Family News

Highway Adventure

If you follow our tweets you know that we are currently in the city of São Luís, at the home of my brother-in-law. Our trip was uneventful as far as we were concerned–no major car troubles, no accidents. Just as we were leaving the city of Picos, climbing the ridge that surrounds that city, we found traffic completely stopped. People were getting out of there cars and gathering in small groups to chat. Up ahead, we could see the cause of the delay:

A large truck was on its side, and men were attaching cables from three tow-trucks to attempt to right it. Having nothing else to do, Mikey and I went to investigate.

This is what we saw when we approached the truck. We asked a couple onlookers as to the fate of the driver, and they pointed to him, walking around, taking pictures with his cell phone as if nothing had happened. His wife–who was sitting on the passenger side(!) also survived with no harm. I have a picture of him, but decided not to include it for privacy reasons.

This is the dual trailer of the overturned truck. It was empty at this point, but at the time of the accident it was full–of corn.

Where did all the corn go? These local residents descended on the accident and “liberated” it. By the time we got there they were sifting through the dirt to get the last kernels.

A few of the more enterprising ones had brought burlap sacks, and these were stacked neatly to the sides.

Finally all the cables were attached, and it was time to pull. As the tow-trucks strained their motors, the truck began to right itself. They soon found that they were pulling, not only the truck, but a portion of the guard rail. For a while it looked like they rail would prevent them from righting the vehicle.

Finally, with a loud “SNAP” the truck pulled free from the guard rail. The picture above shows the exact moment it hit the ground (notice the dust rising around it).

As we drove away I was reminded to pray for my brother David, who, every day, is driving a truck somewhere in the US. We also rejoiced at God’s protection–a slight difference in our timing and we could have had a more “participative role” in the accident.

Talk back to the missionary: This was one of the most interesting dramas I have ever seen played out while on the road (that didn’t involve mechanical failure of my own vehicle). What kind of interesting things have you seen while traveling?


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  1. We have seen numerous accidents, including a semi-truck engulfed in flames. One really funny one was when we were driving on I-75 there was a man on a motorcycle-holding a blue/gold macaw. They were going about 65 mph!

  2. My experience isn’t exactly unusual but I was on I-75 and had a drunk driver fly past me late at night. Not too far ahead of me he lost control, spun the car around and was sitting in my lane facing me. This was my 1st encounter with drunk driving…and it was 7 years ago. I can remember details well.

  3. Yikes! I don’t know if alcohol was a factor in this accident…the driver appeared to have all his faculties. I tend to think he just took the curve to quickly.

  4. These pictures brought back memories of my trip to Colombia in 1988. I was riding with Harold Davis, and a log truck had flipped over. Everyone was helping move the logs until there was only about two left, then everyone started running for their individual cars.
    Next to snorkeling, I would say that exploring and driving in Latin America is my favorite travel thing to do. I just loved driving in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and the US Virgin Islands.

  5. yes, but not by us. We gave a similar testimony as to the timing of the accident. A few minutes earlier, Harold’s car had stalled several times, then started again on its own. If the car had not stalled, this story could have been even more personal.

  6. Gloria,
    If it is anything like here in Brazil, they all ran for their cars so they could get a head start on everybody else once the road was cleared.

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