With every trip there are details that we just don’t have time to share. I’m sharing this detail now because it has relevance to something that happened on our way to the airport and sharing the whole experience because your prayers for those involved would be much appreciated.
Early on in the trip we were making our way back to our home base when a semi veered into our lane and to avoid a collision we ran off the road. In doing so, our car sustained some damages. For the renters insurance here in the DR you have to get a police report so being the last day in the country we needed to get the report.
We didn’t have a ton of time so we stopped at the police station in a town that was on our way to the airport. It was taking forever...Do we just forget about it or do we wait? We decided to wait.
We were a little put out by the delay but it soon became crystal clear why we needed to be delayed. We finally got our report and headed out. Just outside the city we got the police report at we came across a terrible accident.
A head on collision. We quickly pulled over, jumped out, assessed and started administering first aid. It was a family heading on a vacation so there were 5 of them in the car and of all ages. All but one were out of the car and laying on the ground.
Lance jumped into action trying to get the drivers door opened to free the driver that was pinned in the front seat and I assessed the condition of everyone outside of the car and started to work on the little girl. She was the one I felt needed the most attention. She had quite a bit of internal pain but still conscious. Lance and one other guy were on top of the car, pushing with their legs the top of the door, trying to pry it open which wasn’t responding. The metal was crunched together. They weren’t about to give up because Lopez (the drivers last name...he was a young guy in military uniform with his last name on his chest) was dazed but still alive.
I was continuing to work with the little girl along with another gal who seemed to be a nurse. The ambulances were on their way but weren’t getting to us fast enough.
The little girls heart rate was getting faint and eventually stopped. We started doing chest compressions to keep her blood flowing until the first ambulance got there.
Lance was doing everything he could to get Lopez out. He was able to slightly recline the chair but couldn’t get it to move back. It had been jammed forward and was locked up.
The ambulance finally arrived and they took our little girl first. I hope they were able to revive her.
I looked up and Lance was pulling stuff out of the trunk getting to the car jack. He was losing Lopez and he needed to get him out of the car somehow quick. We jammed the jack into the part of the door that they had pried open and we were leveraging the door open a little at a time with each crank of the jack.
As we were working on the door, Lopez’s heart stopped so Lance jumped into the car and started giving him compressions while I continued to pry the door open with the jack. It was opening but not quick enough. It seemed like eternity but I’m sure it was just a few seconds later when the paramedics arrived with the jaws of life and were able to remove the door but it was too late. Lopez was gone and they pronounced him dead.
The three other passengers were cut up pretty badly but they weren’t life threatening injuries so they’ll make it. I worry most for them and the losses they’ll have to deal with.
I share this with you in hopes that you’ll join our prayers and pray for the family to be able to deal with the grief and injuries and for the little girl, that if she made it she’ll be able to recover quickly. The rest of the drive to the airport was a bit somber and surreal for us. We hope that we were able to be of some help.
Thanks to you all for your support throughout this trip. We couldn’t do it without your thoughts, your financial help and your prayers. We really do appreciate it.
We will continue to keep you in the loop and be accountable to you all on our next in our upcoming humanitarian trips .
Thank you again!
Chet Thomas & Lance Mergens Abolish Child Trafficking, Inc. 501(c)(3) "Affecting change from the inside out"