As a Florida resident, driving on ice seems like (if you’ll forgive me the pun) a slippery situation. I know that a frozen stretch of street can turn an ordinary drive dangerous — perhaps even life-threatening.
River Vale, New Jersey, resident Jennifer Lind certainly knew the perils of icy causeways. But on Dec. 7, 2013, an iced-over road would mingle risk with a very special kind of reward.
She was driving home from a potluck when, suddenly, her steering wheel began to tremble.
She only had an instant to glance at her temperature gauge (which read 31 degrees Fahrenheit) before she realized the truth: Her car was sliding over a treacherously slick section of highway.
“Suddenly, I was straddling the two highway lanes, surrounded by two Jersey barriers, no shoulder in sight,” Lind wrote in The New York Times. “A rush of terror and fear overcame me as I helplessly slid across the road.”
Her Ford Taurus slammed into the divider and pivoted perpendicular to oncoming traffic. Suddenly, Lind was a giant target to every other out-of-control car on the road.
Moments later, she was struck and sent spinning again. When her car finally stopped, she realized that her doors were both jammed — at least until someone yanked one open from the outside.
After police arrived, “they told me to thank the driver of the other car,” Lind recalled. “Wait, I should thank the guy who had hit me?”
Little did Lind know that other driver, a man named Nicholas Angelus, had yanked on his emergency brake as soon as he saw her lose control.
That kept his car from hitting her broadside, which could’ve very likely killed her.
Lind said, “The next day Nicholas called my cellphone to see if I was O.K. I hung up on him after 30 seconds.
“I was so nervous, worried he was going to sue me. But he kept calling, because he cared.”
There was also another reason: Angelus was in love and had told his roommate the night of the accident that he planned to date Lind.
In fact, they did more than date. That near-fatal accident eventually led to their marriage on Oct. 14, 2017.
“I wish I could reach out to each of the many frustrated drivers and passengers who were stuck in the four-mile backup that night,” Lind said.
“If only they knew the magic that came of that treacherous accident, they might have renewed faith in the power of love.”
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