On the drive home from a recent week away in Central Oregon, something happened that I still can't quite believe.
An SUV five cars in front of us on a two lane highway crossed over into oncoming traffic, ran off the road, hit a tree, flipped over, and landed right side up again in an embankment. We witnessed the entire incident.
Ryan had officially been certified as an EMT less than a week before, and he immediately sprung to action. We followed the car's path to the shoulder on the other side of the road and jumped out. We were first on the scene where Ryan instructed me to call 9-1-1 as he ran to the car to check on the family inside, who thankfully were not seriously hurt. The entire right side of the vehicle was crushed, and luckily the five year old girl in the backseat was buckled up on the left side, rather than the right.
Aside from being noticeably and understandably rattled, the young man who had been driving his mother and little sister seemed unscathed. The little girl was bruised and scared, but okay. The mother suffered the worst of it, with a broken arm and likely head injuries.
But all things considered, they were okay. From where I was standing, everyone in that car was extremely lucky to be alive.
I am so proud of Ryan for his quick thinking and knowledge of how to assess and deal with the situation.
Of course we know that things like this happen, but we're usually removed from them.
We read about car accidents in the newspaper, hear about plane crashes from our friends and co-workers, and see reports of terrorism on the news. But it's rare that we're close to them. It's rare that we think they could affect us.
Ryan and I could have easily been directly behind the car we saw flip over, and not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting them, or something else.
We also flew Asiana every time we went between Portland and Asia, and we could have been passengers on the flight that went down over the weekend.
My take away from this?
Unexpected things can happen.
Life is precious. Don't take it for granted.
And if you can help someone else-do it.