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January 08, 2008

Reflections on Bus Accident that Killed 9 in Southern Utah

I just drove through Mexican Hat in a blizzard the weekend before Christmas as I was coming home from Denver. My grandfather has extensive business that he does in Monticello and Moab and I have been through the stretch several times. And I spend countless hours and miles driving on snowpacked and icy roads during ski season.

This hit close to home. I thought about orphaning my kids or worse, losing one of them in an accident. Driving on bad road conditions in the middle of the night, tired after a long day of skiing. And the best skiing means the worst road conditions. Blood in the snow. People screaming. No light. Snow and rain falling. Desolate area, no cell reception.

This reminds me to keep my emergency road kit ready. Road flares. Blankets. Flashlight. Bungee cords. First aid kit. Tarp. Some canned food AND THE CAN OPENER. Bottle opener (in case all the beer didn't break during the wreck j/k). Matches. And I love having OnStar. I know it doesn't work a lot of places, but at least it offers far better reception than a regular cell phone.

But the Arizona Republic reported this, which is what makes America, especially rural America great:

Rose June, a clerk at the San Juan Inn, said she rushed to the scene to distribute blankets and towels to people on stretchers. She said many on the bus seemed to be in their 20s.

"They were saying, 'Where's my friend? Where's the ambulance?' " June said. "I tried to keep the rain off their face."...

Danny Palmer, funeral director at San Juan Mortuary in Blanding, about 40 miles northeast of Mexican Hat, came to the scene. He spent two hours helping victims and watching rescue efforts, including those carried out by passengers hurt in the crash.

"People that probably needed their own medical attention were helping those who were more serious," Palmer said. "It was quite inspiring."

Thank you to the people of the Four Corners area that helped save lives and reduce the suffering of those that were affected. Prayers go out to the families, and to the parents of the three high school students that were killed. Erica Sheffey and Marc Rasmussen died at the scene. Joseph DeBolskewas a senior from Saguaro High School.

Posted by Justin at January 8, 2008 10:33 AM

Comments

"Wow you are DARK!!" - Family Guy- meg's spring break and peter almost loses the house.. season 3
referring only to the self-reflective content

that being said- deepest sympathies to the families involved.

My emergency kit consists of- a spare tire, a shovel, a gallon of (probably frozen by that time) water, um.. I think there might be a granola bar back there.. oh and my insulated boots.

Thats a good thing to think about. thanks.

Posted by: Caroline at January 8, 2008 01:33 PM

My mom, stepdad & uncle go on this trip every year for about 8 years now. I just want to say what a tragedy this has been. I am sending my condolences to you, I am praying for all friends & family that were involved in the crash. Thank God my family made it home safe. My mom & stepdad where on one bus and my uncle was on another & they made it home safely, though late. My mom & stepdad always talk about how much fun they have when they go on those ski trips. I am sure they are planning to go next year too. I want to go with them sometime, I have never been skiing in my whole life.

By the way my uncle was commenting on how nice those new buses are. Please stay strong during this tragedy & remember there are many people praying for everyone involved.

Well, you take care & I am sorry for your losses.

May the Lord be with you all.

Posted by: Sandy at January 8, 2008 02:56 PM