The angels of Erath

Staff Writer
Stephenville Empire-Tribune

On Aug. 11, my life and that of my friend, Bob, changed forever. We had driven 3,000 miles without incident. Having seen some beautiful country, we were, nonetheless, eager to return to San Antonio. We were excited to reach Hwy. 281 N. because this meant we were heading home.

Bob lost control of the car. It left the road and went into multiple rollovers. My once gracious sedan landed upright on a deserted shoulder; an unrecognizable heap of twisted metal. Seeing my friend slumped over the steering wheel, unconscious deepened the horror of this crash. I remember jumbled thoughts and feeling completely numb. I suspected we were both dead.

What happened next was a miracle. Bob awoke complaining of pain and inability to move. I was trapped by my seatbelt, lying on my neck with my legs extending out through the non-existent windshield. As I looked upward, I saw several people helping. One man pulled off his T-shirt and wrapped my bleeding hand; Angela rescued my dog, which had been thrown from the car and took her to Dr. Geyser who saved her life. The fire department set us free allowing the EMS crew to provide first aid. I was told later that a lady and her daughter picked up my personal belongings strewn along the highway and placed everything back in my suitcase. A DPS patrolman notified my family and someone arranged for us to be airflighted to the hospital. My purse which contained a large amount of cash and credit cards was returned to me, with everything intact, by Big L’s Wrecker Service. In the midst of this chaos, everyone kept their cool and repeatedly reassured us.

I think about this accident a lot. I am thankful we are alive. But I am sad that I will never be able to thank the Good Samaritans who stopped to help.They could have driven on. Someone jokingly said to me that if one has to face an event like this one, they better hope it’s in North Texas because in helping others, the residents up there put service before self.

If you want to know whether angels exist, ask me. I met them that day in Erath County.


Karen F. Matson

San Antonio