Instructor: Prof. Vincent Golphin
Session: Fall 2012
By: Nkongho Mengot
Topic: Write about a life changing experience
I was driving back to Orlando from Miami with a friend after a hectic day. It was twilight and had been drizzling all day and I was half asleep as I was running on only a few hours of sleep from the previous night when suddenly I was awoken by vibrations of my tires on the ‘cat’s eyes’ which are on the turnpike road. Behold, my Camry had drifted off the road and my car was heading to the direction of oncoming traffic. In a frantic effort to avoid a head-on collision which I thought would have been ghastly, I tried desperately to steer my car back onto the road. By this time, I had lost total control of my steering wheel and seemed to be controlled by the car. The car skidded on the slippery road and hit the front wheels of an 18-wheeler that had been driving next to us. On impact, the car flipped over and went under the truck. I saw my whole life flashed past in front of me. I was screaming and calling on God to come to our rescue. I thought the truck was going to run us over but somehow the rear wheels of the truck forced our car from underneath it. The car came to a standstill in the middle of the road and I had lost my consciousness at this time. I was awoken by the fumes coming into the car. When I opened my eyes, I could not make sense out of what was going on. I was upside down and still strapped in my safety belt, so was my friend who was sitting in the front seat. It was cloudy and hot. All airbags had burst open releasing the white cloud inside the car. This was surreal to me and it all happened too fast. The car ceiling which at this time was the bottom was covered in shards of glass. I reached out to my friend to make sure he was alive. He was still unconscious. I was horrified when I realized that the engine had burst into flames and the thought running through my mind was that the car was going to explode as commonly seen in action movies. Suddenly, I had an adrenaline rush and I unstrapped myself and my friend. I tried to force open both front doors but we seemed to be trapped. I crawled to the back door which I couldn’t open too. I had to kick through the rear wind shield for us to escape the burning wreck. I had to pull my friend out with me because he was barely conscious. There was a crowd of bystanders who rushed to our rescue, some with fire extinguishers that helped put out the flames. Notable among them was a lady who prayed with us and thanked God on our behalf for having survived this ghastly crash. I stood by the wreck in disbelief. I had owned the wrecked Toyota camry for barely two months and my elder brother played a great part in buying the car. Tears welled up in my eyes as I contemplated what explanation I was going to give to him. Paramedics arrived the scene and put my friend and I in the ambulance and conducted a few tests on us to ascertain that we were alright. We were going to be transported to the hospital but I declined it. It was a miracle that we both emerged out of the wreckage unscathed. My belongings were salvaged from the wreck and we were transported by a tow truck to a nearby service plaza. Here, I was questioned by a state trooper who ended up giving me a citation for being a reckless driver. We were left at this service plaza where we had to wait for a few hours for my friends to drive from Orlando to come get us. Upon arriving in Orlando, I felt sick and had to be rushed to the ER. My entire body was in pain especially my neck and back and I was in shock. This accident impacted my life in several ways. Above everything else, it brought me closer to God. I remain forever thankful to him for this miracle. I have a deeper appreciation of life and I live life to the fullest. I’m a more careful and better driver. I don’t take anything for granted and I know tomorrow is not promised so whatever it is that can be done today I try to accomplish today. On the flip side, my neck and back are in constant pain; I’m left with a great deal of unpaid medical bills and an extremely high insurance.