In an instant it went from a fun day in the snow to panic. Everything went so slow yet it seemed like an instant at the same time. I starred into the face of the other driver as he tried desperately to control his car barreling towards us but there was nothing he could do.
The day was like most winter holidays in our family. It’s become a bit of a tradition that either Thanksgiving and/or Christmas we go snow wheeling. We had heard of snow being on granite hill so the decision was easy. We loaded up with gas, food and water in case we got stuck or anything and to ease our mother’s mind. And my camera of course. My mom had asked me to take my brother’s senior pictures but I wanted them to be a bit less traditional than normal senior pictures. Photographing him posing in a field or in a football jersey would not capture Gabe. Him in the snow with his truck however, that’s far more realistic. Anyways, we loaded up and took off toward the mountain for a little bit of wheeling in the snow. We immediately noticed the amount of ice on the road but I trust Gabe and his driving abilities so neither of us were nervous. We went up the top, took some pictures and began our way back down.
I hesitated putting on my seat belt because I was getting some water, playing with my camera, basically just fiddling around. But eventually I buckled up. No more than a few short seconds of clicking my seat belt, a truck came barreling around the corner up the mountain and heading straight towards us. Gabe and the other driver immediately saw each other. Gabe tried to slam on the breaks but the road was icy and the other car was coming too fast. It all seemed to happen in an instant but in slow motion as well. I starred at the driver’s panicked face as he realized what was happening. It happened too fast to be scared and after there was too much adrenaline pumping to feel anything. With the force of the impact everything became real. “Are you ok? Did you hit your head?” I flew so far forward that Gabe thought I had hit the windshield. Luckily I had just been hurt by the seat belt because I’m a pretty small person. I’m a little scratched and bruised from the impact but that’s the worse of the injuries sustained in the crash.
The impact crushed the front of the truck. The doors wouldn’t open properly and the radiator was leaking. We are 3000 feet up, the truck won’t run and there is no cell service. We began coasting Gabe’s totaled truck down the mountain. By some miracle I got service for a moment to call our dad. We got the truck home. We are sore. The truck is totaled. It wasn’t the ideal way to end a carefree Christmas Day in the mountains but we are grateful that it wasn’t worse.