At about 5:30 pm Friday, Wingnut Jr. hopped on his scooter and rode across our street to see if a friend could play. Not more than 5 minutes later I heard a large dog barking wildly. I looked out our front window to see our 7 year old tearing past our house into the driveway to the left, and to the right two teenage girls screaming in terror and hugging each other in the street. I ran to our back deck to call for Ben and that was when I saw the Ranger ATV overturned in my garden and a boy lying face down to one side while a second blood covered boy frantically tried to rouse him. Rushing once again to the front door, I ran out to see my neighbor cradling still another teenager lying in the street. I called to her as I ran and she handed the girl over to me as she ran down to the now upright Ranger. The boy face down in the dirt was her 13 year old son. The girl I held and comforted had been the driver and had lost control of the ATV as she took a corner too fast. She was thrown out onto the road and the ATV then rolled down the hill into my garden, throwing 3 passengers as it rolled. The girl appeared to have a very serious head injury. Blood was coming from her ears and nose. She was moving, but not speaking. As more neighbors rushed to the scene, we were instructed to hold her still and speak to her, in an attempt to keep her conscious as we waited for paramedics to arrive.
Our neighbor's son was thrashing and wailing in his mother's arms as another neighbor tried to calm him and ask him questions. Within minutes police, paramedics, and firemen arrived and two life flight helicopter landed not long after. One just behind our house and the other down the street in our neighborhood park. Both of the most seriously injured children were flown out in the helicopters to Children's Hospital, and the other two children were transported via ambulance to a local hospital with minor lacerations, scrapes and bruises. Our neighbor's son sustained a critical head injury that required surgery, while the girl sustained a less severe, but still serious head trauma. It was a horrific scene, and one of a mother's absolute worst fears come to life.
As I reflect on this horribly tragic event in our community, I can see God's Hand guiding so many aspects. First of all, if Wingnut Jr. had left his friend's home just 5 seconds later than he had, he very well could have been hit by the out of control ATV! Secondly, throughout the entire emergency one of our neighbors moved from one child to the other, calmly giving instructions on how to care for the injured. He just happens to be a paramedic, and he just happened to be home early. Because of his efforts, the helicopters were called before the paramedics arrived, cutting out the middle man and at least 30 precious minutes of waiting, leading to critical care measures being taken that much sooner. As of today, the three of the four have come home from the hospital. Our neighbors son has been moved from ICU into a normal hospital room. He is breathing on his own and very communicative. Apparently he was very upset the surgeons had to shave part of his head and that he had to miss his basketball game on Saturday.
You may read this story and believe it was just a series of coincidental events. When you live through something like this, there is only one thing to believe. These children are alive today because of miracles. I, for one, believe in miracles. Praise God!