It was a slow morning, for once. The kids were dropped at school without incident and I drove toward home. Baby CJ sat happily in his car seat, a rare moment of peace for a troubled soul. The sun glistened through the windows creating a pleasant, warm, gentle start to the day and the traffic seemed to be at a relaxed, calm pace.
In front by a couple of car lengths was a white four wheel drive, nothing strange about that until I watched the front wheel depart from its axle and roll off the road. It was as though the slow motion button had been pressed on a movie I was viewing. I immediately slowed and pulled over at the same time the vehicle in front pulled to a stop with its axle scraping.
With my car parked safely now on the verge and baby CJ safe and content I stepped out to see the damaged vehicle. It was sitting in the middle of the road. I realised the driver could be hurt, or shocked so I walked out towards the driver’s side. I was met by a young lady stepping out, she turned back fumbled in the dashboard turning on the hazard lights then turned and walked towards me. She commented that she must have a flat tyre. I told her no and pointed out where the axle lay minus its wheel. She was shaken, stunned when she realised she’d lost a whole wheel. She walked to the side curb and sat down, staring at the vehicle sitting in the middle of the road.
I asked her if she was ok, she nodded a yes and pulled out her phone to call for help. At that moment I felt an urging to get her to move. A small inner voice, a gut instinct, a guardian angel. What ever it was, it was real!
I extended my hand and asked her to stand up. I told her I didn’t feel she was safe sitting where she was, I asked her to walk to where my car was and she could then call for help on her phone. She took my hand, stood up and we both turned and walked. We got no more than about 5 metres when there was a horrendous squeal of tyres and the sickening sound of metal crunching.
Another vehicle had driven straight into the rear of the parked damaged first vehicle and now stood stationary where the first had been. The 4WD had been shunted off the road, directly over the path where the girl had been sitting and was now still, having crashed into bushes.
I stared at the girl with me then told her to wait at my car. I went straight to the newly crashed vehicle to check on the driver. She was conscious but complaining of severe chest pains. Another driver had witnessed the second accident and dialled for an ambulance. The injured driver had been looking at us on the side of the road and had not seen the broken-down vehicle, despite it’s hazard lights being on.
I’m happy to say that she sustained minor impact injuries but was ok.
As for the young lady from the wheel-less car, by now her relatives and friends had turned up and were consoling her and sorting the tow truck to take away her car. She took my hands, they came over and their heads were shaking. We all looked at where she had been sitting only moments before the second accident and we all went silent. If she had not taken my hand and moved away its very fair to say she quite probably would have been killed. That’s a sobering thought.
I wished her well, good luck and I left the scene after giving her my contact details for police report and insurance witness purposes.
So much for a calm pleasant start to the day but what an awesome result. By the time I reached home reality had hit and I was shaking quite badly. I made sure baby CJ was quite happy, made myself a cuppa and sat down to take a moment and think and recover. What would have happened if I had not listened to the small inner voice of concern? Where she was sitting didn’t seem dangerous! I put the what ifs to the back of my mind and the day went on.
Before the week ended I received a phone call from the young lady driver of the first vehicle asking for my address. Said she’d like to visit with her boyfriend who wanted to say thank you. Soon they arrived and I introduced my family to them. They then shared that when her boyfriend had realised how close he came to possibly losing her he proposed and she said yes. They were so excited and yet still shaken at what had now become known as an obvious miracle. My daughter TJ was about 8 years old and stood next to me. The young lady looked at her, turned to me and asked could TJ be her flower girl. She explained that I had saved her life and would be remembered forever and she would be honoured if I would please say yes.
It was bewildering and exciting. What an adventure, what a great turn out to what could have been an horrific addition to WA’s road toll. Of course we said YES.
The happy couple were vietnamese and the wedding would be with full vietnamese tradition. It was amazing to watch, be a part of and see my daughter experience something so beautiful. After the wedding we lost contact with the newly married couple as life moved on and we went our separate ways.
I’ll never forget them and I hope they live each moment of their lives in total happiness.
A true story and a lesson to always listen to your inner voice.