A flash of lights on the highway saves a life

Letter to the editor from Brian Mitchell, Kamloops

To the editor;

At about 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30,  I was returning home, driving east on the Trans-Canada Highway, just before the Valleyview interchange and just after the Yellowhead turnoff.

I was driving in the left-hand, or passing, lane of the highway, where there is a slight curve.

On the other side of the cement divider, I noticed a car, travelling west, flashing its lights very quickly.

I assumed the driver of the vehicle was warning me of a police presence ahead, where the speed limit drops to 80 km/h from 90 kn/h.

I thought that was somewhat strange, given that particular place seemed an unlikely place in which to have police.

I decided, nonetheless, to err on the side of caution (although I was not exceeding the speed limit) and pulled into the right-hand lane.

After making the adjustment, I turned my head back to face the front.

In the oncoming lane, where I had been less than one second ago, was a car driving down the wrong side of the divided highway — and doing so at what I perceived to be a good speed.

The car missed me by no more than a couple of feet. One more second and I would be dead.

This letter is to thank the driver who flashed his or her lights at oncoming traffic.

That person obviously saw what was happening on the other side of the cement barrier and wanted to warn vehicles involved.

That driver saved my life.

In saving my life, that driver blessed my family — my wife and my children, who would have lost their spouse and father.

On behalf of them, my friends and, most especially, myself, I want to publically acknowledge the gift of life the action had in the lives of so many others.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank that driver.

My life has been altered and I will not forget this moment and what someone did for this stranger.

I hope and pray there was no other car coming along behind me. If there was, I will be praying for that family for the rest of my life for any loss of life or disability that might have resulted.

It is not given to many people to have their lives taken and given back to them in an instant.

In wars, perhaps, but seldom in the normal to and fro of daily life.

I have been blessed to have experienced such a moment. I am profoundly grateful and trust the remainder of my life will reflect that gratitude.

Brian Mitchell