By Shawn Kirkpatrick
“It was horrible, but I am blessed. God’s angels were watching over us. God saw fit for both of us to be here for a reason. It was just grace, amazing grace. It was a miracle,” said Kathy Stanley, instructional coach for Carver Primary School.
A group of Opelika City Schools Employees were in Washington, D.C. for a conference last month. The group was walking back to the meeting after lunch when two cars crashed into each other, sending one onto the sidewalk, pinning Stanley and Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Ginger Weygand underneath it.
“I hear these screams behind me I turned around and saw Kathy’s legs sticking out from under the car,” said Opelika Middle School Instructional Coach Cindy Poteet. “I ran around the car trying to get to Kathy’s head to talk to her. I got down on the ground and that’s when I saw Ginger under the car.”
Gayle Holliday, a K-5 math instructional coach said when she got to the car, Cindy was there and told her Kathy and Ginger was under the car.
“You could see Ginger’s hair from under the tire, and you couldn’t see Kathy at all.”
That’s when a group of bystanders jumped into action lifting the car off the two women. Too heavy at first, others came to help, lifting the car off the two teachers.
“I remember I stuck my hand out hoping someone would see me under the front,” Weygand said.” They picked up the car once, and when they sat the car back down, they sat it on my back. It pushed all of the air out of me. But they immediately picked it up again.”
Stanley said she was running and then felt like someone pushed her down. But it was the car running over her.
“I remember throwing my right arm up. The next time I opened my eyes I saw Cindy’s face and I was screaming, ‘get it off of me, get it off of me.’ The car was very hot.”
Stanley said she has had three major surgeries on her right arm to repair the broken bones and nerves in her arm and wrist, and a plate put in her right shoulder area. She said she has more than a year of therapy ahead of her to retrieve the use of her right arm.
Weygand’s hand is broken. She said she has tire tracks and bruises on her arm and hand, as well as blisters on her back from the heat of the car’s engine. “We’re just really blessed. We didn’t come back asking why did this horrible thing happen to us. Life just happens that way sometimes. God chose to spare our lives.”
Stanley thanked all the people for their cards and prayers.
“I’m happy to be here. It is amazing. I felt the power of prayer, it still works.”