In my neck of the woods, we have a dangerous road called Chapman Highway. It is the best alternative to avoid heavy tourist traffic on Highway 66, which is coming into the county from I-40. However, because of its twists, turns, and blind spots, Chapman Highway is best not traveled.
The other day, we traveled to Knoxville for my son’s group violin lesson. Once a month, all his teacher’s students get together for group practice, musical games and theory. It’s fun and educational at the same time. Parents and younger siblings sit in quietly, like flies on chairs, not walls.
For some reason, I decided to take Chapman Highway instead of the regular route through the interstate. Good thing I was running a bit late. We missed an eight-car wreck by about 15 minutes. We crossed paths with an ambulance and three tow trucks, each carrying a smashed up car – the last three removed from the scene.
The one car that looked like an accordion had a Florida tag. Maybe a tourist? Maybe a Floridian who just moved here, still in the process of changing his tags? Later, we found out at least one person was flown to a nearby hospital by helicopter – his injuries were that severe.
The worst part was driving through the actual spot. We could clearly see where a person had been ejected from the car. Though the highways had been swept up, dried up blood showed the shape of a person in fetal position. I cannot imagine he survived. There were large blood stains all over the four-lane highway.
Such an awakening in case I became numb to how precious life is. Every time I take the kids somewhere, we have a prayer in the car before leaving the driveway. It can become a routine. Terrible wrecks remind me every day is a privilege. “Teach us to number our days…” Psalm 90:12