The crash

Last night I hit a semi truck on the autobahn.

We were on our way home from scouts, my little Mazda 5 loaded down with myself and 5 children–my four + the neighbor boy. Harrison was in the front seat. Jason is in Missouri for a two week TDY so I’m on my own with the kids.

I was driving along, hands at ten o’clock and two o’clock, playing an easy game of “I’m Thinking of an Animal I Hate” with the kids and getting ready to exit the autobahn. I was traveling between 60-65 mph, fully alert and paying attention to my surroundings.

Suddenly I realized that I was coming up on the semi in front of me fast. I signaled and checked my mirrors, but I misguaged his traveling speed. It is illegal in Germany to pull off on the shoulder, and minimum autobahn speed is 40 kmph. There were no hazard lights or break lights to warn me.

He wasn’t even going 20. I found out later my girlfriend had almost hit him as well; he was parked half on half off the road out of his vehicle just moments before I found him. He was barley even moving.

When I realized we were going to hit him I tried to swerve but we smashed into his rear end like a cannon ball, hitting mostly on the right side. we started to spin so I overcorrected and flew all the way to the left, and suddenly I knew I had absolutely no idea how to get us out of it.

It was like being in the middle of the worst roller coaster ride ever, then realizing your cart had disengaged from the track. In that split second I thought of a thousand things. I thought, “Oh crap.” I accepted the fact that we might not make it out of there alive. Three lanes of traffic and the autobahn was busy, I knew we’d be hitting someone else in no time.

I thought of the five children strapped into my car and yelled out a quick, “Kids, Mommy loves you!”

Then I just let go. Hands straight up, I sent up a simple plea to Heaven. “It’s all You,” I said and sat back as we smashed into the left guard rail and started to spin out of control.

It was like we were alone in a parking lot. Not a car in range, we spun until the thought crossed my mind, “You should probably put on the break now.”

So I did and we stopped. At some point I had met my darling air bag, and thankfully Harrison’s held true and stayed put.

I stepped out of the smoking rubble and surveyed what was left of my car, then watched as my five children slowly emerged from the vehicle screaming their little heads off in fright (all except Georgia who was totally calm and collected through the whole thing).

I’ve recently been accused of being too religious on my blog, being a “Bible thumper” if you will. But let me tell you right now, watching my beautiful little children step from the broken remains of our car, completely unscathed and untouched, not a drop of blood or a broken bone, I knew that we were in the arms of angels.

I’m pretty sure that at least two of the three Nephites showed up to rescue us within seconds, I have no idea who those amazing American guys were. They retrieved coats and car seats, put the baby in the stroller and comforted my terrified children. One of the brothers from church was close behind me and pulled off with his blessedly empty minivan and we loaded the kids in while we waited for the German paramedics.

They loaded us into an ambulance while the Rescue Squad surveyed the scene. Standing outside the door, I watched as a group of nine or ten decked out emergency guys slowly made their way to my family. They crowded around the door and looked in at my beautiful, unharmed children with a collective look of awe. Turning to me as a group, there was only one thing for them to say.


So Marcee, you can accuse me of being overly religious all you want, but I certainly hope you find a little religion before you find a semi truck.

I have a lot more to say about this but I need to take a break. It’s too much, this is too fresh, it’s still too raw and horrible and wonderful. I’ll write more about what happened next later.