My oldest son, Ben just got home from working with one of his best buds, doing some grass-cutting and working on building a rock wall. He walked in, and as he passed through the living room where Garrett and I were sitting, he chuckled as he stripped off his sweaty shirt, and said “I almost died today, I’ll tell you about it in a minute”……….
His friend Zach was doing the driving this time, in his “new used” Ford Ranger he got yesterday.
They were driving on a rather busy section of road that goes toward a congested shopping area, when Ben noticed Zach seemed to be going a little fast, but he said he didn’t think too much about it, since he was just getting used to the feel of the truck…….but then he noticed that Zach was quickly looking down at the instrument panel, up at the road, back down at the instrument panel, back up at the roead……and then Zach very calmly said:
Uum, I don’t want to freak you out or anything, but my accelerator is stuck”.
They were on a bridge at that moment.
Ben said he unbuckled his seat belt and reached down and tried to pull up on the accelerator, but it didn’t move. (Zach had both feet on the brake trying to reign it in). Zach asked “where is the flasher button on this thing?” Since Garrett drives a Ranger, Ben knew where the switch was, and just reached over and turned them on. By this time they were approaching the first traffic light at a normally rather congested intersection as it is the first entrance to the mall and the WalMart, Target, and other shopping, with a Wawa and Patient First on the other side. Ben said he told Zach to get into the right lane, and said “as soon as you get at that turn, put the truck into neutral”, which Zach did, and was then able to get the truck stopped, though the engine roared, and then Zach was able to cut the engine! Zach called his Dad, who came and they took the truck over to the dealership to have the problem addressed.
Wow! I am proud of them both for keeping their calm under pressure, and thankful the Lord gave them that presence of mind to do the right things. Had things gone differently, people could have been gravely harmed or killed. People always get angry when “senseless tragedy” occurs, but how often do we stop and consider that without our ever even knowing it, God intervenes to avert tragedy before it can happen. Those in other vehicles near them never even knew they were in any danger, but it could have ended badly. The truck was up near 60 mph at one point.
Both of these rising seniors plan military careers. Ben wants to be a flight medic. Zach will do great in special ops in the infantry, which is his goal. Cool under pressure! Perhaps it is a foreshadowing. I can see Zach running straight into the fray, and Ben going in to carry out the hero, lol. It is truly a blessing when God gives your kids good friends.
I just wanted to give thanks to the Lord for keeping these two guys safe!
Ben laughs as he also tells us what sorts of things ran through his head:
“Ok, we should just go into the median, wait, no if we do that we might wreck, then we might die….call 911, maybe the police can get in front of us and stop us with his car?”
I remember when a child we were babysitting fell down our basement stairs because she was curious about what was behind the (basement) door and when Garrett went to open it and show her, he never dreamed she would try to walk “into” the basement the way you walk into a room. The kid never heard of a basement. I was in our room when I heard the thuds and Garrett’s shouts and even while one part of my brain knew exactly what happened, there was a part of my brain that I distinctly remember wanted to postpone actually walking to that hallway and see how bad this was going to be. Yet I was instantly on my feet and running there.
I have read that when we face an emergency like that, the reason it feels like everything happens in slow motion, is that our brain essentially goes into warp-drive and processes exponentially faster than it does under normal circumstances. All our resources are routed toward the immediate danger.
It is gratifying when our kids pass a “real life” test, isn’t it? Whew!