A Lesson Learned From The Kindness Of Strangers



On the evening of March 2, I was involved in a single-car rollover accident around milepost 272 outside of Strawberry. I was driving a charcoal Jeep Grand Cherokee. From what I am told, my vehicle ended up on the rocky mountain with the back end six feet up on the rocks, and the front end on the pavement, landing on it's top. It is a miracle I survived.

If I only knew the names of the people who risked their lives to stop and help me, I would thank them individually. I remember the kind voices who were reassuring me although I didn't realize the severity, or that I was even in an accident. People who were total strangers gave me comfort as if we were lifelong friends.

These same people stayed with me until emergency help arrived. Many searched the area for my belongings and gathered what they could. They made sure I was safe and comfortable. I don't remember seeing any faces, but their voices I will never forget.

I would also like to show my appreciation to the paramedics who cared for me en route to the Payson hospital. Their professionalism was comforting. They kept me calm under the circumstances.

Officer Vern Havens from the Arizona DPS stayed with me from the accident scene and met me at the hospital. With his bright and cheery smile, he comforted and even made me laugh during all my trauma. With the combination of the people who stopped, the paramedics and the police, I had no worries.

It is amazing to me how we are sometimes wrapped up in the fast pace of life, we become untrusting and sometimes do not take the time to say "hello" or give a smile. That evening, I had no choice but to trust anyone who was willing to help me.

I know that God was with me that night -- and I can't stress how important it was that I was wearing my seat belt. A simple three second "click" of the buckle of my seat belt held me in the vehicle, upside down, as it landed on its roof. To think of what could have happened had I not been wearing it is shuttering. The windows were blown out. I could have been ejected as well.

To all of those who unselfishly helped me, may God bless you and thank you.

Cheri Baumgartner, cheri_babee@yahoo.com, Prescott Valley

Editor's note: This letter was edited for space considerations.

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