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A Terrible Car Crash That Did Not Happen

November 23, 2017

On Monday, I was driving back to Louisiana from a weekend visit to see my aunt and uncle in Texas.

My sister and nephew were also in the car with me.

At around 5:30 p.m., we reached our interstate exit, which put us only three miles from my house. The exit is a two-lane road with no median. The speed limit is 55 mph. I was traveling southbound, and the traffic in my lane was light. However, traffic was backed up in the northbound lane.

I had almost reached 55 mph when I saw a van exit a subdivsion located on my side of the road. The van was perhaps 100 yards in front of me, and instead of merging into the northbound line of traffic (which is what I expected it to do), the van came to a complete stop perpendicular to the flow of traffic, the result being that this van now blocked my right of way.

My sister called out to me that the van was not moving. However, I was watching the van in disbelief.

It just sat there, and I knew that I did not have time to stop without hitting it. I had only a few seconds to react, and I had just spent one full second stunned that this driver would put me in what seemed the inevitable position to t-bone this vehicle.

But that did not happen.

As I was within a couple of yards of the van, I cut a sharp right into the entrance of the subdivision. I was pumping the brakes and trying to maintain control of my car. I did not flip the car. I did not sideswipe the van, which I expected to do as it remained stationary in my right of way. I came within a couple of feet of the van but did not hit it.

When my car came to a complete stop, the nose of my car was behind the van in question and in front of another vehicle that was behind the van waiting to exit the same subdivision.

I did not hit either vehicle, and I did not slam into the median at the entrance of the subdivision.

After my car was completely stopped, my first words were, “The airbags did not go off.”

Northbound traffic had cleared by this time, and the van sped away.

I was in shock, but thank God I had the presence of mind to know I was in shock and to look and see if any other vehicles were coming before I reentered that southbound lane. One was, and after it passed, I resumed driving home.

All that I could think about was the great gift I had just been given.

No injuries. No deaths. No holiday season marred by vehicular tragedy.

It was as if I had been granted a fantastic “if only”– “if only such-and-such, then this awful accident would not have happened.”

In those critical seconds, God gave me that “if only.”

I am so, so grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.


  1. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    A picture in words of terror, and good judgment, and an outcome for which I am grateful, along with many others.

  2. Allison White permalink

    Grateful that you are ok. Thank you for all you do and Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. ira shor permalink

    I’m so grateful you and your family and no others were not hurt. You are a special person and indispensable.

  4. James Kirylo permalink

    Glad you are okay!!

  5. Edd Doerr permalink

    Wow, Diane, I am glad you emerged OK from this encounter.

  6. Jen permalink

    Thanking God that you’re OK! Peace Mercedes.

  7. Zorba permalink

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mercedes, and I’m so glad that you all were not hurt.
    You do indeed have much to be grateful for!

  8. Thank GOD! Seems as though God was truly watching out for you & provided a way to come through unscathed. Lots to give thanks for after that wild experience:)

  9. Christine Langhoff permalink

    So grateful that you and yours are unharmed! Your clarity of mind under pressure clearly avoided a terrible accident.

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