Sunday, March 19, 2006

[The Story of the Longest Day]

Oh, where to start? It feels as though I've been gone for a year, honestly. So much happened this week, even outside of the accident. I'll relate the spring break highlights later. For now, I want to discuss the accident.

Having managed to get about an hour of sleep before the bus broke down, about 4:30 in the morning (on a van now), I finally nodded off. Within ten minutes of my head drooping peacefully, I was woken suddenly as our van swerved and Mike threw on the brakes. I remember just a jumble of pavement, grass, and a guard rail, and suddenly we were in the median. Before I could figure out what had happened, people were leaping out of the van. The van in front of us had had a head-on collision with a drunk driver driving the wrong way down the divided highway. The first had swerved, the second hit, and the rest of us had swerved in time. The woman driving the car was airlifted after the jaws of life got her out of her mangled car. Everyone in the van that hit was injured in some way. Joe (our pastor) received a broken leg and lacerations. Jon Hainline and Bec Hanania received broken bones as well. Chelsea Brandel had a dislocated hip, Katrina Brink had a sprained ankle and chin injury, Rachel Holper had a leg (?) injury, Ben Hainline had a head injury (lacerations mostly), Brenda Embry had head lacerations, Lydia Belzer (Joe's daughter, almost 8) had cuts and bruises (but nothing worse, thankfully)... and there were others whose injuries I can't remember. I just remember staring in shock at my friends who were trying to stop my other friends' bleeding and whatnot. The rest of us embraced in a circle, crying out in prayer. Chris and I embraced and comforted a very upset Andy Belzer [which was the only time I didn't shake uncontrollably that whole morning]. We threw our pillowcases to those administering first aid so they could use them to stop the bleeding. I wanted to do more, but I'm not in that place. I'd have been in the way. Once everyone was loaded up in the ambulances to the hospital 2 hours later, the rest of us got in our respective vans and rode to the OK City DPS station. We sat in their classroom as we waited for news and we contacted our family and friends. Finally, at 11, about 30-35 of us (out of about 100) headed home.

I'll tell about the good stuff (even including the ride home, which was a bonding experience in spite of or because of the events) later. For now, I need to do some homework and possibly take a nap.

Call me if you need/want to know more.

Oh, and last I heard, the woman didn't actually die, but she was still in critical condition.

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