NDE-Like Accounts

When Time Slows Down, A Lot Can Happen

April 1995, I was in the Air Force stationed in Louisiana. My stepdad had passed away during open heart surgery the day before his birthday. I took emergency leave and went to Florida for what I thought would be his funeral. Upon my arrival (home) I found out that his wish was to be cremated. This was very difficult for me, as I thought there would be an actual funeral. What it actually was...

was a get together with all of his family and friends at the VFW to honor his life.

After the service, I went back to Louisiana only to find that I had just received orders to Sheppard AFB, TX. I was notified that I was non-volunteered to take an assignment as an F-16 Weapons Instructor. I tried numerous ways to get out of this assignment (due to my fear of talking in front of people), but to no avail. I brought my wife and daughter there to show them the area, which they assuredly said they could not live there. Who would want to, it's such a desolate place. I was told I either had to take this job or I would not be eligible to re-enlist. Because I already had 12 years in the service, we thought it would be beneficial that I take this assignment alone. Besides, the distance was only six hours from where we lived in Shreveport, and I would be able to drive home on weekends. I did this for five years, and only missed a very few weekends due to snow.

I taught my classes on T-shift, which was from 4pm to midnight. I got off work one Friday night, went back to my apartment, and had a few cups of coffee before starting my trip "home". Although it was raining, I decided to leave around 1 am. This would get me into Shreveport around 7am. I made the boring trip down US 287 and arrived in Dallas around 3 am. As I was driving on US 635, the rain was coming down so hard that it was difficult to see the road ahead. I then slowed down to about 30 mph. A few minutes down the highway, I looked in my rear view mirror to see two vehicles coming up behind me at a fast rate of speed. As I looked ahead at the road, I could see waves of water crossing the highway.

As the cars were getting closer, they split, one passing me on the left, the other on the right. As they passed, both cars hit the rushing water, as we all drove under the overpass. In an instant, both of the cars went into a half-spin and collided ahead of me. The next thing I saw I was heading directly into four headlights in my lane. I braced the steering wheel so hard, awaiting the impact (I found out later that I had actually bent the steering wheel). As I was getting closer to the cars who were still in my lane, I felt an unfamiliar calm rush over me, and at that point it seemed everything was going in slow motion. It also felt like I wasn't the one in control of my vehicle. As I veered toward the cars in my lane, I could see them start to separate as I drew nearer. I watched in amazement as I drove between them. In slow motion I saw the one on my left, and the one on my right, go by me not inches away in the wrong direction on the highway. After passing them, I then heard a pop. This came from my front right tire after I drove across something in the road. I pulled over to the side of the highway under the next overpass to find that I now had a flat tire. I sat there for a few minutes thinking about what just happened, and came to the realization that someone was watching over me and just saved me from an impending accident. Was it my stepdad? I won't know until the day comes that I am able to ask him. What I do know is, I shouldn't have felt as calm as I did, I was not driving the vehicle, and I should have hit both cars head on.


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