Driving over a cliff – and a miraculous result

During November of 1956 I arranged for a ride to California with a couple from the University in their Triumph sports car.  It was uncomfortable for three of us to find space in the tiny car, but we did it with me lying on an air mattress most of the time in a small compartment behind the seat. Eventually they let me set beside them of the front seat so I could enjoy the view. But with no radio, I soon fell asleep.

As we were driving over the Sierras through Echo Pass near Placerville, I suddenly awoke and looked up to see the driver’s wife asleep – and the driver dozing also.  I was alarmed to see that we were headed straight over a cliff.

I yelled, “Walt, hey, Walt!”  He grabbed and turned the wheel, and instead of going straight over a cliff, we hit a heavy road guard stake. It snapped like a twig, and we went over.

Instead of falling to almost certain death, we stopped rather abruptly on the side of the mountain.  We climbed out of the car very carefully to see what had kept us from going to the bottom of the ravine.  The stake that the car had snapped off as we left the highway had fallen ahead of us and had been pounded deep into the ground by the car’s falling upon it; and it had held the car on the side of the mountain and prevented us from falling further..

Car over cliff
Car held on side of cliff by a severed roadside stake.

The couple I was with (neither were LDS) felt this was truly a miracle.  We were able to get the car hauled to safer ground and then continue our journey.  I had a splendid visit with my family in California – and was grateful to be alive.

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