ac – ci – dent, noun. an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.
So if you know me personally or follow me on Facebook, then you know a couple Monday’s ago myself and 50 other individuals headed to the airport on a charter bus were in a terrible freak accident.
September 12, 2016
It’s 5:45 am I just made a silly dubsmash video and uploaded it to FB. We hurry to the front of the Terranéa resort so that we [50+ adults and families] can head to LAX to fly out to our Plexus reward trip in Kona, HI to be exact, at the Fairmont Orchid.
Please note: All writing within * represent my thoughts or feelings at that time.
*We made it in time! Hallelujah! Is my make-up okay? I hope the boys slept good. Who will be on our flight? I’m so excited for Hawaii. *
Thoughts fill my head as usual, I’m an anxious person. I see Jennifer, with the bus company as I approach the bus and walk up the steps. Scotty, my husband, is a few steps behind as he helps load our luggage under the charter bus. Scotty walks up the bus stairs behind me as he follows me to our middle-of-the-bus seats and jokingly shouts, “is this the party bus?”
Little did we know in the next few minutes everything would change.
I was texting and “facebooking” as usual. I was wearing airport clothes, which to me was my gym clothes. Ya know the black stretchy pants that suck you in all the way to your boobs? Ya those. I had my hair pulled up into my black Nike hat, the one I wear all the time because I’m insecure. I’m 6.5 months postpartum and for some reason I hide under my hat and big gaudy shades to deflect my self esteem issues of hating my “post baby bod”. I’m human, okay? Ha! The vanity…
Still looking down and on my phone in the middle of the bus, next to my husband. He hates not being in control. Not in a weird way but in a he’s a protector sort of way. I feel an obnoxious bump under our tires. I start to joke and say “curb check”. Then I hear it. I hear them.
Screams. Panic. Cursing. Tears.
“What the hell is going on up there?”
(I later find out that the bus driver hit the center median and continued to turn left into oncoming traffic lanes.)
I look up from my phone and see the front of the bus headed towards the side of the road. No. A small cliff.
*Why wasn’t I paying attention? Is this the cliff that falls off into the ocean? Where are we?*
It’s pitch black out, maybe a few street lights on. I started thinking to myself. Were we going into the ocean? Whoa whoa whoa was this REALLY happening? No no no. I hear more screaming, “oh god oh god!” “What are you doing? Wake up!!” “Stop the son of a bitch!” “Someone, anyone grab the wheel!” “we are going down!!”
* Panic sets in across the bus *
* Oh God Oh God. Save us. My boys, oh no no no my precious boys. Was I good enough? Will they remember me? Are we about to die? *
I look at Scotty. He returns the same worried look and places his arms around me and continues to say over and over and over “brace for impact baby, brace yourself I love you”
* I can’t. This isn’t real. Lord help us! DEAR GOD help us!!! *
We slam into trees. Hit rocks. I start to sob uncontrollably. I see a few passengers, my friends, my business partners, fall into the aisle and bump up and down in their seats and I see their fear too. I hear the couple behind me praying to God out loud. I still hear screams and cries in my sleep.
* is this it? Are we going to die? *
More rocks. More trees. Crack. Pop. Bump. Slam. Screaming. Crying. Yelling. Praying.
Then it all stops. We look around at each other. I hear sniffles, cries, maybe sounds of relief?
* Is this heaven? Did we die? *
Immediately the hysteria sets in and we ALL want off the bus. We want answers!! We are terrified, relieved, confused, scared, overwhelmed, achy and panicked.
We opened windows, the doors and those in the back tried so hard to get the emergency door open it it wouldn’t. It couldn’t.
A few husbands remove the driver and begin CPR outside the bus. We exit single file, some flee through opened windows onto the cliff side and road.
I finally exit the bus with Scotty. He’s saying “you’re okay, we’re okay” but I hear nothing. I feel nothing.
I move quickly and my feet are wet. We hit a fire hydrant. It’s exploding water everywhere. Our bus went down a 200ft cliff, stayed up right, swerved 5-10ft from a gas line and finally stopped after turning into a very large tree that now resembles splinters and shrubbery?????
* Do you believe in angels? God? *
We hold each other. We cry. Someone calls 911, the driver isn’t responding. I wonder off to a grassy area. We were in the resorts condominium neighborhood??? The sun is starting to rise.
* This is all so surreal. I can’t find Scotty, where’s my husband? I begin to hyperventilate*
First responders arrive.
We unload our luggage.
Well over 100 suitcases.
* how did we not flip? *
It’s over. In 30 seconds everything changed.
We almost died that day. And maybe parts of us did but I think it’s the parts that God wanted to kill to put our humanly trust back into Him. If you don’t believe in miracles start today because this whole story is one.
There are still so many “what ifs” circling in my head and it’s been 2 weeks tomorrow. I hate speed bumps and I cry nightly over that driver. He was a man who showed up to work on a Monday morning. So I will live life to its fullest for that man, for the passengers, for those reading this, for The Lord.
Life is short. Death is unexpected. Tomorrow is not promised. Miracles happen.
I was given a second chance at life that September 12th Monday morning as were 50 others I know and admire. Grace. I told y’all it was my word. God gave a lot of that out that day.
Needless to say this, as a mom my kids will get that cookie they beg for and I will cherish every bedtime story because life is way too dang short. It’s sad that I had to be reminded of those little things in such a traumatic event, but I was and I will be obedient to God and serve him in this new found version of my life.
To see a quick slideshow of pictures on my FlipGram account from the accident click here.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR DRIVER. RIP.
— Emily Roberts