It was early Saturday morning. My husband Jay and one of my sons were in Hutchinson for a wrestling tournament. My other son was at a music festival in Andover. It was just my five year old daughter, Amber and I. We had plans for a girl’s day out!
That morning I was giving Amber a bath and she was asking questions as usual because of her curiosity. One of the questions she asked me was what God’s face looked like. I told her she would have to go to Heaven to know that. After her bath we headed to Wal-Mart to get Valentine’s Day cards for the upcoming party at school. We ate lunch at McDonald’s and went to the Warren to watch the new Justin Bieber movie. Amber had never watched a documentary before and halfway through the movie she asked me when the movie was going to start.
After the movie, Amber and I jumped in the car and headed east down Kellogg to go pick up my son. We never made it. As I was coming up on the overpass at Kellogg and Seneca, I saw a red truck riding on the median concrete barrier coming towards the eastbound traffic. My instinct told me to pull over to the shoulder to get out of the way. After getting to the shoulder I looked toward the median and the truck had come off the median and was coming toward my left fender. At that moment I knew we were going to be hit. After the impact I looked behind me at Amber. She was not moving and her eyes were closed. I tried to get out of our car but my door wouldn’t budge. I climbed into the passenger’s seat to get to her. At this point other people started coming over to help out. During this time I had no clue I was hurt as well. All I could think of was Amber and if she was okay.
At the hospital, they informed me that I had a broken collarbone, my head was gashed open and I had a hole punched into my knee. The doctor who was looking after Amber came to tell me that she had not survived the wreck. The first thing I thought of was the question she had asked me that morning about what God’s face looked like. They stapled my head quickly then left me to hold my daughter’s hand for a while. The next day, they put a metal plate in my collarbone and they performed knee surgery. I spent four days in the hospital having no clue I would have to relive this day over and over.
My husband and I found out that there were two drivers involved and they had spent the day drinking together. One of the drivers was almost twice over the legal limit. The other driver had alcohol in his system and he was driving on a suspended license. They both were driving separate vehicles and racing down Kellogg heading west. The driver that was twice the legal limit drove his friend off the road and onto the median and eventually into my lane of traffic. We went to trial three different times and each time, I had to give my testimony of what happened that day. The driver that was twice the legal limit was sentenced to fifteen years. The other driver was sentenced for driving on a suspended license for a total of ten days in jail.
The negligence of the two drivers has caused a void in our family. Family vacations are now different, there will be no more father-daughter dates, the daily giggles and laughter of Amber’s sweet voice that once filled a room is gone and now a distant memory. Amber’s death was senseless and could have been avoided if these two individuals had not chosen to drink and drive. We know that Amber is now in heaven and that our Lord was preparing us for this tragic event. Beginning with Amber’s innocent question, “Mommy, What does God’s face look like?” As a family, we are begging each one of you who reads this, please do not drink and drive.
-By Jay and Michelle Randolph- mother and father