Saturday, January 3, 2009

Still In Shock

There was a vehicle in New Horizon for us to rent this week to take to Santa Rita. It would have been nice of them to tell us it was broken before they handed us the keys, but we found out about 10 minutes down the road. Jimmy, Carlos, and Gerardo took turns pushing it back to New Horizon. It would crank every now and then. The last time it quit running the guys stopped to rest a minute and Jimmy turned the flashers on and let the truck cool off a little. I saw a car coming from behind us, it looked like it was flying and it wasn’t getting over to pass us. I yelled at Gerardo to get out of the road. It barely missed us and was within a foot of him. We all turned to watch this crazy driver who had just flown by us. The car didn’t try to slow down, but instead whipped back over into his lane. At that point he lost control of the car. He flew off the road. The car went up vertically on its front end and then slammed back down into a cow pasture 15’ below the road They had family members in a car traveling behind them. They had not been going as fast, so it took them a while to get there. When they saw the other car smoking off the road, they pulled over. They started screaming and running to check on their family members. While this was going on Jimmy was calling for an ambulance. Here a mob can form quickly, even in the middle of nowhere. In less then a couple minutes there were about 150 people gathered around. Mobs are known to lynch people who they decide is responsible. Jimmy and Carlos went over to check on the people in the car and Gerardo and I went to put branches in the road to slow people down. (Soon after the other car pulled of the road someone else flew by and almost hit them.) There had been 4 people in the car and 3 of them were walking around. Jimmy got some of the people in the crowd to pull out the 4th older man that was still in the vehicle, since it was on fire. The man was breathing, but he wasn’t talking and he could barely open his eyes. One of his ears had been split in two. Jimmy prayed with the man’s family. The driver was walking around with blood coming out of his ear. He reeked of alcohol and couldn’t remember what happened. He kept saying things like, “What happened to the car?” ”Who was driving?” We are not sure why 3 sober people would let a drunk man drive them, but that explains why he didn’t slow down and why he changed lanes so abruptly. Jimmy did as much as he could and then we left. We later passed the ambulance on its way there. It took them 45 minutes to get there.

We are so thankful that he didn’t hit Carlos or Gerardo. He could have come a little earlier and we would have been in the middle of the road trying to turn around. God definitely protected us. If something would have happened to Carlos or Gerardo we would not have been able to work in this area anymore.

Please pray for this family. Everyone was alive when we left. The driver must have been the hurt man’s son. The hurt man’s wife immediately went over and took off his watch and cleaned out his pockets so nothing would get stolen at the hospital.

We are still shook up. We keep thinking if we had not have rented the truck we would not have been broken down and this man would not have changed lanes. It is difficult to process everything, especially when you watched it happen. The crowd kept saying a tire must have blown. We are just thankful they were not upset with us. I wish people here could understand how destructive alcohol is and that way they wouldn’t let it into their life. We read in the paper here that Guatemalans have a greater chance of dying in a wreck caused by a drunk driver than dying of old age. We believe it since this is the second accident in 3 weeks just in our lives that has been caused by a drunk driver.

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