“Trapped inside My Car,” Ensign, Sept. 2000, 62–63
One morning while my husband and I were missionaries in the Liberty Jail Visitors’ Center in Missouri, I drove to the beauty salon for an appointment. While under the hair dryer, I contemplated with mixed feelings the reality that our mission would be over in less than three months.
On my way home, I was waiting to turn left in a busy intersection when I heard honking and saw a large dump truck broadside a nearby car. Then, in horror, I watched the truck hit a concrete median and overturn on top of my little car, spilling dirt everywhere.
As the truck crushed my car, I was gripped in helpless panic. I cried to the Lord to save me. Thoughts flashed through my mind: I’m not afraid to die. In a few seconds I’ll be through the veil. But then I thought: No, I will not die. I will finish my mission. At the start of our mission, we had been given a blessing that we would have the health and strength to finish our mission.
The truck finished settling its massive weight, and I realized I would live. I had leaned the upper part of my body over the passenger seat, thus avoiding any head injuries. But the pain in my legs was indescribable as the dashboard pressed down on them. The steering shaft was pinning my legs into an awkward position, and the fingers of my right hand were jammed between the steering wheel and my thigh. The window knob on the left door was piercing my left hip. I could not see outside because of the dirt and shattered windshield.
Though I felt a frightening tenseness, I did not give in to hysterics or tears. Instead I sought strength through prayer. After what seemed like several minutes someone finally called, “Are you there?”
“Yes,” I answered. “My legs are crushed. Please help me.”
As men shoveled dirt from the truck to lessen its weight, I smelled gasoline fumes. I petitioned the Lord to protect me from asphyxiation, and a cool breeze wafted through the car. Possibly 30 minutes passed. My legs were numb, and the pain was excruciating. I prayed my legs would not be paralyzed.
The rescue crew could not agree on the best method to lift the truck without it falling back down and crushing me. In the meantime, they moved another car away from mine and cut off the right door of my car. I asked if they could take out the passenger seat, but it was holding up the top of the car.
“Wriggle your toes,” said a doctor. I did so, and he said, “Good.” I was given a shot of morphine, but it did not seem to relieve the pain. Then I heard someone say, “Tell her she’ll have to wait another 20 minutes until the big crane arrives from Kansas City.”
I whispered to myself, “I can’t endure.” But I knew I had to.
More than an hour had passed, and I know I received spiritual strength to endure. During the entire ordeal, I was enveloped by a lovely, soft sense of the sweetness of the Spirit of the Lord.
Finally the truck was removed from my car, and workers cut away the top of the car and lifted the dash and steering wheel enough to free me. Kind hands lifted me into a waiting ambulance, and at the hospital I learned that my most serious injury was a broken leg.
Still wrapped in the sweetness of the Spirit, I recognized that my personal prayers had been answered and that a priesthood blessing had been fulfilled. Not until then did tears come as I thanked Father in Heaven for saving my life.