Dear Family and Friends,
Last week many of you know we were in Mount Pleasant for the Home School basketball tournaments. Our last game finished at 6 PM. we stayed to watch some friends play their games and then went to Subway for supper. We left for home around 9:15. Cheryl and Matt were in the back seat, Anna and Trienna were laying down in the middle seat, Dan was driving and I was next to him. All of us had our seat belts on.
With all the snow on the ground the best thing to do was follow the two track left by previous drivers on M 20 West from Mt Pleasant and later on M 66 South. We were traveling about 45 mph when we came to a right curve in the road. As usual the 2 track curved slightly less than the road itself and the right tires went so far to the right as to actually leave the tarred road bed. The drop from the tar to the gravel was about 2". I saw it at the last second and reached out the assist Dan in keeping the car from turning right into the ditch. In doing so we shot back on to the road and with the road still curving top the right we were now in the left or oncoming lane. No cars were coming at us but Dan over reacted and turned hard right to get back to the right lane.
The hard right caused our van to turn too far to the right and we were sliding through the intersection of M66/ Six Lakes road and Cutler Rd. Our van slid down the embankment on the SW corner and slammed into the electric pole about 30' off the corner. Crash! Everything happened in slow motion and yet it was over in a few seconds. I still remember hitting the pole and then it seemed as if the pole was no longer there. Fact is, it wasn't. I remember the pole going up and over the front of the vehicle and slamming on to the ground next to us. A large blue flash lit up the sky as power lines touched the stop sign and the corner street light went dark. Our van settled to a stop abut 20' beyond where the pole once stood and with the van running still I called out, "Is everyone OK?" Cheryl and the girls immediately replied they were. Nothing from Matt of Dan so I asked "Matt you OK?" Yeah, he said. Dan was slumped over the steering wheel and I fearfully asked, "Dan, are you OK?" Yeah, I'm OK too," he said somewhat quietly and with his head down on the wheel I opened the door to assess the damage and situation around us. I pulled out my phone and called 911 to report the incident.
While on the phone cars had now stopped on the road and anxious drivers got out to ask about our welfare. "Are you all right down there?" Yeah, I think so, let me ask them again," I said not quite believing it myself. I heard them earlier saying it but when you take out an electric pole by sheering it completely off at it base you know there must be more serious injuries or fatalities. So I opened the door and asked everyone again while talking to the 911 operator and those on the road side.
Not knowing our exact location I was trying to read the street sign which was hanging up side down on the top of the stop sign and trying to stay away from the downed power lines. Shaking like a leaf on a windy fall day, I kept talking to the operator at the back of the van who was asking "Do I need to send an ambulance? Is anyone hurt?" "No, no ambulance is needed but the power line is down and we are OK."
When you say things with you mouth but your mind does not agree with what you think you should be saying it is confusing to say the least.
After hanging up with 911 I went back into the van where Cheryl had now gotten up to the front to be with Dan who was now shaking uncontrollably like I was. I said a prayer to thank the Lord for his mercy in sparing our lives through such an accident. In the back of my mind I was going over and over again the scene of the accident as well as the fact that not one of us had a scratch on us. Absolutely nothing. Amazing how God can work in our lives to get our attention.
We stood by the side of the van for some time holding each other in our arms and he letting his emotions out on my chest. He drives on a permit and was concerned about losing his license. I tried to reassure him over and over that he was not going to be held responsible for this accident and that God would help us get our lives back together again.
The pictures I attached show the wheel where the wood from the pole is embedded between the rim and the tire from the force of hitting the pole in the sideways slide. The other pics show the damage on the driver side of the van where looking at it I think the location of the hit was in the strongest place possible for the van to "take" the hit and still be drivable home. We were pulled out of the ditch after Consumers turned the power off and one of the firemen changed our tire and I drove the rest of the way home, still not quite believing what I was seeing or doing. We arrived home at 2 am.
Thank the Lord with us for his mercy to undeserving people and pray for us get back into our school and work routine soon.
The Moerdyk family
A Song of Ascents.1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.
Here are the pictures: