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Lifestyle & Human Interest

'Terrifying': Couple Looking for Strangers Who Helped After Their Truck Skidded and Flipped into Ditch

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Not everyone is given a second chance at life after facing a disaster, but those who do often use that chance to reflect on their lives and the explanation for their survival.

Uriel Lopez and Dominique Hernandez were reminded of the fragility of life on Saturday after a terrifying accident that could have easily claimed both their lives.

The San Diego-area couple was driving to the movie theater in Poway for a date night when the wet weather got the best of them and sent Lopez’s truck sliding across Highway 67. The huge Ford F-350 careened into oncoming traffic before flipping over into a ditch.

“It was like violent off-roading,” Lopez later told KNSD-TV. “Pretty terrifying.”

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“It’s a much larger vehicle than most vehicles that people drive, and I was worried, obviously, about hurting somebody else as well. The last thing I remember is looking at my girlfriend and realizing … it’s probably it for both of us.”

But it wasn’t — thanks to divine and human intervention, Lopez and Hernandez were able to walk away from the wreckage without a scratch.

“Last night Dom and I were involved in an accident that by the grace of God didn’t end our lives or the lives of any other people,” Lopez shared on Facebook. “No other cars were involved even though we went across the 67 into oncoming traffic.”

Though the whole accident was a blur, Lopez distinctly remembers his Coast Guard training kicking in and helping him remain calm so he could immediately get to work freeing himself and his girlfriend from the wreck.

Since he didn’t know the state of the truck, it was certainly possible that the car could catch on fire, making a quick exit necessary. A good Samaritan couple who’d spotted the accident rushed to help them get out of the truck and also managed to flag down a passing California Highway Patrol officer.

The female good Samaritan also kept the victims talking, which helped bring some normalcy to the life-changing event they’d just survived.

“She was like ‘Where were you guys going?’ and I was like, ‘To the movies,’ and she was like ‘You look really nice,'” Hernandez recalled. “And I was like ‘Thank you,’ and I’m all muddy and all this stuff… But she was just trying to make sure that I was okay. And that — that in itself was enough. Like, just being a real person was all I really needed. The kindness of strangers is the biggest thing that will get any of us through mostly any day.”

After the dust had settled, Lopez and Hernandez realized they hadn’t even gotten the kind couple’s names. They’re now on a mission to find the good Samaritans and personally express their gratitude.

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“My girlfriend and I were involved in an accident going up the 67 to Poway on Saturday evening about a mile before Poway road,” Lopez posted on March 13 in Santee Ca. Today’s Current News and Information Facebook group. “There were some people who stopped to help us out of the truck. If you were those people please contact me, I would like to meet you under different circumstances and buy you dinner if possile to thank you for your kindness.

“I was still in a little bit of shock and didn’t get to properly thank you and your wife for coming to our aide. We weren’t speeding and I was completely sober just in case anyone thinks the accident was my fault, it was just an accident that luckily my girlfriend and I walked away from without a single scratch and no other vehicles were involved thank god as we went across the 67 into oncoming traffic.

“Thank you to the CHP officer who happened to be driving by moments after the accident as well and to the Sherrifs department for coming as quickly as they did as well. Trucks can be replaced, lives can’t. I’m glad to be alive today with my girlfriend.”

Whether or not the kind strangers are ever identified, Lopez and Hernandez are viewing their lives with fresh eyes, intent on making the most of every day they have.

“Either way, I know that I should probably not be here today and yet I am!!” Lopez wrote. “I am still in awe of how close we came to loosing our lives but yesterday was not our day and I’m going to do my best to make the best of the days ahead of us as they are truly a gift and we never really know when our last day could be. I hugged my mom and dad a little tighter last night and Dom and my Duke and Hazard. I am grateful to be here. WOW.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking