She Survived a Fatal Bus Crash

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.

{ 21 comments… add one }

  • Meandering Matt June 28, 2011, 11:54 am

    Wow, I cannot imagine what she is feeling and going through! Praise God for His healing power and for saving her life that day! Praying for continued physical and mental healing for her as she moves forward from this!
    Meandering Matt recently posted..GoPicnic Review & Giveaway

  • Cristina June 28, 2011, 11:58 am

    I’m glad that she is recovering and her leg was saved. What a terrible accident! I hope you feel better now and these bad days are gone.
    Cristina recently posted..Un minizoo en San Juan Capistrano

  • Li June 28, 2011, 12:29 pm

    I have no words… I am in tears as I sit here typing, a muddle of emotion, and although I want to play you a symphony of words in celebration of her life, in empathy and comfort for your individual experience, all I can muster is a HUG.

    Hug her if you can. Hug it out with your sons. Hug everyone. And when I see you I will hug you, because I understand beyond words.

    Un Fuerte Abrazo,
    Li recently posted..LushLunes: Have A Little Faith

  • Ms. Latina June 28, 2011, 12:43 pm

    Li: Thank you so much Li. Whenever I think about how I could have lost her, I praise God for keeping her alive. I love her more than words can describe. She is like my surrogate mother, one who has adopted my sons wholeheartedly. I just can’t imagine my life without her, she has become that important in my life, in my boys life. As for your hug, I will accept it gladly… I just hope you will forgive me if I cry.
    Ms. Latina recently posted..She Survived a Fatal Bus Crash

  • Sabrina June 28, 2011, 1:18 pm

    I’m not sure what to say except for we all need to keep your friend/my friend in our prayers. This saddens me but also allows me to place my petty problems into perspective.

    My prayers continues to be with her…

    Call me when you have a free moment.


  • Nikki June 28, 2011, 1:44 pm

    God Bless wow. Life is so unpredictable, so don’t hold off on anything. Reach out and love as much as you can! I am so happy that your friend has survived! Much love to you, her and the family!

  • alissa June 28, 2011, 2:20 pm

    Oh boy!!!!! That’s going to be hard to get through! Not only will she be in pain, she’ll also have the horrible memories!!!!!!

    My week has been nuts too! My sister just had her baby! My nephew Emerson was born last Thurs. My sister didn’t have any pain meds when she had him. He was posterior! Lots of pain! Then she flipped into a different position and he plopped out before the doctor could get into the room! Totally nuts for me because I had 2 c-sections.

    Emerson has Trisomy 18, so they have hospice care. He’s on a feeding tube and O2. But he’s the sweetest baby! Totally cute! http://milkingtheissue.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-new-nephew.html
    alissa recently posted..Trip to the Park

  • Jackie June 28, 2011, 2:52 pm

    I saw this on the news. There are too many bus accidents lately. I’m so sorry for what your friend has been through and hope she is feeling better soon. Your post is another reminder of just how precious life is.

  • won June 28, 2011, 3:13 pm

    As someone who suffers with PTSD, your friend sounds like she has every classic symptom. I hope a professional, perhaps one tending to her physical troubles, takes the time to listen to her and help her with the deep wounds less visible.

    I’m sorry.

    My thoughts are with your friend and everyone affected.

  • Jaime June 28, 2011, 3:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing your pain and your friends pain. Praying that you will continue to land on the Rock as the emotions are processed.

  • Luke June 28, 2011, 3:39 pm

    Oh gosh ! I saw this on news as well ! I am so sorry for your friend! I am happy shes alive though. May the four poor souls rest in piece.

    Not more than one year ago my friend was going to Switzerland from Italy, and i really feared something could go wrong. All went ok fortunately.
    Luke recently posted..Online school for kids

  • Bicultural Mama June 28, 2011, 11:47 pm

    Oh, wow. God was with your friend, but what a tragedy. Thank you for sharing your touching and personal story. I hope your friend recovers soon.
    Bicultural Mama recently posted..Bicultural Band "The Ladies of Sport" Features Japanese Twins and an East Coast Guy

  • Milly June 29, 2011, 8:26 am

    God bless her! Wishing a speedy recovery for her. May she have the strength to over come the mental, emotional and physical injury this has caused her and her family. Thank you for sharing this.Will keep her in my prayers.

  • CatSynth June 29, 2011, 12:24 pm

    It has been a crazy month – full of excitement and tumult and tragedy.

    I am so sorry to hear that your friend suffered in this terrible accident. I can’t imagine what it would like to be in that awful moment, and to carry the physical and emotional damage afterwards. I know that you felt bad about not being able to run to her immediately, but the best thing is to be there for her in the long run as she heals.

    Sending warm, consoling thoughts.
    CatSynth recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Red Pipes, Numi Tea Garden

  • Mariana @ The Domestic Buzz June 29, 2011, 1:37 pm

    All these recent bus accidents… what horrible tragedies. I’m so thankful that your friend survived, and that you’re by her side when she needs her best friend the most.
    Mariana @ The Domestic Buzz recently posted..Wordless Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday …

  • Tamara B. June 29, 2011, 11:58 pm

    I can’t imagine the nightmare she went through and going through now. So thankful your friend is alive and sorry for those who died. Happy she has a wonderful friend like you :)

  • Donna B. July 2, 2011, 10:20 pm

    I can’t even imagine the physical and mental anguish she’s going through – here’s hoping she has a speedy recovery.

  • Ruth@eCarpet Cleaning Service July 3, 2011, 3:29 am

    I cried while reading this. It’s a horrible accident. Thank God, she survived. It’s inspiring to know that she cared to listen to that “small voice” telling her to sit elsewhere. She could have been one of the four who died but yes indeed God was giving her another life. And yes I cried because I know how it feels to have a best friend. I have a best friend too and I can’t imagine losing her.
    Ruth@eCarpet Cleaning Service recently posted..Carpet Cleaning

  • BellaVidaLetty July 3, 2011, 5:58 pm

    I’m glad you found the inner strength to be there for her the way she has been there for you. This post really makes you appreciate everything we have today and reminds us to be grateful for all the little things.
    BellaVidaLetty recently posted..Artists Who Painted War

  • KIM July 5, 2011, 12:27 pm

    Omg…my thoughts and prayers are with you and your friend. I can’t even imagine…If something happened to my bestfriend….I cant even begin……
    KIM recently posted..POST-IT TUESDAY : FAMILY LOVE

  • Alicia @Mommy Delicious July 5, 2011, 1:29 pm

    Wow, Ms Latina. I’m so sorry to hear this about your friend. I can not even imagine how difficult it must be for you and for her right now.

    God is truly, truly SO good Thank God for that voice — that still voice — that told her to switch seats. Her life IS her song. And she WILL dance again because of God’s grace.
    Alicia @Mommy Delicious recently posted..Dating… Again

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