We were on our way to music class, driving down a major road, when I could hear Marco fidgeting with his car seat clip... the top one. I yelled, "You better click!" and I glanced in the rearview mirror to be sure he was buckled and when I looked back, we were speeding head first into a tractor.
There was a landscaping truck with a long flat bed that had a trailer hitched to it with a small tractor on it. This truck was backing up into the main highway from a side street. Instead of coming onto the main road face forward, he was backing into it. I can't remember what happened exactly because it was all so fast, but I do know that I did not see it or notice that it was backing up until I was crashing. I did not have time to break or swerve. It was a head on collision going about 35 mph.
The kids screamed, the air bags deployed and the car filled with smoke. I tumbled out of the car, disoriented, but only thinking about the kids. I opened their doors and noticed that they were ok. They were scared but they weren't crying or bleeding. I pulled them out of the car because I was afraid of the smoke and a Good Samaritan woman stopped to help me. She held Jonas for me and called Mauricio to tell him what had happened. I was bleeding from a busted lip, but other than that I was feeling ok. I was really shaken up and nervous, but mostly worried about the children.
The paramedics arrived at the scene, looked over the boys and checked our vitals. They said the kids looked ok but I should take them to the ER just to be sure. I opted not to because they were acting normally and had no injuries. (We've been watching them all day to be sure everything is normal, and it has been).
The cop asked me if I was speeding and I told her that I do not speed... especially with my kids in the car. She didn't believe me and rolled her eyes. I then had to defend myself and tell her to look around. There were no skid marks on the street, no brake marks... I did not see the truck until I crashed. If I had been speeding the kids and I would not be walking away from this accident with no more than a bloody lip. We'd be taken in the ambulance with serious injury if I had been speeding. She agreed with me and dropped the subject.
But unfortunately, she didn't issue a ticket to either party. She said that we were both "at fault"... although I disagree. I believe that if a truck of that size needs to come out of a street, they can not back out into a main road... they need to make a 3 point turn, even if it's really a 20 point turn. In the time it took me to look in my rearview mirror and look back, we were in grave danger.
Moms, how many of you do not peek back at your kids to give them a sippy cup or check to be sure they're not picking their nose... or anything?! We all do it! And in that second, I put my family, my babies in danger. It's crazy when I think about all that could have happened! God is so good... we are safe.
Now that a few hours have passed, I am feeling a bit sore and emotionally tired. My hand is bruised and my arm is sore. My face is swollen, I have a black eye and a bruised lip. I have a seat belt burn on my left shoulder. Marco also has a small seat belt burn on the right side of his neck. But that's it. No other damage. Amazing.
Marco has been experiencing a bit of post-traumatic stress. He took a short nap and woke up crying, saying "Mama car... Mama crash". And for a while after he was just repeating, "Crash" and clapping his hands together. There's also some dried blood on his car seat (from me) and when he saw it he said, "Mama ay-ay" (ay-ay= boo boo). He seemed very worried and kept reliving it. We just kept telling him, "Yes, we crashed and the car went bye-bye, but we're ok and we're safe... Jesus kept us safe". At prayers he said, "Thanks Jesus for the car and for the crash"... it's been quite eventful.
Here's some pics from the scene:
And then later on when I went to the junk yard to release it to the insurance, I got another look at the damage and was filled again with thankfulness.
So now... my mom is saving the day and letting me borrow her car until we figure out what our next move is. We are in no position to purchase a new car, so... we'll just have to see what happens next. The only thing I know for sure is... Jesus is my protector. Thanks be to Him!