Tuesday, January 18, 2011


This Christmas we went to Utah to be with my family. We decided to drive to save money and we could also take a lot more with us, namely presents for the kids and the family. We left on the 17th of December, later in the day than planned, of course. We left our house around 1:00 and planned on staying in Albuquerque that night and driving the rest of the way Saturday. Trent and I took turns driving, stopping once at a rest stop and once for dinner.

I was driving when it started snowing in New Mexico. I didn't really think much of it, but after about an hour, the visibility started getting worse and I could tell it was icy. We were about an hour outside of Albuquerque when I hit black ice going faster than I should have and I panicked. I over corrected a bit and we slid off the road facing traffic, onto a hill and almost flipped the car. I was so scared and so grateful that the car hadn't flipped. Everyone was okay and there was a tow truck literally across the street finishing pulling someone else out of the snow. They came over, pulled us out and we were back on the road. I made Trent drive after this, we were both scared and it was still snowing. We both talked about how careful we needed to be, we had a nice scare.

Trent was driving in the right lane on a two lane highway. Cars were flying past us in very scary conditions, but we were being super careful because of what had just happened. He was going 25-30 mph max. All of the sudden we hit more black ice and felt our back end start to flip us around so we were head on with oncoming traffic in the left lane. I remember so distinctly what happened next, it was like everything was in slow motion. I saw the headlights of a semi truck right in front of us and remember thinking that we were going to die. I just thought of my kids and how I didn't want them to get hurt. The truck hit us almost head on, but Trent got most of the impact on the drivers side corner. Our airbags went off, both kids woke us screaming bloody murder because of the sound and I remember being thrown back and not being able to open my eyes for a long time. I looked around and asked Trent if he was okay and he asked me the same question. I remember seeing blood on Trent's neck, but I was most concerned for the kids. I started getting Sienna out of her seat and Trent was standing outside the car, in a daze. He was probably in shock, but I yelled to him to get Aiden and that snapped him out of it. The ambulance was there in a few minutes and we went through all the tests, answered all their questions and made sure everyone was alright.

Trent got the worst of the injuries which were minor for the accident we were in. Aiden's DVD player flew up and cut the back of his head, he got burns on his face from the airbag and his left leg got smashed so he had some big bruises on the bottom half of his leg. Aiden hit his head and got a black eye and some bruises from the shoulder straps on his seat. I had some bruises, but nothing major. Sienna was completely fine. I couldn't believe that we made it out with such minimal injuries. I know that we were blessed and I am so grateful to my heavenly father that we were all okay.

We didn't know anyone in Albuquerque that could come pick us up, and the roads were being closed so the firemen and EMT's gave up their beds for us at the fire station. They were absolutely some of the best people I have ever met and did everything they could to help us. We didn't have food, diapers, phone chargers and most of our things were still in our van. The next day we got a ride with a friend of Trent's sister and brother in law and had to figure out what to do from there. We were coordinating tow trucks, rental car companies, airline tickets, picking up our things from our car and trying to entertain Aiden and Sienna. It was a crazy and stressful day and we are so grateful to Jana and Henry for letting us use their house and running us around like they did.

We finally decided to rent a car to get to Utah. We rented the biggest, safest car they had and packed up ALL our stuff and made it to Cortez CO that night just as it started snowing again. We drove the rest of the way on Sunday. It was one of the longest trips of our lives. I remember saying a prayer about a minute before we slid off the road the first time that we would be safe. I don't know if I have prayed so much in my life. I don't think I can express how thankful I am that we were all safe. I love my family so much and they are absolutely the most important thing in the world. I hope I can remember this experience and always put things in the proper perspective. I know it could have been a lot worse than it was I am so grateful that it wasn't. As you can see our van was totalled, so if you have any info on a nice used car, send it our way.
The drivers side

We cut out the passenger airbag to hold some extra things.

This is the view from the front of the car. We slid 40 yards or so.