Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

April 21, 2013

Blessed by God during tragic pileup


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— We live in Ocala, Fla.,, but twice a year my mom and I travel to Bluefield to see my aunt. We were on our way home on Easter Sunday when we saw what appeared to be fog or smoke up ahead.

Traveling the speed limit on I-77, we started to slow down, but were immediately enclosed in a bank of burning and wrecked automobiles and fog. We were right in the epicenter of this accident and were one of the fortunate cars to make it up the run-away truck ramp. Vehicles were crashing and exploding behind us. I hurriedly got my mom out the car and started up the ramp to get as far away as we could from the carnage.

This letter is a very small way of commending the law enforcement, fire rescue workers and red cross that arrived on scene. Not only did they arrive promptly, but spread into that nightmarish scene and achieved order, helping everyone and checking to see to needs on the truck ramp, as well as all of those below in the wreck.

We were on that ramp for four hours and I have never seen it more evident that there is goodness left in the world.

Strangers were comforting strangers, giving away their jackets to others that they thought needed them, helping with children, and bonding together as we watched the efforts of everyone that responded to the scene. It was very gratifying.

Not all news is bad news. God blessed us all.

Donna Kirk Mannelin

Ocala, Fla.