These days when I see a photo or video clip of someone who's spun out of control on the highway and had a bad accident, I'm paying attention - mostly because I had a terrifying experience recently, and somehow we came out of it unscathed, partly due to a Good Samaritan.
It all happened innocently enough; my wife Tracy and I were on our way into Regina on a Friday night for a "date night".
You would think the rain would be a clue - but no, we had to find out the hard way. We had good traction as we headed north on Highway 35 up to Highway 33, and for the first while No. 33 was okay as well. Then, I started seeing vehicles driving by in the opposite direction with their flashers on, and then I began to feel the wheels occasionally slipping.
Thus, I took the cruise control off, and I took my foot off the accelerator to allow the car to slow down gradually without using brakes - but I was slightly too late. I think if I had started this a little earlier we probably would've made it.
What happened was I first started fish-tailing a little bit as we approached Sedley, and as I had a front-wheel drive, the fish-tailing grew worse and worse as I desperately tried keeping the car under control. There was oncoming traffic in my mind's eye, I remember a small blue car coming as we were sliding, and I very badly wanted to make sure I didn't slide into the oncoming lane.
The next thing, in my effort to avoid a head-on collision, was slide into the ditch, which we did sideways at least, part of it was sideways, and I was thinking we were going to roll or flip. We didn't, but I think we did a 360-degree spin and the car came to rest, finally, with the nose plunked into the deep soft snow of the ditch just a half-mile or mile past Sedley.
This also meant I couldn't back out of there, so we would have to be pulled out.
A Good Samaritan stopped, a nice guy in a red pickup who had been working at Stoughton and I think was heading to Regina. He was reluctant to try pulling me out because he didn't have four-way flashers, so we first tried to see if there was a tow-truck service available - there wasn't. One guy said Glover's from Osage was the nearest one (or Regina), and this nice girl who was driving out from Regina said it was slippery like this all way in to the city.
In the end, despite his fear of causing a multiple pileup on the highway, the guy pulled us out with a chain and was on his way again. We were immensely thankful for his help, and for God's help in ensuring we didn't roll or flip or hit oncoming traffic.