We are all familiar with spooky Halloween stories. You know, the ones
where someone is alone, in the middle of the woods, in the middle of nowhere, lots of spooky sounds, and then… well, something unexpected happens. I had my own real life version of a scary story happen, except it wasn’t at Halloween, it was in the dead of winter. Dec. 29, 2013 to be exact.
At the time I was making my way from Marsh Lake to Whitehorse at around 2 in the afternoon. The weather was a surprisingly mild 3ºC. No wind, but plenty of snow from the previous day’s snowfall.
As I made my way along the Alaska Highway, a thick bed of fog began to form. I know this is common when driving around areas with steep hills and mountains, however, it can still get a bit scary when driving at 80 clicks an hour on a windy road. At one point the fog became so thick that I could not even see more than 3 feet in front of me. And this is why the trouble started.
All of a sudden, my gaze pierced through the fog and I saw a white truck in front of me – literally in front of me – maybe 10 inches of space between us. I immediately slam on the breaks, but due to some black ice the car swerved into the other lane. At this point I was unable to regain control of the steering wheel, and off to the side of the road I went, crashing through the snow.
I can’t even begin to describe where my thoughts were. All I saw was the gush of snow on either side of the window, and some evergreen trees in the not too far distance. I thought I was going to crash into a tree. I continued with my ride through the snow covered hill with a prayer under my breath. Then, the car stopped. I quickly turned the engine off, grabbed my cell, and crawled out, as the car landed on a bit of an angle.
The good news is I did not crash into a tree. The bad news is I fell down a hill that was 40 feet below the road surface. Further bad news: the snow was about 4 feet deep. More bad news: I heard the sound of twigs snapping somewhere amongst the evergreen trees. Sure, it could be harmless wildlife… or it could be something else…
I didn’t want to waste time finding out. Thankfully I had cell reception and was able to call emergency services. Of course, when they asked me where I was, I had no clue. Trying to explain where in the middle of nowhere you are is quite the task. The only point of reference I had was a road sign indicating the road can ice over and be slippery. Guess I missed that sign on the way up.
The 911 operator was nice enough to stay on the phone with me until help arrived. I was very relieved when I could finally hear sirens in the distance. Since I was so far down, the fireman in the passenger side, was literally hanging out the side of the window looking down trying to find me. An ambulance was not far behind. They threw me down a blanket, because at this point I had been standing in a snow bank for about an hour. And then the firemen came down to bring me up the hill. I can honestly say it felt really good to be rescued.
Once back on the road surface, I was put inside the ambulance to warm up. Luckily I sustained no injuries. My car however, well that was a different story. When I got out of the ambulance, I could see the large tow truck getting ready to hoist my car out. The front bumper was quite twisted. I was very sad. This was the first car I ever owned. And now it was gone. The insurance company wrote it off the next day. I knew they would. Oh well, such is life.
I am grateful that I made it out of my ordeal alive, unharmed, and did not have to deal with potential wildlife coming after me. It seems the angels really did take special care of me.