Clare’s Crash

The wreck of a lifetime.
by Reuben Nuxoll, LC | Source:
They had no idea they were on the brink of death as they stepped out the door Friday night. Clare and three friends climbed into her blue Mazda sedan and eventually ramped onto the freeway Sacramento-bound. Young students and professionals, Clare, Paul, Kenny and Marisol knew how to have a good time without risking their lives in the process – or so they thought.

As the car sped up to 65 mph, Clare switched to the middle lane, expecting a regular drive home. A few exits down someone, let’s call him Bob, shot off a ramp and thought he might as well zoom right on over to the fast lane … almost before he was on the freeway. Bob failed to notice an obstacle.

Though naturally bubbly and talkative, Clare knew how to drive. As Bob careened over, she stepped on the gas to get out of his way, but he whacked into her rear bumper. Rubber burned. The car swung around to face its own traffic.

As fear gripped them, entirely out of control and facing death, Clare’s mind raced to find a solution. They were skidding backwards 75 miles per hour to the squeal of burnt rubber. What could they do? Pray.

Luckily, Clare kept her head, adrenaline rushing to her aid. The 24-year-old managed to wheel the Mazda back out of the 180. But before she could correct the spin, the car slid through the fast lane and slammed into the median, still turning.

The impact crumpled the other side of the rear bumper and threw the car into a contrary spin. It did a full circle screeching back through the middle lane before Clare finally managed to tame the auto. She avoided another car and steered over to the breakdown lane. The vehicle halted at the side guardrail. By now hardly aware of what she was doing, Clare cut the engine.

Her first thought was for her friends. She twisted around, and, despite the adrenaline rush and a wildly throbbing heart, she managed a flat, breathless “Are you OK?” Paul and Kenny, their mouths wide open in shock, could barely nod yes. Marisol had tears running down her cheeks.

No windows had shattered. The car had not tipped. There was not a single cut on their bodies. They were all alive, unhurt. Yet they had been inches from dead, inches from the end of their road.

“Hey, that was some pretty good driving,” Paul complimented as Clare stepped out and came over to the passenger side.

Then it hit. The realization of what she just had just come through finally struck her. “Why are we still alive? Why aren’t any of us hurt? God really is watching over us. Why? Why does he love me so much?” Emotions flooded over her, and she broke down and wept.

Something others never even consider turned out to be what Clare would never forget: It was not she who had pulled the car around. It was not she who had avoided the crash. It was not she who had saved four lives.

It was God. He broke into her life stronger than ever before. She already loved God deeply and was spending most of her time doing good, helping the Church. But now he had shown her and Paul, Kenny and Marisol that he was in control of their lives. He would watch over them, and they just needed to keep giving themselves to him, looking after one another and living their faith fully. Clare realized, “God was giving me these opportunities every day, but this time it had to make a difference.”

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