The Crashing Down the Mountain Story

While attending “ladies’ camp” in Espanola, New Mexico one summer, it was decided that we would all take a drive up a nearby mountain, have a picnic and enjoy the warm, summer day.  An old school bus had been chartered to take us up but I somehow missed the bus that morning and ended up riding with a couple of other women in a pick-up truck driven by one of the hired hands at the camp.

We enjoyed our relaxing and uneventful afternoon and when it was time to return, one of the women approached me and asked if I would mind taking her place on the bus so she could ride back down in the truck (I think she had a crush on the cute truck driver).  No, I didn’t mind; so I boarded the bus and we began the hour-plus trip to camp on the tightly twisting, mountain road.  I took a seat at the rear of the bus and shortly after we got started, a friend and I heard a car’s horn blasting persistently.  We turned around to look out the back window and the people in the car behind us were frantically trying to get our attention.  It was then we saw the smoke–and at that same moment we realized something was terribly wrong.  The brakes had gone out!

When we realized our predicament of terror–we grabbed hands, clutching at each other and started praying and chanting out loud to God and guru.  I remember briefly thinking–is this the way I’m going to die?  In looking back, though, I’m amazed at the calmness that came over me at that moment.

We quickly gained speed as we lost all ability to slow down, and as we hit bumps and dips in the pavement were being violently jostled and bounced.  Our driver was actually thrown out of her seat twice (and managed to get back into it) as she bravely maneuvered the bus, repeatedly “scraping” the out-of-control vehicle along the face of the mountain in an attempt to slow us.  There were areas along one side of the road where cliffs fell steeply into ravines and she was trying to avoid us going over them.  She had her one year old baby on the trip with us that day and I’m sure that that had something to do with her valiant efforts to bring us to safety.

The driver’s attempts finally paid off as we came to a tumbling halt, the elderly bus heaving one last time as we flipped over, landed upside down and skidded off the side of the road.

Help arrived in minutes and several of us were driven in a police squad car to the nearest hospital to be checked out.  I had suffered a bloody cut on my foot which required a tetanus shot and had sprained my neck as I landed on it sideways.  I had to wear a neck brace for several weeks while it healed.  One of the baby’s arms was broken but no one was seriously injured.

Upon returning home to Massachusetts I suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.  I felt a real sense of loss of control while riding in vehicles that I perceived as going too fast, especially if we “bumped” at any point.  I would become aware of my right foot pressing deeply into the floorboard, unconsciously trying to slow us.  Riding on the subway could also induce panic as it sometimes felt we were blasting along at excessive, out-of-control speeds.  I became one, big “white knuckle”.  The fear has lessened over the years but can still rear its head at times, instantly returning me to that day on the mountain.

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49 Comments

  1. Even the very thought of this incident scares me. Thank God that you guys are safe. Vehicles can be really scary sometimes.

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  2. It was beyond harrowing! Our prayers were answered.

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  3. This had to be real scary for you but you had to turn out all right to meet me in the future and I am glad that it did turn out all right as who would I talk about my Awareness to on the phone that understands me…seems you are the only one on the phone so far…Rouzanna only counts with SKYPE…no seriously I am glad you turned out A-O-K…God is always with you Love(+)
    Dom*:)xo—{–@
    ps great reading this as you have fantastic talent….:)

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    • That’s right, Dom, I had to survive that crash just so I could meet you in my future and have long discussions of “the meaning of life” with you! Of which I’m enjoying very much.

      And thank you very kindly for your generous compliment.
      with love,
      Gayle

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  4. even then the thought gives me creeps. reminds me of the days when my sunny’s brake used to go haywire in rajasthan.

    bus can be deadly, if you are physically fit and calm you may survive the sunny accident.

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    • Trisha, is a Sunny a motor scooter? I believe you mentioned some near mishaps on a scooter you used to ride.

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    • I’ve always thought that it would be fun to drive a scooter but the heavy traffic and crazy drivers here have squelched that idea. :)

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      • i on the other hand always was scared of scooters, but when i started to drive the sunny i realized that its just a little different from bicycle. i have bicycled for about ten years to the optimum so handling the sunny was a child’s play.

        still i think if one can afford one should go for the car, its safer.

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      • There are many safe pathways made just for bicycling off the street here in our community but no such things for driving a scooter. People here don’t always watch out for motorcycles or scooters (or bicyclists). There’s just too many people out there driving like maniacs these days. :)

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      • it sounds just like kolkata. i will never let any loved one ride a bicycle or two wheeler in kolkata.

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      • It would be like inviting death or being maimed for life!

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  5. Reminds me of one time I was driving home from work and had a sports car, 2 seater, and on the highway a person came up along side of me and said..”HEY BUDDY, YOUR BRAKES ARE ON FIRE!!!!”…of course I said”What?”…”YOUR BRAKES ARE ON FIRE!!!!”…well I pulled over and found out that my emergency brakes got stuck and did not notice the rear ones smoking until that guy let me know..I must have been driving like that for about 4 miles at speeds of 65MPH….they finally came undone but WOW…I thought my car did not like to smoke but that day it did, it wasn’t even menthol…hehehehe..no its s true story…
    Love,
    Dom*:)xo—-{–@

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  6. Dom, I have no doubt that your car did not chose to smoke menthol–I’m sure it was WAY too cool for that! Hahahaha!
    Now I am the one to be grateful that you survived! And wasn’t there some little story about a certain someone dozing off while driving one time… another near miss!
    Love,
    Gayle

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  7. Me too Golden Lotus of God’s Love…by the way Bodhi, the car was the name of that incident…it was a 1986 Pontiac “FIERO”…
    Love,
    Dom* :) xo—{–@

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  8. So happy, Soulbro, that you have survived all the ways that life has tried to extinguish you, but your eternal soul is persevering!!! :)
    Love you,
    Gayle

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  9. hi! whats up?

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  10. Hi Trisha, I was out all day with my Mom yesterday. We went to lunch with a friend of hers and then I hung out with her until the evening.
    Love you…

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  11. Hope aunty is doing well. I was just a bit worried about you, like old friends :)

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  12. I know. I worried because I knew you would be worried. :)

    Aunty is doing OK. I take her tomorrow to a doctor’s appointment. It’s the doctor who is trying to help her with her terrible back pain. She hardly feels like doing anything anymore. I hope they can come up with something to help her–she’s feeling very discouraged.

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  13. poor girl. well these things get stronger and stronger with old age. it cant be helped. very lucky few are spared.

    hope she is spared from more than her share of pain.

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  14. Thanks for caring. It does seem to be getting worse. Today the doctor didn’t have anything else to offer her. She will go for a second opinion with another doctor next week–perhaps this one can come up with something to help. We’ll see.

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  15. Poor girl. do let me know about the results. I hope the next doctor finds out some thing better for her. God bless her.

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    • hope you wont forget it.

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      • This week has been doctor visits week with my mother. Another one today with the kidney specialist after the MRI at the pain clinic found cysts on her kidneys–which they say are common but one was kind of large and thought it may cause her some back pain. More tests to come in the next week or so. Hopefully, they can all figure something out to help her feel better.

        Thank you much for thinking of her, Trisha.

        With love…

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      • i hope and pray that the problems are fixed as much as possible. poor sweet thing.

        God bless her.

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      • Back to the doctor next Friday so they can do an ultrasound on the kidney. This week they found she had another urinary tract infection that she did not know she had! It’s kind of alarming–she never seems to have any symptoms of these things but they can be dangerous!

        Thanks for your concern for Aunty, it means a lot to me.

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      • yes her being unaware is very worrying. atleast i think so. poor girl.

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      • I’ll keep you posted on Aunty’s progress–I really appreciate your concern for us both. You are the sweetest soul…

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      • how can i not worry about your mom? forget about you.

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      • Ha, ha, funny! No need to worry about me. :)

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      • well, whenever aunty will be in pain you too will be sad, so just remember i will be always here for you.

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      • It’s always a comfort to know that you are here when I need you. It does help me with the stress. :)

        More doctor visits next week so they can figure out what her trouble is.

        Lots of love…

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      • its really a bad luck to end up in the hands of doctors, it always becomes an endless loop.

        hope something concrete and good shows up ASAP.

        i am, will be always here for you or any one who needs my presence. i know how much we need someone beside us sometimes.

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      • Yeah, I’ve always said if I ever get sick–never take me to the doctor–much less the hospital!

        It’s very nice to know that you are here for support–it means so much to me. :)

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      • its an endless loop.

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      • I’ll let you know how it goes with her.

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  16. Thank you, Trisha.

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  17. Wow, what an experience, Gayle! So glad you made it through though there are after-effects, both physical and psychological. I’ve come to believe these experiences/memories don’t simply go away but are stored in our system at a cellular level, triggering mind and body reactions, if we don’t release them in healthy ways. I wish you complete healing on all levels.

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    • Yeah, I think I worked off a lot of karma with that experience, Lahn! But you know I agree completely with what you said about these traumas embedding themselves in our psyches and bodies. I’m sure that’s why I continue to face anxieties in my life–and why I wish that Noreen or you could move in with me for a month or so and help me work through this stuff!

      I appreciate so much your wishes for my good health.

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  18. Oh and I forgot to say “Hi” to Trisha! How are you my dear friend? Happy to meet you again here! Also our soul bro Dom is here. Well, the real party seems to be happening right here!! :)

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  19. What a disconcerting – to say least – event. Not surprising you would suffer ill-effects for years. The write-up is well done …

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  20. Hello my Dearest Lahn…enjoy as well(+)
    Dom*:)xo—{–@

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  21. You were to be safe- that was maybe one odd instance of unbalanced deed. But since you have been good, only a small injury let you get away with that!!
    I maybe sounding un- sympathetic, but that’s how now I try to look at things..

    The post trauma and stress- tell me about it- it’s the depression of the act that kills and not the act itself.. It’s a miracle that all were safe- maybe your goodness affected everyone in the bus and hence all went home..

    I have goose- bumps sitting all over me- I too panic in the speeding vehicles.. I am sure writing this would have made you feel somewhat restful..

    Love and Regards- xoxox

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    • Yes, it was the anxiety and panic afterwards that “killed” me. But actually I have suffered from panic and anxiety attacks off and on through my whole life. Had a very chaotic unstable home life as a child and it started then.

      There were many other very good people on that bus that day too. We were all women from various ashrams that had gathered together over the summer for a “ladies’ camp”. We were just enjoying ourselves away from husbands, children and our lives for the summer and then we had this incident. Yes, were paying off some karmic energy that day!

      I am grateful that we were spared that day from a much more tragic outcome.

      Peace and love,
      Gayle xoxo

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