We had been visiting my sister in Great Falls, Montana. To go back home to South Dakota, we had to travel through the snow-covered Rockies. The day we left, it was snowing and visibility was close to zero. Ice hid beneath the snow-covered roads.
Rounding a curve on the mountain, Dad saw a huge semi jackknifed in the turn ahead blocking all traffic. Several cars had already stopped ahead of us. We slowed down and stopped slowly. Dad pulled the car to the side of the road. We sat and watched as this semi driver labored to get his truck straightened out. People tried to flag the oncoming cars to warn them to slow down and stop.
Another semi-tractor trailer rounded the corner, paying no attention to those who tried to give a warning about the truck ahead. Going downhill going too fast, the ice and snowy road was unforgiving to the big truck’s brakes. By the time he saw the jack-knifed truck ahead, it was too late.
His high-powered brakes screeched and he began to jack-knife too. I watched as if in a dream as the big trailer headed directly for our car. The truck hit our car once, then twice, then three times. Each time, it pushed our car a little farther over the edge. Mother started to scream. Dad braced himself on the wheel. There was no time to think about getting out. We were already targeted to go over the cliff. No one was buckled in. There were no seatbelts in cars in the late 50s.
As an eight-year-old, I didn’t understand what falling off the mountain meant. I remember sitting in the backseat, unafraid. Maybe I thought it would be like a rollercoaster ride.
Prayed for God’s Help
I remember asking God to take care of us. Mother was screaming for Jesus to help us. Miraculously, the truck came to a stop. Our front tire was close to going over the edge, but we hadn’t gone over the precipice. No one was hurt, and neither was our car. Although shaken up, we were fine and thankful to God. Somehow, we managed to get out. Someone offered to take my mother and me to the closest town to get a tow truck. Dad stayed with the car and waited in the cold.
Finally, we were off the mountain and on our way again – with an experience never to forget about God’s protection. That day, I believe God heard the prayers of a little girl who believed.
This is a true story that happened to the writer at age eight.