, they witnessed Clark Kent transform into Superman - right before their eyes.

Our family witnessed a miracle tonight. A man's life was spared,innocent drivers were kept out of harms way, and my husband actually sprinted. To God be the glory!


LisaShaw said...

PRAISE THE LORD! GOD is a God of miracles and wonder working power! He is awesome!

Lynnette Kraft said...

Oh goodness! That would have been so terrifying to witness. What a brave husband you have! I'm impressed. I'm so glad the driver was okay.

On a lighter note, I especially loved your last paragraph. :) Yes, you ARE a writer. hee hee

I'm glad you're okay too.
Lynnette :)

Angie said...

PRAISE the LORD you are all safe!!! WHEW!!! I KNOW you were proud of your man! AND to see him ACTUALLY sprint!!! WOW! Did you get that on camera??? (kidding---it was a serious moment I know)

Just get him to sprint again so you can film it...just so you can show him what it looked like when he gets "our age" (mine and Jeff's)...sprinting for me...means a trip to the bathroom....

I love you girl!!!

Growin' with it! said...

what an incredible event! it is amazing how people react and to hear about your husband throwing all caution to the wind and helping was awesome. i only hope i would react the same some day! and hope someone does for me if i need it. your kids? now how incredible is it that they immediately prayed. says a WHOLE lot about what they've been taught sweet lady!

glad to hear of a happy ending. thankfully i have never witnessed a car accident like this. i know as a mom it would be heartbreaking to watch and not know the outcome right away.

hey, side note here...i have a terrible time loading up your site. i'm sure it is just me, but i wanted you to know i read you on my google and wish i could comment here more. til i figure it out..know i'm keeping up with your wonderful life! ☺

English Cottage in Georgia said...

Oh my, I am not sure I would have acted as bravely as your family did. I certainly know I would not stop and look.
I am so glad the driver is doing well. I so admire your family's response.

Jaclyn said...

Oh my goodness! I'm glad everything turned out ok!!! Was this on 50? There are a few spots that would NOT be good to have an accident happen on...my uncle was hit by a drunk driver once on 50, (about 15 years ago) and his car also flew off the freeway.
I can't believe that no one else helped!

Mari said...

Seeing something like that is so scary. I'm proud of Paul for helping and how wonderful that the kids started praying.

Jaclyn said...

You have been "tagged"!


Susan said...

You and Paul are obviously setting a wonderful example for your children. So glad that you were in the right place at the right time, and I'm sure the driver is too!! Your children's prayer response shows that you were superheros in the ordinary days so that you and Paul could demonstrate His power in the extraordinary day.

Jennifer said...

How scary. Bless your husband for not giving it a second thought to go help that man. That shows true character. Amazing that the man was alright after dropping so far.

Barbara said...

How proud you must be of your husband for knowing what to do and to do it so fearlessly...and your children..its is not only a blessing to see them react that way, but it is also a testimony of the example placed before them. I'm so glad no one was seriously hurt. God is so amazing!!!!!

Muthering Heights said...

Oh my goodness, how scary!

Good for your husband, for being brave enough to help!

A Stone Gatherer said...

Praise God! What wonderful lessons were learned to night and what wonderful examples were set! I'm so glad the man was O.K.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

That gives me goosebumps! Praise the Lord that he was OK and that your hubby went to help without even thinking twice.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

God allows us some detours, does he not? Praise God for this one; I'm so glad that you all were there, kids included! Everyone played a role.

peace to you in your weekend~elaine

Anonymous said...

HI Joanne,
This was a beautiful story. Brought tears to my eyes. Amazing the man lived. YOur children prayed. Bravissimo Paul leaped over the railing in a single bound in front of your children and you watching. I am one chicken ex-ER nurse. Could never be a first responder. That is another kind of soul. PTL.


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