Monday, January 12, 2009

The Big Bang of '09

A week ago today I was in a pretty scary car accident. Rest assured, I'm completely fine and my car's injuries are relatively minor. I've never been in a serious car accident before, so this one really shook me to my core. And to think it all started with a beautiful Sunday afternoon drive...

I was heading up Provo Canyon, which I have to say, is one of the most picturesque drives in all of Utah. If you've ever been to or seen pictures of Robert Redford's Sundance, Provo Canyon is nestled right in this mountainous paradise. I've been driving up and down this canyon road since I was a freshman at BYU. My grandparents used to live in Heber (22 miles north of Provo), so I would frequently come up for Sundays dinners, long weekends or whenever I needed some space from my roommates.

Anyway, I digress... So when I woke up last Sunday to sunny skies and no snow, I decided it was a perfect day to go on a little "walkie-walk" (our family's term for some good ol' fashion me-time). I was enjoying my ascent up the mountain, as the roads were clean and clear. I had just reached Deer Creek Dam and the two-lane road began to bend and wind, curving to the mountain slope.

Suddenly I hit some black ice and completely lost control of my vehicle. I ended up swerving into the other lane and nearly hit an oncoming truck. Luckily, he was in control of his vehicle, so he was able to swerve and miss me. As I hit the brakes, I did a complete 360* and it occurred to me that the only way I was going to stop was if I hit something... hard. And I did. I came to a complete and abrupt stop once my driver's side came into full contact with a nearby snow bank. Thankfully, the deep powder of this bank completely absorbed the brunt of the impact so no damage was done to my driver's side. My front bumper is another story...

In my traumatic swerving and braking, somehow my front bumper completely came apart...

But at least my newly-repaired headlights were spared!

Once I came to my senses and realized I was, in fact, okay, I said a quick prayer of gratitude and then concentrated on the problem at hand - little me stuck in a deep snow bank. How do I get out? Fortunately, I didn't have to wait long. I nice couple stopped and fished me out with a rope and their 4-wheel drive truck. Their friends were nice enough to block both sides of traffic (and pick up bits and pieces of my former bumper).

Once I was out, I pulled over to access my damages. Then another couple stopped to ask if I was okay to drive, could they call someone for me, etc. Another man stopped and said he saw the whole thing from across the lake where he was hunting. He lifted my hood, checked the engine and then made sure there was no snow in my exhaust. I came across so many genuinely nice people that afternoon. If anything, it did restore my faith in humanity a bit.

So to all of you complete strangers who stopped to help, inquire and calm this frazzled driver, you'll never know how grateful I am for your selfless service. And a big thank you to my attentive guardian angel (who according to my mom was working overtime that day). I'll try to keep the rest of 2009 relatively safe and uneventful.



susan opel said...

Thank goodness you are OK. As a "walkie-walk" kind of girl myself, I have been fortunate to have strangers help me in times of distress when I was all alone and cell phone-less. It could have been oh so much worse!

beth opel said...

Doesn't it just restore your faith in humankind? I remember one time I hit some black ice on an on-ramp and spun around and hit a guard rail facing rush hour freeway traffic in Indianapolis. A semi saw my dilemma and BLOCKED TRAFFIC so I could pull out and turn around. So glad you were unhurt and attended by angels!

Cath said...

I'm so glad that you weren't hurt. I love a good drive up a beautiful canyon, myself, PK, hopefully your next one will be much more peaceful than this one.

Love the title of the post, btw.