We had a very eventful weekend at our house.
Sunday morning at about 4:30 I woke up to a horrible noise. First of all, this was a miracle in and of itself because I am absolutely the heaviest sleeper. So I woke up and in my half comatose sleep, it sounded like a loud "bang" and then I thought a trailer had come unhooked from a truck and was being drug down the road. I somehow rolled myself out of bed and looked out one of our bedroom windows down at the gate at our storage facility. Nothing. Then the other window facing one of the busiest streets in Idaho Falls, Woodruff. At first, I didn't see anything, then I noticed what I thought was a little blue jeep parked in our parking lot out front. As I looked out the window, I noticed that our flag pole just to the north of the parking lot was broken, bent, and laying in our parking lot. Then something I will never forget, a man came out of the jeep and stumbled around silhouetted by the street lights from the car lot next door. He kept walking towards the road then bending over and holding his stomach. I noticed he was stumbling around so I woke up Josh and asked what I should do, he told me to call 911. This is something I have never done thank heavens, but this night I believe it was the exact thing I needed to do. Right then.
The woman on the other end of the line asked what my emergency was, but the words didn't come easily, I told her what I thought had happened, a drunk driver hit our flagpole and I didn't want him to drive off and hurt someone. She told me she would send help right away.
After we hung up, Josh and I watched him out of our bedroom window as he stumbled more. The poor man looked so disoriented I knew something had to be very wrong. He tried starting his jeep, but whenever he tried shifting into gear, it made awful noises which I didn't understand because I thought he had hit the flagpole from the north (causing it to fall back onto our property) and then pulled into our parking lot to check out the damage. His jeep didn't start.
The police came and we could hear as they asked how many beers the man had had. He help up two fingers and was taking immediately to the police car. At this point, I knew he must be hurt.
The ambulance came and took him to the hospital. Firefighters came in their big noisy truck and laid down the absorbent sand to soak up what I thought was a small leak caused by the accident. Josh and I went out and moved a UHAUL truck that was in the way of the tow truck and the police officer told me he would bring in the police report in a minute. We went back upstairs to watch as they winched the jeep unto the truck and drove off. As soon as we saw the front of the jeep, I knew it was much worse than what I initially thought. The officer brought me the police report and then we were left alone at our home at the storage units.
We went outside to assess the damage around 5:30 but we wouldn't fully understand until the next morning what had really happened. This is what we found:
The man had been coming from the south on Woodruff and a few beers combined with the early morning hours caused him to fall asleep, drifting across five lanes of traffic, into our parking lot, over a short railroad tie barrier at our landscaping, and about five feet up the flagpole, then the jeep slid back down the pole, landing where I first saw it when I woke up.
Sprinkler lines were broken, railroad ties were thrown feet, and mangled jeep parts were strewn across the grass including part of his transfer case, this is what had caused the awful noise as he tried starting the jeep. The officer found the front license plate about 15 feet away, transmission fluid was sprayed up on the flagpole marking how far he would climb.
Behind the pole where he hit, there was a perfectly clean, white car parked that we later found oil splattered on and dirt sprayed across the hood.
Here are the remnants of the jeep.
This railroad tie was thrown towards the car missing it by about 18 inches.
Below is the direction that he came driving from. The next morning, we were able to look at the sidewalk and see that he only missed the foot (in diameter) thick pole by a foot or two.
The UHAUL truck below the pole was parked right in front of the office, he only missed this by a foot.
Josh works at the body shop that towed away the jeep so he went back in the lot and took these pictures. When he came home to show me, I was amazed that that poor man survived.
Below, you can see in the windshield where his face went through the glass. In this year of jeep, there is no airbag and the man was not buckled up. The front axle was pushed way way back mangling the front end of the jeep.
The bends in the wheels are where the tires hit the top of the railroad ties, causing the tires to pop.
The inside of the jeep also told a story of the terrible accident.
The steering wheel is bent back out of shape, the dash is dented. Blood is splattered on the seat, and the man's hat that he was wearing during the accident is laying on the floor.
As I have thought about this the last two days, I can think of so many miracles.
-Missing the pole that would have killed him.
-Missing the UHAUL truck that would have been thrown into the office and our home. Missing our backyard fence.
-Hitting the one thing that would stop him, but not kill him.
-The fact that I woke up.
-The police coming so he would not freeze to death.
-The 18 degree weather that helped slow down the blood flow so he would not bleed to death.
-Him trying to start the jeep so I would wake up.
-The cars at the car dealership that were left without a scratch...only a little oil and dirt.
-The fact that he was not knocked out. This would mean he could have been there when we woke up, frozen and lifeless. Not to mention finding him in that state.
I cannot count them all.
Then today, something amazing happened.
We were thanked for calling the police. It wasn't my doing, our father in heaven knew that that man needed help, right then. His wife came into the office and expressed her gratitude. I could not believe that they would come and be so humbled by this experience to thank us. It humbled me to see her stand there and know that it was a miracle that he was alive. I was so thankful for her strength in that uncomfortable situation.
She told me that he was pretty beat up. He had many, many stitches in his head and face. There was a large cut across his jawline. He had a cracked sternum and a few broken ribs. None of them even bruising his heart or lungs. He had bit off a good portion of his tongue on impact, but was reattached. His nose was detached from most of his face but was also stitched back on. One more miracle, that I did not go outside and try to help him. That would have really gotten to me or Josh so I am thankful we did not find him the next morning. He was with his wife, quiet and in pain. He only could stare at the pole and shake his head.
She mentioned to me while we were talking that she knew it wasn't his time. I know this as well. It is a miracle that he, out of all the things he could have hit, hit the thing that was not very valuable, the thing that wouldn't kill him, damage our house or office, the new cars on the car lot that would have cost thousands of dollars. What a miracle.
As she was saying this, I was reminded of my cousin Ben that was taken from us five and a half years ago. Though Ben was young, I believe it was his time. He shaped our family for the better in his passing. Our father in heaven had a bigger plan for him. Three months ago, my dad's brother decided to take his own life. Times were hard, but this was not his time to go. This was not the plan for him, but he couldn't see or understand that. His passing shook our family. Made us hug each other tighter, say "I love you" more often. I know that the man who was in this accident has a bigger plan and I am so thankful he is recovering.
So why am I sharing this on my happy-go-lucky craft blog? Because the events of this accident have shaped me. Made me hug my husband tighter. Made me more thankful this Thanksgiving holiday for the people who are in my life. Sometimes, life happens to teach us things. I will never forget this man's figure as he stumbled on our sidewalk that cold morning. But I could never be more humbled by the fact that heavenly father knew that he needed to be here on earth.
This week, remember to hug your husbands like you mean it, be thankful for those you have. Love your sweet little ones and do something for those who are less fortunate. Anything and everything could be taken at any moment, so cherish it, cherish life.
Happy Thanksgiving week to you all! Leave a comment sharing what has shaped you. I want to know because just writing this out, makes me a thousand times more grateful. I am thankful for all of you who support me so much. Have a wonderful day!