For those who’ve asked how it happened, it’s pretty much a blur to Chad. What he says is that he was going about 50 mph, which is apparently not over the speed limit. He said he wasn’t going overly fast and several cars had passed him. He had just come out of a curve and realized his cell phone wasn’t on the dash where he normally leaves it. He looked in the console, took his eyes off the road just for a moment, and Jessi said “Chad!“. When he looked up, he said he was off the road and heading right for a culvert. He tried to straddle the culvert but his car sits so low to the ground that the culvert took the whole underneath out of his car and apparently ruptured the gas tank. When the car came to a stop right at the edge of that corn field, the state trooper thinks the gas was dripping onto hot metal and once the flames got into the dry grass, there was a big fire.
Chad said the impact with the culvert must’ve caused the car to twist to the extent that the windshield cracked, and the air bags came out. Jessi remembers hearing the air bags “pop” and she had her arms covering her face and the bags hit her arms. Chad said his chest is sore so he knows the air bag hit him but he doesn’t even remember it coming out, though he saw that it was out. It all happened very fast.
There were so many ways they were so lucky! The state trooper was the nicest guy you could ever meet! He said that had Chad not tried to straddle that culvert and hit it head on, the car would probably have flipped end over end. I can hardly even think about what those results might have been.
Here are a few photos I took:
This is the photo Chad took with his phone before the fire department got there.
From far away, as we were going to the accident, we could see the smoke.
Look how close the car really is to the corn field. I’ll never know why it didn’t catch fire.
The tow truck getting ready to haul it away.
The spot where the car was. The End! The Mazda 626 is history. Tomorrow begins Chad’s search for a new vehicle but since he can’t drive to go look at potential vehicles, I guess I’m part of the search too.
I’m so thankful he and Jessi walked away from this and I’m so hopeful he’s learned that taking your eyes off the road for just a second can have catastrophic results.
Thanks everyone for your prayers and words of support.