God Was Watching Over Me

By Rachel Tharman
I’ll never truly forget what happened on June 6, 2011. It may have started out like any normal day, but little did I know what was soon to happen. I had planned on going to a friend’s going away parting later that evening, but instead I ended upside down in my car not too far from home.
When I arrived at my friend’s house, I realized that there was going to be a lot of water involved. I didn’t have my swim suit with me, so I decided to head home to grab some clothes and come right back to the party. Only I never quite made it home.
My friend lived on a gravel road, so naturally I was driving in the center to avoid any pot holes and because that’s how people drive on those types of roads. I had seen a truck down the road coming my way, so I was moving over to my side so we could both pass. I hit a soft spot and my car started to fishtail. I over corrected, lost control of my car, started spinning, and then I blacked out.

I woke up a few short minutes later.

My car had flipped, and I was safely inside. I didn’t really know what to think. I did, however, know that I did not wish to stay upside down. So I unbuckled and crawled out of the passenger side window, probably not the smartest idea, but I wasn’t really thinking that I should stay in there and wait for the ambulance. At that point in time I could only think about how my parents were going to kill me and how I wanted to be back with my friends.
It wasn’t until later that I realized what saved my life in that wreck. There were three main possibilities and I believe all to be true. The first was that God decided it was not my time to go. Second was that I had been wearing my seat belt, otherwise I guarantee that I would not be here today. Lastly was my headrest being above my head. When the roof of my car came caving in, my headrest kept it from crushing my neck.
I called my parents and they arrived about 20 minutes later. My dad looked so scared and gave me a huge hug when he saw me. My mom looked like she was about to cry and was real white as she gave me a huge hug as well. They hadn’t known how bad the wreck was, only that I was doing alright and had no need to go to the hospital. I had never seen my parents so frightened in their lives.
At first it was hard to get back behind the wheel, but I didn’t have a choice. Now looking back on the accident, I don’t remember it all too much, and it’s probably for the better. Sure I can tell you what happened and I can go into detail here and there. Sometimes I just can’t believe that it actually happened and it feels like I’m telling a story I heard or read, not something real or anything I had actually experienced. I can’t really say that any of this has affected me all that much emotionally, but what I can say is that it had a great impact on my life.
One of the best things I had gotten out of that wreck was being able to share my story. I was able to talk in front of a few hundred people, even if I was terrified at first. I got to explain how I survived, how it had impacted me, what I could have lost but instead had gained. It felt good to know that I was doing something helpful and educational. Not to mention that afterwards I had people come up to me saying how that story changed them or touched them in some way. For me to do something like that, it’s a feeling I can’t describe. But it is absolutely amazing, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Rachel Tharman is a student at Butler County Community College


  1. Kimberly Qualls9/25/2012

    Kimberly Qualls, NE KS KDOT Public Affairs Manager and mother to a teenage son, knows all too well the importance of wearing a seat belt. After having my own crash experience of spinning out on black ice one November day on the Kansas Turnpike, hitting three out of four corners of my vehicle, shattering my windshield and more, the seat belts kept us safe with nothing but minor bruises. This was an extremely scary experience that has stayed witn me all my life, plus just a few feet further we would have been off the bridge and into a lake. Most recently, my teenage son was rear ended by a vehicle with faulty brakes, he too had his seat belt on. He was fine, just shaken up with a good bit of damage to his car. In my Public Affairs postion at KDOT, I read many stories of vehicle crashes, where those not wearing their seat belts are killed, most often thrown from the vehicle. Each life is someone's loved one and the loss they experience is painful and life changing. Don't wait for this to happen to you or someone you love, be sure to wear your seat belt every time you get behind the wheel. Buckle up every one, every time!

  2. And your good work spreading the word on seatbelt use continues! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Anonymous9/25/2012

    This is a great endorsement of the value of seat belts saving lives. Not only did she survive but was uninjured is this severe crash.

  4. Anonymous9/25/2012

    Anonymous said...
    Anonymous 9-25-12
    A very similar accident occurred when my teenage son and his best friend were traveling from the friend's back to our house to pick up a game they wanted. The friend was driving his mom's brand new car. They came a back county paved road, but suddenly the pavement ended and it turned into gravel. Our friend didn't know this and hit the gravel going too fast and went air-bound over a barbed wire fence, missed a telephone pole and landed on the hood of the car. They both had seat belts on and were hanging upside down. They were both unhurt and it was a miracle. They crawled out the window and walked to a nearby house for help. The new car was totaled!