August 6, 2018
I need to stop stuttering through life. Yesterday reset something in me. Perhaps there is a strong will and purpose for me living after all and I was taken out of a dangerous situation. Suppose an angel was with me and actually dropped upon me the confidence, boldness and quick reaction to avert what appeared to be a fatal outcome. Perhaps an angel in the car with me stepping on the accelerator and getting me through this dangerous situation. I remember no fear or hesitation. When I replay it back in my mind though I don't see how I made it out of that situation without a scratch.
Here's what happened:
I left the Friend Farm in Olathe, Colorado after a successful video shoot of one of my new songs. I was traveling northbound in my new 2018 Dodge Charger on Highway 50 just after 2:50 PM local time.
At 3:03 PM I made two quick phone calls back home. At approximately 3:06 PM I was in the right-hand lane northbound on highway 50 two or three miles south of Delta Colorado. The cruise control on my Charger was set to 65 mph the posted speed limit. I was behind a red pickup truck with a small camper shell and I believe an Idaho license plate. They were driving a bit erratic so I decided to pass them in the left lane. This is a four-lane segment of the highway.
I remember pressing the "set" button on my steering wheel several times which would increase my speed 1 mph with every press. I normally will speed up several miles per hour to get past a vehicle. I remember seeing my speedometer at 70 mph. I assume I was about even with the vehicle in the right lane or slightly ahead.
The road had a bit of a curve or bend ahead. I saw a white vehicle in the distance coming towards me. I had the thought they were on the wrong side of the highway but for an instant dismissed that thought. Suddenly I saw a white SUV or a pick up coming directly towards me head on in my lane. (What I'm about to describe took less than five seconds).
When I saw the white vehicle I immediately punched and floored the accelerator. The Charger has a lot of horse power and pick up and I'm certain I was going 80 miles an hour or more when I steered back into the right lane, calmly. I lost sight of the white vehicle and was more concerned about clipping the front end of the truck in the right lane and hoping I was far enough ahead to safely drive back into the lane. Before I knew it it was over. Thankfully I did not hit the vehicle in the right lane and avoided a head-on collision with the white vehicle at 80+ mph.
They say in combat there's no fear. It's after the combat that the fear sets in.
I've had almost 24 hours to think, ponder and reflect upon what happened to me yesterday. If there would have been any hesitation or "one second" more would have elapsed I am certain I wouldn't be writing this recap.
It's not what was happening to me that was scary, rather, thinking thoughts afterwards of what almost happened that's scares me.
Many of the military veterans whom I've interviewed over the years and fought in war have lived and suffered with survivors guilt. I'm certain I'm experiencing some of that today. I've gone through many emotions since this event 24 hours ago.
When I first got home it felt like, "I shouldn't be here." I remember thinking, "I'm not supposed to be here." It was almost a surreal happening. It's like everything slowed down; it felt like slow-motion. It's like everything I began to do was for the first time and I questioned whether or not I should be here.
I've asked the question repeatedly, "Why am I here?" Perhaps some of you reading this story can relate to or have gone through a similar experience.
"Why am I here," I would ask myself? Unless you were there it's a bit difficult retelling secondhand. Unless you've gone through something like this and survived I don't think it's possible to fully fathom and understand what I experienced yesterday.
I've always had a flair for the dramatic and extreme. Without sounding overly dramatic, when I replay this through my mind I don't see how I could've come out alive. I firmly believe my evasive, proactive, reactionary behavior yesterday saved my life and the life of the other people in the white vehicle and possibly the truck beside me. We're talking mere seconds of time here.
I thought if I would've crashed amidst the mangled twisted wreckage perhaps the vehicles would've exploded and caught fire. I thought of traffic stopping in both lanes, emergency vehicles rushing to the scene. I saw myself being airlifted to our local regional medical center in Grand Junction or pronounced dead on the scene. All of this played out through my mind in the aftermath and even today those thoughts linger.
Had I clipped the front end of the vehicle in the right lane at that speed the outcome is also very bleak and alarming. It may have resulted in a multi-vehicle crash with several fatalities.
I thought of the time lapse from the time of the crash to when my family would be notified. I thought of being taken to a morgue or funeral home. I thought of what my brand new Charger would look like after a high-speed collision. (We've all seen the photos).
Many thoughts are haunting me and racing through my mind as I write this account.
I'm also assured of one thing: Had I leased the Jeep Cherokee in June or was in another vehicle I probably would be dead. I sincerely and honestly believe that a major factor in my life being spared was my Dodge Charger. A very sobering thought.
Yesterday was a wake up call. I don't fully understand it. I must believe God has a purpose for my life and my surviving yesterdays near fatal crash on highway 50.
I've struggled the past few years with finding a strong purpose and direction for my life. I'm coming to terms quickly that there is a purpose and I must find it.
After yesterday's incident I was very proud of myself and how I reacted calmly in a most dangerous situation with what appeared to be little outcome for survival. I have always been a defensive driver and take driving a motor vehicle very seriously.
To re-iterate, there was no time to think. If I would've thought about what to do I would be dead!! I simply reacted, my instincts took over, and to my surprise (thinking about it afterwards), with no fear, I took evasive actions and was successful. I think a normal reaction in a similar situation would be to slow down and hit your brakes. I did the exact opposite. I don't know if one can be trained in a simulator to react like I did.
A couple of minutes after this incident the truck who was in the right lane was now in the left lane coming up alongside of me. I rolled down my window to say something to them and he gave me a big thumbs up. That made me feel good and assured me something very significant had just occurred.
My concern after the mishap was for the safety of others as this vehicle continued down the wrong side of the highway. I did make a report with the Colorado State Patrol about the incident. I do believe this driver was impaired or disoriented. I am truly grateful that I survived.
Ironically, for the first time I recently became an organ donor last month on my birthday. I feel I have lived a full life and am ready to join my family in Heaven. I had just spent they day in my earthly heaven amongst 20 acres of beautiful sunflowers in the bright warm sunshine, playing my guitar and shooting a new music video to an amazing song I wrote. What a way to go out if I had to yesterday.
One more thought in closing:
Had I not survived yesterday my hope and wish is that the micro data cards in my video cameras would have survived and that my son or someone else would extract and edit the music video I shot- my last video on this earth. "What a legacy," I thought, "What a way to be remembered."
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