This is why you wear a seatbelt. This scene is from last weekend. After my niece’s wedding, our 16 year old son was supposed to get up early so he could drive to Albany, MN and meet up with another FFA chapter and go to camp. Only he didn’t make it to the bus. He is ok, but this could easily have been a very different post.
At 5am, after only a few hours of sleep, he got up and got ready to go. I was also tired, so I failed to give him snacks or a pop to help keep him awake. 6:12 am my phone rang. “Mom, I’m not sure how to say this. I’m ok, but I’m in a ditch outside of Lidgerwood. I fell asleep and over corrected and ended up in the ditch.” My heart stopped and I was immediately awake. He was shaken, but ok. I asked if he could drive out and he thought he could. There was grass coming through the hood, but he cleaned some of it out and put the hubcap back on and drove out of the ditch. He was only a mile away from a town, so he pulled into the Cenex to clear some more stuff away, get a drink and be on his way. It was clear the car had more damage than he initially thought. It wasn’t going anywhere. At 6:30am, his FFA advisor isn’t answering his phone and he doesn’t know the people he is supposed to be meeting for the bus ride. He will not make the 8:45am bus. We are an hour away from him and couldn’t drive him there in time.
He eventually got ahold of his advisor who contacted the other chapter and the camp to let them know he would be delayed. My husband drove over to where his car was. We could drive him to camp ourselves, but they’d need to come back and get me and our other son and then go home and drop them off.
His seatbelt saved his life. He was tired, going 64 mph on cruise, trying to stay awake. Window down, then up, shifting in his seat, radio on… until he heard the tires hit the gravel on the left side of the road. He startled awake and over corrected, swerved back and forth and slammed into the ditch. Thank God it was 6am on Sunday morning, so there was no traffic. He could have hit someone. Thank God he wasn’t on the interstate. Thank God he was wearing his seatbelt, or he would have been thrown through the front windshield and the car would have driven over him. Thank God he didn’t roll it. Thank God he didn’t fall asleep 10 seconds later because he would have ended up in a ditch full of water. Thank God he is ok. Thank God he learned a lesson in a non-fatal way.
He learned a few things:
- Wear your seatbelt, even if it’s not “cool.”
- Driving while tired is dangerous.
- Do not drive with the cruise on if you are sleepy.
- Have snacks or drinks along to help keep you awake.
- North Dakota mud will turn to a clay brick if it dries.
Shaken and probably suffering from whiplash, he still went to camp. I drove him the 2 hours from our house up there. He was be able to catch the bus back home, or at least to Albany. “Mom, I could have died. It all happened so fast.” Yes, yes I know. I am beyond thankful for the angels watching over you, tapping you on the shoulder and helping you to wake up. I’m thankful that God spared your life that Sunday morning.
Peace be with you on your journey of enough & always wear your seatbelt!