With a twisted pile of crushed cars and trucks in front of her on Interstate 25 on Thursday, Andrea Singy could only stare into her rearview mirror in horror as a semitractor trailer came rushing through the snowstorm toward her tiny car.
In the back seat of the 1993 Honda Civic lay Singy’s 6-week-old daughter, Alexandra, still breathing with the help of an oxygen mask after her release from Children’s Hospital in Denver, where she had surgery for a heart problem.
“All I could think of was, ‘He’s going to crush me into the cars ahead of me,”’ Singy said. “‘Please don’t hit my baby.’ That’s all I thought.”
It was a terrifying moment as the truck pulling two trailers of new cars started to slide sideways and jackknife.
Then something extraordinary happened. The truck stopped. Then a pickup in the left lane slid to a stop beside the Civic. Another car crashed into the left lane’s guardrail.
In the middle of all that destruction, Singy’s car was untouched.
The truck that at first threatened to mangle the little Honda now served as a wall, shielding the car, Singy and her tiny Alexandra. Vehicle after vehicle would slam into the truck in one of the biggest traffic accidents in state history.
“It all happened so fast,” Singy, 35, said. “Crash, crash, crash, crash, crash.”
Eventually, 82 vehicles were involved in the massive, chain-reaction wreck. The interstate was closed in both directions for more than four hours. Dozens of people were injured.
“It was like there was a force field around her car, nothing could get through. Nothing got within 3 feet of her,” said Castlewood Fire Department paramedic Mike DeBoer.
The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph