I posted this on Facebook last night, but I thought I would post it here as well (taking out a little bit of info as I do, such as locations). Between my laptop being broken and now this, I'm not sure how long my hiatus on this site is going to be. I've still been on it a little, but I haven't been in a position to really be able to answer comments (especially long ones, but I promise I'll get to them). Just know that I'm okay, even with everything that's going on.
This is a super long post, as it's kind of therapeutic to get it all written out, rather than just in my head.
Long story short: L (my youngest brother), Eevee (my dog), and I were traveling from one state to another for Christmas Friday night, and we hit black ice on a mountain pass.
Even though the car flipped, we walked away with hardly a scratch.
L learned to drive more carefully in snow, no matter how little there appears to be.
I learned to be more insistent when someone is driving faster than I feel is safe.
L (my youngest brother), Eevee (my dog), and I were traveling from one state to another for Christmas Friday night. We were at a mountain pass. That was the only bit of road that was snowy, but the snow was a light dusting. Still, we passed an accident or two, and then somebody fishtailing. L slowed down more each time, but it wasn't enough.
We slid on black ice. I knew as soon as we started to slid that we were going too fast to come out unscathed. I thought I was screaming internally, but L says it was out loud... He keeps making fun of me for it, because it wasn't a solid scream, but an 'ahhhh, ahhhh, ahhhh!' type of thing. I apparently stopped screaming once we went off-road and started to tip.
This part is kind of blurry. L and I are both pretty sure we rolled one and a half times, though the damage to the car almost looks more like we just rolled a half. I'm wondering if we did roll the one and a half, but went slightly airborne, so that the driver's side didn't quite hit the ground. It's hard to say.
The car landed upside down, but I don't remember actually being upside down, or undoing my seat belt to right myself. I do remember grabbing my phone, to call for help. It was hard to grab my phone, and hard to work it. For a moment, I was afraid my phone had broke, but it was just that I was shaking too much to really work it--plus, it probably didn't help that there was a can of root beer that had been spilled all over (in my hair, on my sweater, all over my dog's head).
I think the only reason I was able to find my phone was because my headphones were plugged in, so I was able to pull my phone to me by the cord. I pulled up the recent calls, and then it took me a minute to switch it to the keypad. But I was able to dial 911 on the first try, and get it on speaker. The time of the call on my phone is 7:47pm.
I believe it was after that that I tried to open my door, but that also might have been before. Not sure. But neither L or I could get our doors open, and panic was beginning to set in that we were trapped in the car.
Someone answered the 911 call, and I pulled up Google Maps, trying to figure out where we were.
Then I heard someone knocking on my door, and so I knocked back, to let them know we were alive and needed out as soon as possible. It was then that I reached up and hit the unlock button on my car. My car automatically locks once put into drive, and I hadn't thought to unlock it when trying to open the door. I still wasn't thinking about it when I hit the button. I really do think God had a hand in that, of me hitting that unlock button on the first try (which was a feat when everything was upside down, and I was shaking and not thinking clearly). Unlocking the door alone didn't make it easy to open, but the people from the outside were able to get it.
I climbed out of the car, as did L and my dog. A police officer was there, as well as two strangers. I told the person on 911 we had an officer on the scene, and so they got off the phone.
After seeing that Eevee could walk, and hearing something about fluid leaking, I started grabbing everything I could that was important. Which, it turns out we could have left most of that, but...
Apparently the officer there had turned the corner just in time to see us going off the road. The strangers must have been right behind him.
So, after making sure we didn't have anything major wrong with us or the dog, and getting our stuff, we sat in the police car while we waited for a tow.
We had been getting close to the town that was going to be our dinner/rest stop, but then we proceeded to sit in the police car for at least two hours before the tow truck arrived. The tow was coming from the town we were going to stop at, which was around forty minutes away, I believe (for a normal drive, anyways). But the tow had to go through road construction and snow to get there, plus whatever else held him up.
There were so many people just rushing by us--the cop clocked a semi going 68. Also, we heard about at least three more accidents while we were waiting.
During this time of waiting, I could not stop shaking. There were a few times I almost burst into tears, but I just barely kept it back. Eevee lay next to me, and hardly moved the entire time we waited, as she was so shaken up over everything. This is the time I first posted on Facebook about the crash, as that gave me something to do--both with the actual posting, and with checking the comments--and it helped just a little.
Finally the tow truck arrived, but it took them awhile to flip my car and get it up. During that time, I finally couldn't hold it anymore and had to go in the bushes... At least it was dark.
