Out on Frost Road

by Becky Williamson
Derry, New Hampshire, USA

One icy New Year’s Eve about 25 years ago, my mother and father, along with several of their friends, were on their way home from a party. They were driving down a rather deserted stretch of two-lane highway near St. Charles, Michigan, when my mom noticed something strange along the side of the road. It appeared there were lights shining up into the pine trees from the ditch. She asked my dad to turn around so they could investigate.

When they got back to where she thought she had seen the lights, they found a van, upside down, in a very deep ditch. The lights my mother had seen were the headlights shining up into the trees. Since she is a registered nurse, she went down into the ditch to see if she could offer help to anyone down there. My dad went with her, and their friends went to find a phone to call for help.

Out on Frost Road When she got to the overturned van, she could see that inside was a young man lying on the ceiling — and pinned there by the steering column. She could tell by his position that he was hurt very badly. He kept asking her to get him out, but she explained to him that it was cold and icy outside and that he was better where he was. My mom stayed and talked to him until the paramedics arrived and then she quietly slipped away.

Twenty years later, I was working in Saginaw, Michigan, when one of my co-workers began telling a story about how it was the 20th anniversary of when her brother had become paralyzed. As she talked, the story began to ring bells in my head. I asked her, “Was your brother driving a van that went into the ditch out on Frost Road where all those big pine trees are?” Her mouth dropped open and said, “How did you know?”

I recounted the story of my mom and dad finding her brother and calling the paramedics. By the time I had finished my story, her eyes were filled with tears. She told me, “My brother has always said that there was a nurse there with him. But no one saw her, so we thought he had been hallucinating.” She went on to tell me that because of my mom’s actions, her brother lived to marry and have children, even though paralyzed. Although no one knew of my mom’s actions, she did what needed to be done
and saved a life. To me, that’s the definition of a hero, and I’m proud that I have one that I can also call Mom!

 

Originally published as HeroicStories #54 on Sept 4, 1999
Available in The Best of HeroicStories, Volume 1.

5 thoughts on “Out on Frost Road”

  1. Imagine if they had refused to turn around.
    Most probably they would have lived with regret, however, because of their caring actions, this young man’s life was saved.
    Thank our blessed Lord for such good samaritans.

    Reply
    • This is a great story of a woman who helped a fellow injured in an accident.
      She did what she was able to do for him while waiting for the paramedics
      to arrive on the scene. And the connection that was made years afterwards
      shows how small our world can be at times.
      This is a story that might also work on Mothers Day.

      Reply
  2. I had forgotten how much Heroic Stories have touched my soul.

    I’m also surprised by how many of the stories, being reprinted, are from Michigan.

    I don’t know Frost Road, but I do know St. Charles, MI and can attest to the fact that the roadside ditches are often 6 feet deep.

    It is a miracle that the van was found that night.

    There have been many times when a vehicle has gone into a ditch in that area and not found for weeks

    Reply
  3. This story reminds me of the night that my Dad stopped to help an accident victim. A station wagon had gone down a ditch and landed upside down. The man and a small child had been thrown from the car. The car landed on top of them. The woman was trapped in the driver’s seat. Dad brought the child up and put her in the truck with my Mother, brother and me then stayed with the man until an ambulance arrived. I never heard any more about this family. I hope that they are all well and I am very proud of my Dad for what he did.

    Reply
    • I thumbs upped this story for the kindness of your father. But please, everyone: it’s best NEVER to move an accident victim unless they are about to be incinerated or equivalent dire circumstances. Unseen internal injuries and spinal fractures can be made worse when the victim is moved without the proper procedures. Staying with the victim and being a steady calming force until professionals arrive is the most helpful thing you can do. And insisting to the victim they NOT move is very important. If they are in shock they could walk around with internal bleeding and not even be aware of it.

      Reply

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