She panicked as the truck grew closer but tried driving as carefully as possible. But that was before she spotted something in the distance that made her blood run cold.
The day had an excellent start, only to turn somber. But as the minutes ticked by, things would get worse than she had ever anticipated.
When Lizzie decided to take a drive that day, she only wanted some time away from her cooped-up house while also visiting her friend who lived away from town.
But she wasn’t in her car for an hour when she saw the truck barreling toward her. She was still trying to figure out what was happening when she saw the tiny object speeding before the vehicle.
Elizabeth Keely, or Lizzie to her close friends, had always been a careful woman. A mom to a beautiful three-year-old girl and a wife to the best husband across the northern hemisphere, Lizzie ensured that each part of her life was perfect.
For the longest while, each of her plans saw fruition, be it her academics, professional career, or personal life. But what would happen on the road that day would be chaotic and completely out of the blue.
Lizzie had made a name for herself as the resident dentist cum cat mom in her town. With her husband, Brad, and daughter Kim, she’d cut out a perfect slice of heaven in North Dakota.
Already expecting her second child, life couldn’t be any more perfect. She had no idea how much a road accident would impact everything she’d worked so hard to build.
Lizzie was about a fortnight from her due date when it all happened. It’d been a long week, and although she’d spent it at the house since she’d started her maternity leave, she couldn’t wait for it to end.
Early afternoon, she decided to leave the house for a while. Since she’d been cooped up inside throughout the week, she saw it as the best way to spend the rest of the day.
After ensuring her three-year-old was safe under her husband’s care, she grabbed her coat and car keys and stepped into the afternoon sun. After a quick car inspection, she hopped in and kicked it into gear.
Lizzie came out of the driveway as carefully as possible, taking her time since her belly made the entire process a bit restrictive. She had no clue what was awaiting her out there.
Lizzie spent a few minutes on her neighborhood’s road before pulling into the interstate. Although she hated using the highway and could’ve taken a different route to her friend’s, she needed to spend as less time on the road as possible. This was the best way to do that.
The interstate was free of traffic that afternoon, which was odd because it was always peppered with vehicles. Lizzie’s mind was focused on the road when she heard a screech of metal ahead.
Lizzie’s sight speared into the stretch of road before her. A red truck lumbered toward her direction on the other side of the road. A small dark object raced before it.
Lizzie narrowed her eyes to get a better look at the object. She thought it was a motorcycle until it got close enough for her to get a good look. Her heart skipped a beat as she realized what it was.
Lizzie was driving at about thirty-five miles per hour when she realized what she was speeding toward. It was one of the truck’s rear tires, bouncing as it got closer by the second.
Lizzie froze behind the wheel, knowing the many horror stories surrounding tires leaving trucks on highways. She knew a man whose life had been claimed by a stray tire. She hadn’t even reacted to the situation when it got worse.
The red truck before Lizzie wobbled about before tipping over. Its massive trailer spread across the interstate’s width, stretching over to Lizzie’s lane. If the tire didn’t get her, the trailer would.
Lizzie instinctively pressed the brake button as she switched lanes, moving as far as possible. The speeding tire shot past her, but she held her breath. The trailer was still screeching her way.
Lizzie continued driving away from the lane until her car was in the dirt. The trailer skidded past her as the tire had, and Lizzie pressed on the brake pedal fully until her vehicle came to a stop.
She struggled out of her car, hurrying to see if whoever was driving the truck was hurt. The massive vehicle had come to a stop after scrapping the road for minutes. Lizzie reached the cab and called out. What happened next left her stunned.
Since the truck had tipped over, she couldn’t pry the door open. She called out again, running to the front of the truck and banging a rock against the windshield until it cracked and a man came out. He had a bleeding cut on his arm and a bump on his forehead.
Stumbling toward Lizzie, he asked if she was okay. She was about to answer when a sharp pain shot through her lower belly. Her eyes widened as a single thought seared her mind: the baby’s coming early.
The pain reshot through Lizzie’s belly, firing toward her thighs. Her lower abdomen contracted with pain as her water broke. But before she could say anything, the man sprung into action.
He limped to Lizzie and carefully helped her back to her car. Wincing in pain, he insisted he could drive and promised to get her to the delivery room. But Lizzie doubted they would make it in time.
The pain burning her body fired hotter, and she uttered a piercing scream. “We’re gonna be okay, ma’am,” the bleeding man assured her as he wrapped his hands around the steering wheel.
“Just breathe,” he stammered and winced. “We’ll make it if it’s the last thing we do today.” He turned on the car and shot back into the empty interstate.
The man winced as he drove, seemingly struggling to stay awake. How much pain was he in, and how was he handling the situation so calmly?
He kept one eye on Lizzie and the other on the road. His arms and half his face were red with thickening blood. Lizzie hoped they’d get to the hospital in time.
