"Mom. . . Dad. . . I wrecked the car!"
By James Donahue
Many parents have heard these fearsome words. Many others were not as lucky as we to have their
child return home to speak them. In retrospect, how glad we are that our teenage daughter Jennifer stood that morning at our
bedroom door, somewhat shaken but all in one piece, to tell us the story.
What happened to Jennifer that morning, however, turned out to be a mystery that neither we, nor the sheriff's deputy
who took the report, could solve. I must add that there were parts to this mystery that the police never heard about.
It was Halloween, 1994. Jennifer was getting into the Earth in those days and recognized this holiday
in a more spiritual way than most people. She planned to attend a special event that night about sixty miles from where we
lived. She asked to use either my full-sized Chevrolet or the new compact car that Doris was driving.
strange how her request led to an argument. I think we knew subconsciously that Jennifer was heading for a crash and neither
of us wanted her to drive our personal car to destruction. We wrangled over which car we were going to let her "wreck." In
the end I lost the debate because my Celebrity was older, it had a lot of miles on the odometer, and it was a full size vehicle.
The decision was that if/when she had her accident, she would have a better chance of walking away from it if she drove the
I still shake my head thinking about that argument.
We chose correctly, since her
life is far more valuable that the
material things we were trying to protect. We did not seem to have a third option that night of saying no. For us, nothing
happens by chance. The spiritual forces that operate this universe, and especially the lives of this family, use every event
to teach, instruct, and help us grow. This was to be a major "teaching" event. The impossibility of what happened in the hours
that followed helped us understand just how spiritual this night was going to be.
Once shocked out of our slumber by the news that Jennifer had just survived a traffic accident, our attention focused
on two pieces of information. . . how bad was she hurt and how bad was the car damaged.
She was a little sore, but a check-up at the local hospital emergency room proved no broken bones.
The car, however, was another matter. We found it, about a mile away from our house, hanging grill
down in the midst of a clump of trees. Just how it arrived in that strange condition could not be determined. The marks on
the edge of the road and into the clump of trees showed no sign of a vehicle skidding, or colliding and bouncing off anything
more solid than a county road sign. Yet getting where it was caused so much damage that the car already had to be written
off as a total loss. Getting it down out of the trees caused additional damage. It was a sorry piece of junk when a wrecker
towed it past our house a few hours later.
The mystery was
not only how Jennifer survived the crash without a scratch, but how she got out of the vehicle once it became engaged in the
trees. It was a two-door sedan, with large heavy doors that would have to have been forced outward against a press of tree
limbs. Then, somehow, Jennifer would have had to climb out over the open door and drop some distance to the ground. If she
had done this, however, we would have expected the door would have been left ajar. I don't think she could have, or would
have gone to the trouble of closing it again. The car had power door locks and power windows. If she had climbed out of a
window, that window would still have been open. All of the windows and doors were found closed.
As the deputy described it jokingly, Jennifer left a "parked" car, standing on its grill in that
clump of trees. Somehow she turned off the motor and removed the keys from the ignition. Then she miraculously got out of
the car, leaving all of the doors and windows closed. The more we studied it, the more it seemed to be a physical impossibility.
Had I been in such an accident, I would have still been inside that wreck when help arrived.
Jennifer said that all she remembered was driving down the dirt road after dropping off a friend.
Suddenly she found herself standing along the road, looking at the wreck. To this day she has no recollection of the accident
or getting out of that car. The police theorized that she fell asleep.
Another strange part of that "charmed" morning; even though it was at a very early hour and the accident happened on
a lonely dirt road that is seldom traveled, a vehicle came along and the driver offered her a ride home. She said she never
saw this person before or since.
You might reason that our
daughter was thrown from the car before it hit the trees. Or that she saw the vehicle was going to hit the trees and jumped
out just prior to impact. If this had happened, at the speed the car must have been traveling, I am sure she would have been
cut and bruised and her clothes torn. There were no such marks on her. And how do we explain the fact that the ignition was
turned off and the keys removed? She had my whole key ring, which included house and office keys, in her hand when she arrived
at the house.
It is my belief that some force removed Jennifer
from that car, possibly a moment prior to impact.
experience, while rare, is not unique. My wife works with a man who once told her a story about a time when he worked in a
steel plant. He said he was standing next to a barrel of cyanide that was accidentally exposed to water. He stood in awe as
the barrel began to explode in his face. The next moment, the man said he found himself standing in the far end of the plant,
in the company office, dazed, but unharmed. He had no idea how that happened. Fellow workers who saw the accident said they
thought he was killed. When they went to look, all they found were the smoking remains of his mask. Somehow the man was magically
transported out of harm's way.
When we lived in Sedona, Arizona, a few years ago, we
knew a man who fell while climbing the steep rocks surrounding that place. He said his footing slipped and he began falling
several hundred feet to what he thought was going to be certain death or at least a severe injury. But he said some invisible
force seemed to catch him before he hit the rocks below, and he landed unharmed.