top of page

The Tenth Year Surprise


On the 19th of February, [110 months since that tragic event] we received a surprise call from a gentleman who witnessed the collision of the two vehicles, one driven by our daughter on that fateful day.

When I called him back later, I was even more surprised, you might say “stunned” to hear that this man was just ahead in the fast lane of our daughter as they came around the corner that day, just beyond Lookout Point on the Skyway westbound.  Nicholas, his name (has given me permission to share his story), was quite affected by that day.  What Nicholas shared with me was another piece of the puzzle which confirms adding more light to what we knew, but more than this revealed some new things we were not aware of concerning the events of that day.  Here is some of his testimony. 

First, he thought that he was to be the one hit by the red truck careening up the median toward him. He saw that driver swerving almost striking other vehicles before coming toward him.

Secondly, Nicholas confirmed Kimberly’s testimony regarding the

‘envelope of peace’ in Brianna’s vehicle.  He happened to get in the

back set when Kimberly was in the car to check on Brianna. He felt

a heaviness of being helpless, yet an “aurora of spiritual peace”

around Brianna, He believed it was the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Thirdly, Nicholas found out to his surprise (and mine too) that the

driver in the red truck who caused the collision, didn’t even know

he had hit another vehicle. [As I thought about this, Sandford, the

other driver probably couldn’t see where the truck was headed once

he went airborne. Once the vehicles collided, they both were knocked unconscious from the impact.] Nicholas informed him that it was fatal, which came as a real blow to Sanford.

There were other things Nicholas shared that struck me. [As Mary and I realized early on that God’s fingerprints were pervasive over the events of that day, in spite of the tragedy, which indicates God is fully in control of who lives and who rests, when tragedy strikes. Nothing takes Him by surprise. Truly, the breadth of every man is in His hand.] In addition to our daughter and others, God’s fingerprints were also over Sanford. Nicholas went to get a blanket to cover Sanford, the injured driver. In this act, Nicholas later recognized that God was symbolically “covering” Sanford in his shame and guilt with the hope to reach him in this awful moment of his life.

- - - - -    - - - - -    - - - - -    - - - - -

                                                                                                                              In reflecting on this conversation with Nicholas, he                                                                                                                                     had shared with me that he also was young, only 21                                                                                                                                      years old that tragic day and he was a believer. Of the                                                                                                                                  four young people we now know about who were                                                                                                                                        forever impacted by the events of that day, I highlight                                                                                                                                  here:  All were on separate journeys, all were impacted                                                                                                                                differently, all were oblivious to how their lives would                                                                                                                                 be forever changed [which begs for all to recognize                                                                                                                                      our mortality; none of us have any guarantees of                                                                                                                                          tomorrow, thus we should make our calling and                                                                                                                                            election sure each day]:



      >  One whose life was snatched away, without her choice, at the beginning of her adult life. A life with such promise,                such hope of making a difference in the lives of others positively for the Kingdom of heaven. [The testimony of                    others who knew her indicates that she was already making a positive difference in the lives of many.]


      >  Another who was an actor on the stage of drama that day, living in the flesh, whose poor choices led to the life of                   one being extinguished. Had he known, an hour before the events which would transpire, more than likely he

           would not have ventured out on so risky a mission. [The question remains:  How has he utilized the time, the extra

           lease on life granted him?]


      >  The third, whose life was spared by a hair’s breadth that day, became an active participant to ‘help out’ and ‘make

           a difference’ in the aftermath. His testimony, after nine years, has come to our understanding, both confirming

           some things we knew, but also relaying new things to add to the picture. [The events of that tragic day are etched

           in his mind so forcefully that in sharing the detail of that experience with me, after our initial conversation, he

           broke down emotionally, as he shared with me later.] His journey gives evidence that God has been leading him,

           and he has responded favorably.]


      >  The fourth, a young lady in her mid-20s, who believed her life would have ended that day (for she had to swerve                   from being hit by Sanford to her left, which would have sent her down the embankment on the right, moments

           before he careened into the median on the left). What impact has that day made on her life since? Well, she shared

           with us back in February 2017, that she came to believe God spared her life, because she was not ready. She saw

           Brianna as a ‘martyr,’ a life sacrificed for her. [We have not heard from her since that time in 2017.]


Though this was a much longer blog than I would normally write, yet I believe the information Nicholas conveyed to me demanded a more thorough presentation to express in summary the following:

Life is punctuated with memorable events, both good and bad ~ Birth, graduations, marriage, divorce, the birth of a of  

child, and death, even premature death ~ to name the main ones. We live in a broken world, pain and suffering are the lot of man in this life; but because of the Cross of Christ, every human being who reaches decision-making age, has the choice to make a difference, a positive difference in the  lives of others.


We all have a judgment we must meet, for we have a just God who records the thoughts, words, and actions of every human being brought into this world (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14). He does this to "give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings" (Jeremiah 17:10). This is to reveal the decisions every human being has made. So the judgment is not because he is vengeful, for He is a God of love (1 John 4:8), but because justice demands accountability which was fully revealed on Calvary. God would have all His children serve Him out of a loving response and heart appreciation in respect for who He is and what He has accomplished. This cannot be forced, but only through one's own free will. All, both angelic and human intelligences will one day say, "Great and marvellous are Thy works, O Lord God Almighty, just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? for Thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest."  (Revelation 15:3, 4)   Thus, in mercy He extended humanity’s probationary time nearly 2000 years, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).  He is faithful and can be trusted.

Will you say yes to Him, so that one day you can meet Brianna, or with us be reunited with her and all our loved ones who are resting in the grave waiting for that blessed hope to live in a place where “there is no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall be any more pain,” wherein dwelleth righteousness? That Day is soon to come.

11-44 001.JPG
11-44 027.JPG
bottom of page