As the man drove, Lizzie focused on her breathing techniques. She counted seconds as she took deep breaths and whistled them out.
She also watched the injured man driving her car, ensuring he was lucid enough to drive safely. Halfway back to town and Lizzie remembered something every mom does when their water breaks.
She yelled into her phone to call her husband, screaming when he picked up. “Brad,” she cried out. “The baby’s coming!”
There was a slight silence from her husband before panic set in. “Where are you? Stop the car and call 911! Please tell me where you are! Let me call the doctor! Is Elsie there with you?” Lizzie’s response would leave him speechless.
“There was an accident,” Lizzie stammered, using everything within her to stem the pain shooting through her. She focused on her husband’s voice instead of the fact that she and her driver were in no condition to drive, yet they needed to be in the hospital.
She hoped a passerby would appear on the road so she could ask them for help. “What accident?” Brad’s voice brought her back into the car. “What accident, Lizzie?”
Lizzie had experienced her husband being worried before. She knew how much he blew everything out of proportion. She didn’t want to make him more worried than he already was.
But how would she say she was in a road accident? How would she tell him she almost got killed by a flying tire and then a speeding truck?
“Don’t worry too much, honey,” she said. “We’re both fine, but the baby’s a little impatient.” Paint jolted through her body. The contractions were becoming more frequent.
“What do you mean ‘we?’” Brad asked. “Is Elsie with you?” Lizzie had forgotten she had left the house to visit her friend Elsie. Now she had another issue to deal with: telling Brad that she was in her car with a stranger, the same man she got in an accident in.
“I didn’t make it to Elsie’s,” Lizzie said in a lower voice. “Then, who’s there with you?” Brad asked. Lizzie meant to talk, but the man next to her beat her to it.
“Hello,” he paused and raised his eyebrows at Lizzie. “Brad,” Lizzie mouthed with a comical look, and the man reverberated the name. “Hey, Brad!”
Lizzie could taste the shock in her husband’s voice when he began speaking. The panic that had been there was still present, but his tone had suddenly changed.
It was lower, burlier as if he was trying to send a message to the man next to his wife. Lizzie expected him to lash out at the man, but what happened next left her speechless.
Brad talked to the man, who introduced himself as Elvis, in a friendly tone. He expressed his gladness that both of them were okay despite their accident.
He also asked Brad what happened that he ended up skidding through the interstate in a delivery truck. Although harrowing in certain parts, the story would help Lizzie regulate her breathing.
Elvis shared his story. He was a truck driver from Idaho transporting petroleum through North Dakota. But halfway through his journey, one of his tire burst, sending the truck tumbling.
In the fray of the crash, he hit his head, passing out as the massive vehicle screeched down the interstate. He’d also slashed his arm against some equipment near his driving station.
Brad asked him if he could drive properly. There was no hiding that the man had a concussion, no matter how minor, and that alone was reason enough for them to stop the car and wait for help.
But Elvis insisted he’d get Lizzie to the hospital. He shared how her voice had woken him up and how she broke the truck’s windshield to get him out. He would still be in the wreckage if it weren’t for her.
Elvis drove them back to town, his focus glued to the road before them. The blood from his arm had reduced, but he seemed in more pain than he was letting on.
A smile bloomed on his face as the hospital came into view. He didn’t even bother parking the car. He only drove it to the emergency room and ran out.
Lizzie grinned as Elvis disappeared into the hospital. Brad was already on his way, and the pregnant momma couldn’t wait for him to make it here so they could welcome their baby together.
Elvis came running back with nurses and a stretcher. Lizzie was left speechless by his dedication. Although he’d gotten her here as he promised, he was still going the extra mile by coming to get her.
The nurses took Lizzie away, and only when Elvis was sure she was in good hands did he limp away to get his medical attention.
Lizzie’s doctor booked her in and commenced her delivery. Everything went smoothly, and Lizzie and her family welcomed their fourth family member. But as they left the following day, Lizzie saw a familiar face waiting for them.
Elvis was smiling at the end of the hall. His arm was in a sling, and his head was wrapped in bandages. He shook Brad’s hand and hugged Lizzie before saying hi to Lizzie’s firstborn, Kim, and the newborn.
The baby was a little boy with bright hazel eyes like her mom’s. He wrapped his tiny fingers around Elvis’s thumb and cooed. But it didn’t stop there.
Elvis thanked Lizzie for getting him out of the truck, informing her that it blew up shortly after they left the scene. On the other hand, Lizzie thanked him for bringing her to the hospital despite his injuries.
Elvis would become a very close family friend after that fateful day, even becoming the baby’s godfather down the line. Remembering the adrenaline-pumping event, Lizzie said, “It all happened so fast! You just had to be there!” Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.