On Wednesday, a group of of including all the members of FAMEX (all three of us!) drove up from Mexico City to Reynosa, crossing the border to McAllen, TX. It turned out to be a 16 hour trip. Now, when you hear that, keep in mind that our average speed is probably close to 80 miles an hour. We stop to fuel up and to visit the little boys’ room, but we don’t fool around much. It’s a LONG trip. I’m not sure we’ll do this again. I’m getting too old!
A Horrible Accident
The road, once very nice, was really rough in places, and the 2003 Astro we came up in isn’t known for its smooth ride. We left our house at 4:30 a.m., picked up Erik and his son David at 5:15 in northern Mexico City, then met Debbie Murphy in San Juan del Rio at 6:30 a.m. From there our route took us around San Luis Potosí, around Matehuala, around Saltillo and Monterrey, and finally up to Reynosa.
About 40 miles south of Matehuala, in the middle of nowhere, we encountered a lot of smoke coming from somewhere, and a huge line of traffic. Truck drivers were getting out of their rigs and talking. Their had been an accident…a very bad one. Soon we saw a helicopter come up from the south and land near the accident. We were probably a good two miles from the wreck, stopped. It became immediately apparent that we’d likely be there a long time.
I was driving, but asked for someone to take my place, and I jumped out of the van, happy to stretch my legs, and began walking to the wreck site, between and around many trucks, and avoiding the ocassional emergency vehicle that sought to get through the long lines of vehicles.
I kept walking. It was hot. Trucks inched forward, only to stop again. Eventually I made it to the crash site, and was shocked. Maybe I’m still recovering. All the bodies and people had been wisked away already, but I did see blood spilled. I also saw an accident that must have been utterly horrific to those unfortunate enough to be caught in its vortex in the middle of a desert in the middle of nowhere.
I asked a uniformed federal police agent about the accident. She was hesitent to say anything at first, but eventually she told me that there were 8 tractor trailer trucks involved, and 10 other vehicles, including at least two Dodge Journeys, a nearly new pick-up truck and a totally crushed small compact call. I walked by the huge motor of a truck, sitting alone on the pavement. Cars and vehicles were splayed off both sides of the four lane separated highway. In the grass covered median, which dipped down, the front wheels of a trailer were crushing a small white car, right over the front seat of the car. One truck had crashed into another one in front of him so hard that the cab of the truck went halfway into the box, spilling the contents all over the road, and peeling apart the box part of the truck. Another southbound semi truck had launched off the burm and bank to the right, and remained mainly intact 30 ft. down and 100 ft. (at least) from the highway. 2 people had died, according to the policewoman. If only 2 people died, it was a miracle.
I tried to call back to the van, but there was no signal. But texting worked, so I was able to tell the rest how to get through the traffic, to the extreme right, on a dusty service road. We lost two hours there, but we could have lost so much more time…or life.
We are once again reminded of the frailty of life, and of the urgent need to be prepared to enter eternity. Please say a prayer to those involved.