“Alycia’s Angel,” Ensign, Dec. 1993, 45–47
As we listened to the radio in the truck, we realized the wind was only the prelude to a storm that had developed rapidly and was cutting across the southern half of Wyoming. I silently prayed that we would make it to Rock Springs before the weather became totally unbearable.
How I dreaded moving to a new home in another state in the middle of December and having to travel through Colorado and Wyoming, where the weather was always unpredictable this time of year. Before leaving Colorado Springs, my husband, Doug, had checked on weather and road conditions and had been told that the skies would be partly cloudy and the highways would be clear. So, saying a family prayer and snuggling our daughters into their car seats, we started our trek to a new state and a new job.
Just outside Denver, we hit a wall of fog that plagued us until we reached the Wyoming state line. From there, strong winds pushed at our truck, making it very difficult to stay on the road. Snow was blowing across the highway in front of us, but our visibility wasn’t seriously hindered. It still looked as if we would make good time, as Rock Springs was only fifty miles away. I began to think we were going to beat the worst of the storm.
Suddenly we hit a patch of black ice! I grabbed for my daughters as the truck started sliding toward the inside lane of the highway. Doug tried to correct for the slide, but the weight of the cargo and the added weight of the car we were towing pulled the truck into a full 180-degree spin. This sent us back across the freeway and lodged the truck and the car in the snowbank on the opposite side of the road—projecting partway into the lane of any oncoming traffic.
We were shaken but unhurt. And neither the car nor truck seemed damaged, though we were embedded in a four-foot snowdrift. Doug grabbed a shovel from behind the seat and started digging us out. But it was useless; the more he dug, the deeper we sank into the snowbank. Furthermore, the wind began to whip more fiercely, and the snow fell more heavily. I sat in the cab of the truck wondering aloud what we were going to do. My three-year-old daughter, Alycia, heard me and started saying a prayer. To her it was simply the thing to do, so obvious that I felt ashamed. Her plea was brief yet powerful: “Heavenly Father, please send an angel to help us, amen.”
Within ten minutes of her prayer, a four-wheel-drive truck pulled up. A man got out, spoke with Doug, and hooked a chain under our front bumper. Later, I learned that he told Doug it was lucky for us he had come along, because ten minutes before, a semitrailer truck had jackknifed, blocking the highway a half mile from where we were. The semi had stopped all westbound traffic, and due to the severe storm conditions, the highway patrol had closed the road until morning. This man had been the last vehicle allowed through; officers let him pass because he had four-wheel drive and lived only five miles down the road.
After much digging and tugging, our truck and car were dislodged from the snowbank and back up on the road. Our “good Samaritan” informed us that the town of Wamsutter was just over the next hill and that we should have no trouble getting there if we went slowly. After we thanked him, he left as suddenly as he had come.
We drove the few miles to Wamsutter—through blowing, drifting snow and near-zero visibility—without further incident. We rented the last room in the only motel in town and settled down for what was to become a three-day blizzard.
That night after Doug said the family prayer, giving thanks for our safe arrival, Alycia wanted to add her thanks too. She said, “Thank you, Heavenly Father, for hearing my prayer and sending the angel to help us, amen.”