September 7, Part I - Terry Earnheart

September 7, 2007 around 6:00am there was no wind, the temperature mild, and the stars sparkling.  I decided to leave the top up on my Miata because it was such a hassle putting it up in the dark parking lot.  I didn’t care to drive the car on the turnpike so I took Memorial Road to Mercy Hospital for my weekly volunteer shift.

When I reached the intersection of Santa Fe and Memorial, I performed my usual ritual. My good friend, Dorothy Barnes was killed there 10 years ago. I always say a small prayer.  The speed limit is 40, I think, but since my light was green I slowed a bit for safety sake.  Out of the corner of my right eye I saw the lights of a large truck coming, and coming fast.  I actually said out loud “He is going to hit me” and screamed NO!  I watched his front left side bumper hit the front right bumper of the Miata.

White smashing red.  The impact pushed my car across all lanes of traffic and into a drainage grate in front of the new service station.  I looked down at my lap and smoke was pouring out of the dashboard and the engine was revving.  My foot was pressed down completely.  I turned the key off and then took note of the blood on the airbags.  A man came and asked me if he could open the convertible roof.  “Yes”.  Then he asked how I was. “Hurt”.  He said he was right behind me and the SUV that hit me flipped twice in the air, just like in the movies.  I looked to my right and saw it upright on its wheels and a gray headed man sitting there.  Another man had called 911 and I gave him my number to call.  He dialed and handed the phone to me and John answered.  “I've been hit where Dorothy was killed.  Yes I am hurt. Come now.”  I gave the phone to the man and he wants my driver's license.  Don't know who he is.

The first man continues to talk to me about the accident and God's blessing I just received.  By now the police are there, get my license, and ask about my condition.  “Yes, I can move my legs.”  The policeman asked the man to stay with me and keep me alert while he talks to the other guy.  The man kneels beside me and prays. His deep voice is comfort, his words give me strength.

The ambulance arrives. Because of my uniform, everyone wants to know if I work at Mercy.  They put the neck brace on me and discover they cannot get me out. Every section of my car had been hit.  The firemen use the jaws-of-life to cut me out, place me on a backboard, and then lift me out. I hurt bad and am afraid I will fall off the backboard, but no; He has his hands around me.  I see John for the first time and he says they are taking me to OU Trauma Hospital.  The police are with John; everything is going to be okay.

Prayer: For comfort in the midst of chaos, we give you thanks, O God.

“...but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." - Isaiah 40:31 NRSV

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