Once my car was ready for travel, we drove somewhere a little bit safer before stopping and moving our stuff from the police car to the tow truck. Then the tow truck took us to the town we were going to stop at and drop us off at Best Western.
I happened to mention to the receptionist that we had just been in a crash, and upon hearing that, she zeroed out our stay (including the pet fee). I don't know if it's just that location, but apparently they give a free night to those that have just come from a car accident.
So, L, Eevee, and I went to our room. L went out to get us something to eat, but it was past eleven at this point, so pretty much everything in a short walking distance was closed. He did get us a little bit of junk food, but I wasn't able to get through much of it.
Neither of us could sleep right away, so we turned on the TV and watched a little bit of the third Harry Potter movie. After a bit, we turned it off and went to sleep. L tossed and turned during the night, but he slept well. As for me...
I tossed and turned a bunch and kept waking up. Finally I glanced at my phone, thinking it had to be at least 3:30 in the morning. Turns out it was only 12:30... I kept trying to sleep, but I just couldn't. No matter how hard I tried, all I could think about was the crash. Also, I was really afraid Eevee was hurt internally, and that I was going to wake up to a dead dog (which did not happen).
Around 1ish, Eevee suddenly freaked out. She was on the floor between our two beds. I pulled her blanket up on my bed and had her jump up there. She snuggled in close to me and, while I had to pet her several times throughout the night, she was good after that.
As for me, I gave up trying to sleep around 1:30. I spent some time scrolling through Facebook while listening to Christmas music. I had to keep taking breaks from my phone, because it was hurting my eyes, but it helped some to just scroll through stuff.
Finally, at 3am, I decided to try sleeping again. This time I was able to sleep. I still woke up a time or two, but I was able to fall asleep again.
I woke up shortly after 6am, and couldn't sleep anymore. L woke up around the same time.
Things weren't too eventful after that. We got the stuff we had brought to the hotel straightened up, and we showered.
Dad and another brother, T, had left early that morning to come pick us up and take us the rest of the way home. So, they arrived, and we went to the tow yard, where we picked up my car with a car trailer my dad is borrowing from someone. Then, we drove home.
I still wasn't able to sleep, so I went through the day with about three hours of sleep. However, I did sleep really well last night--I did wake up earlier than I would have liked, but at least I was able to sleep.
So, L and I learned some important lessons. L learned to be more careful on snow, no matter how light the snow looks. I learned to be more insistent if somebody is driving faster than I feel is safe.
We very easily could have died, or at least be seriously injured. It's amazing we walked away with hardly a scratch--and especially the dog, where she didn't have a seat belt to help protect her. I was so sure we were going to die when we started to flip--and even before that, really. One of my biggest fears is car accidents.
But all three of us survived. L and I are a bit sore, but I'm still amazed that we're alive. I had said a silent prayer shortly after we had started the trip, that we would make it home safely, and I know the Lord answered that prayer. Things could have been so much worse, but we're alive. It's hard to express in words how wonderful that is, how much in awe I am, but I don't need to, because I know you all feel it too.
I am so grateful that we survived this, that we had help right away, that we were able to get that hotel for free, that my dad and brother were able to come pick us up the next morning, and that we were able to make it home alive.
My car might be totaled, but the radio and battery seem to still be good (as I got the radio last year, and the battery a week ago...), and none of our stuff in the car was ruined (other than those super soft sugar cookies you can get at grocery stores--several of those are smeared into my passenger window, and I think the rest are crumbs sprinkled over the front part of the car).
Every time I think about how lucky L, Eevee, and I are, it brings me to tears. Like I said, words can't even express how grateful I am. I know the Lord was there with us, as there's no other way we could have walked away from such a bad accident with hardly a scratch.
Now for non-Facebook stuff:
I did already buy a part for my laptop, so we'll see if that alone is what's broke (a different brother is looking at that). If that doesn't fix my laptop, I'm not sure I have the money to buy any more parts at the moment. My family is still trying to figure out the car situation, plus we need to talk to insurance and see what's covered and what isn't. I'll be talking to them on Wednesday, as I'm not sure if they're open right now, and I figure it will just be easier after Christmas. I'll probably be calling off of work on Thursday (as L and I were going to drive back on Wednesday, but...). We do need to try to be back to go to work on Friday, but, again, we'll just have to see.
So, this month has been very busy (broken laptop, car battery breaking, car being flipped/totaled), but we're alive and have no serious injuries. That's what is important.
"You know what is right. You know what is wrong. Make your choice." - Me