The First Miracle of 2021

Starting of the year feeling the luckiest I’ve ever felt in my life.


Harry Hodgkins, Staff Writer

On New Year’s Day at approximately 11:15 a.m., I was on my way to the Cabo San Lucas Airport on the renowned Cabo Highway when a transit van came over the median hitting me and the driver, causing us to spin, flip, and fly off a hill off the side of the highway. 

I never would have thought that I would start my year off like that.

Fortunately, both me and the driver were okay, and that’s nothing short of a miracle. 

Before I got in the accident, I specifically remember almost getting in on the right side, but I thought just in case the driver wanted to have a conversation with me, I would sit on the left side. I remember putting my seatbelt on, which I normally wouldn’t do if I was sitting in the backseat. If I had sat on the right side, this would probably be a completely different story. 

The front of the van post-collision

The driver and I had a great conversation. He told me about how he had a great New Year’s party with his family and was able to eat lots of cake, dance, and have a good time. For me, I told him about my New Year’s Eve and told him about the Chicago weather – it was funny because he was telling me that 70 degrees is considered cold in Mexico but is considered warm in Chicago.  The conversation died down after that and I had rested my head, deep in thought. Then, all of a sudden, the driver yelled and I looked up to a large-sized van headed right for us. 

I’ve had many close calls before, but have always been able to avoid it. In fact, prior to this, I had never been in any sort of an accident. At that moment, I felt we would somehow avoid the collision. But, before that thought had even finished crossing my head, the van smashed into the left side of the car. 

It all happened so slowly. Upon impact, I experienced whiplash. Then, in the blink of an eye, the airbags popped off with a sound like a gun had just been fired right next to my ear. 

As we were spinning I thought to myself is this really happening right now? I tried convincing myself that it was fake. I was strangely calm, I wasn’t screaming nor was the driver.

I just sat there thinking this could be the last thought that I would ever process.”

The best way to describe my feelings at that moment was that it was so terrifying that fear wasn’t an option. When we started to flip over, I realized that this could end really badly and I held onto my seatbelt and braced myself. 

The car jolted to a stop luckily the right side up. The driver immediately asked if I was okay and I said that I am fine, and so did he. He frantically called the authorities and I stepped out of the car. I was in shock at how far down the hill we went, and that I was okay. The adrenaline felt as if I just drank 100 cups of coffee. 

How far down the hill the van fell.

We were there stranded for about 10 minutes before the paramedics arrived. Ironically, the climb up the hill is where I got the most injured, a cactus needle got stuck into my hand. 

I was in a head-on collision going over 65 mph and all that happened was my finger getting slightly punctured by a cactus needle. I couldn’t even feel the puncture wound because of the adrenaline rush.

The paramedics assumed I was injured so they put me in the back of an ambulance to make sure I was okay. The only Spanish I knew was “hola” and “no hablo Español,” so I communicated with these paramedics with hand signals until a translator eventually arrived.

I was okay – no concussion, no bleeding, and no broken bones. My spirits were high and so were the driver’s. I remember looking at him and saying, “Man, that was pretty crazy.” Then, we both started to laugh.  

About an hour and a half later after talking to the police and the paramedics, I returned back to my friends’ house where I was staying, and we continued on with the day as if nothing really happened. 

The reason I decided to write this story was not for you to feel pity, but to feel the opposite. In these crazy times, it’s hard to hear a good news story. And I have to say, this truly was the luckiest I’ve ever been in my entire life.