She Survived a Fatal Bus Crash

by Migdalia Rivera

This has been a crazy month. My debit card was stolen and my account cleaned out, I forgot to return two rented tuxs and had to pay an exorbitant amount of money, and one of my best friends was in a horrible bus accident.

That last one put everything into perspective.

All else faded once that occurred.

My other posts were scheduled this week, so this one may seem as if it’s coming out of left field. It is. I needed to get it out of my head, so here I am typing away.

One of my closest friends was in the June 1, 2011 fatal bus crash. She survived. Four others died.

She was sleeping when it occurred. Like the others, she wore no seat belt. She had confidence in the driver. It was his job to get them to New York safely. He didn’t. It seems he was sleeping right along with them.

She woke when the bus crashed, thrown like a rag doll all about. She can still hear the screams and see the glass, metal and bodies breaking. Hers included.

She thought it was a dream, a nightmare. It was her 1st time traveling by bus. She couldn’t believe it was true.  

When the bus came to a stop, she tried to get up. She soon discovered she couldn’t move, couldn’t walk. Her leg was mangled. It lay in an unnatural position, unable to support her, hanging from her body.

Her voice, mingled with others, crying for help. She wanted to get out but couldn’t. The legs that danced with joy on the church stage, could not hold her up any longer.

She told me later the bus driver carried her out. He placed her on the road before going back to help others.

She was in shock. All around her was destruction. Screaming and wailing, twisted, broken bodies.  Four died that day, including one sitting in her assigned seat. It could have been her.

She can’t get the carnage out of her head. She can no longer sleep. The shock of waking that night to a real life nightmare has taken away that ability. She does not feel safe. Physically, she fared better than some of the others. The newspapers noted four died that night. She was one of the lucky few who survived. God was with her. Mentally, she is taking a beating. She relives the event. She sees the broken bodies, hears the sounds of impact, feels the same terror… over and over again.  

She tried to reach me for several days on my cell phone but my voice messages were full. I hadn’t had time to clear my personal messages with all the running around I’ve been doing. She finally contacted me with a private Facebook message.

As I read it, I thanked God she was alive! She is one of my closest friends, one of my best  friends. We’ve been through so much, her and I.  She’s been my rock for so many years. She helped me through my divorce, through my trails as a single mother, dragged me to the gym every day till I lost 30lbs and made me laugh when I wanted to cry. She was my pillar of strength, the one who kept me sane these past few years. She gave me HOPE. She showed me God.

Knowing this, you would have thought that I would have ran when I heard.

I didn’t.

I couldn’t.

I was scared.

I was selfish.

I didn’t want to see her hurt. I didn’t want to think I had come so close to losing her.

It took me two days, TWO DAYS, to go visit her.

I cried. I cried for her pain, for what she endured, for her. I. Cried. For. Her. And she… she consoled me.

She reminded me that she should have been sitting where one of the victims sat. Yet a still, small voice told her to sit elsewhere.  She heeded. It saved her life.

She’s alive by God’s grace.  Her leg was saved. Metal rods placed inside to hold it together. Rods that can be seen whenever you look at her leg. It is her leg, but not her leg. She cannot walk. She cannot dance.

Yet she still sings.

She uses no words. She doesn’t have to. Her life IS the song. It sings praises to the King, day in and day out.

She is alive!

And one day, I know she will dance again.


To see the extent of the accident, click below.

About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

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