Angels on the Highway: The Story of Travis and Judy Wallace
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CBN.com It was December 14, 1994. Travis and Judy Wallace were traveling to Waco, Texas, from Dallas to celebrate Christmas with their daughter’s family. At one point Travis let Judy drive while he lay down behind the passenger seat to rest. Sometime later, Travis woke up and offered to drive. Judy said she was fine and Travis lay down again – this time behind the driver’s seat. Just seconds later, there was a deafening explosion.
The Wallaces never saw it coming. A tow truck traveling in the opposite direction was pulling a van. Somehow the axle of the van, with a tire still attached, broke loose. It flew in the air across the median and smashed into the windshield of the Wallaces car. The impact was so intense that the axle completely peeled back the roof off the car.
Officer Drew Roberts of the Dallas Police Department was behind the Wallaces and saw the collision. His expertise is investigating traffic accidents.
"It looked like dynamite went off in the car because the car literally exploded, and by exploded, I mean parts and pieces of the car went flying very high into the air," says Roberts.
Surprisingly, the car stayed in control and slowed to a stop. Experience told Officer Roberts what he would find.
"The massive damage done by this tire and axle, there was just no doubt in my mind that someone was just dead actually, or I expected to see a fatality and I expected to see the driver killed. I didn’t even see the passenger, but I expected the driver was dead," he says.
But to his amazement, he found two very dazed, but very alive people.
"The sound from that was unbelievable," recalls Travis Wallace. "It sounded like a '75 Howitzer. The amazing thing I couldn’t understand was where was the top of the car? I was dumfounded. All of a sudden -- it was a rainy day -- it was raining on us. I had no earthly idea what had happened to us."
His wife, Judy, had blacked out momentarily. When she came to, she managed to steer the car off the road. Broken glass covered her face and body.
"I awoke in all this wreckage and thought, What happened? Why is our car wrecked like this?" Judy Wallace explains. "The first thing that came to me was something terrible had happened and we were alive. I was saying, 'Thank You, Lord. Thank You' because I realized we were all right."
Not only were they alive, but they also walked away from the crash with only minor cuts and bruises. By all accounts Travis and Judy’s story is nothing short of a miracle. For instance, if Travis was driving as usual, Judy would have been in the passenger seat.
"If I had been sitting there, I would be dead because when I sit in the passenger seat, I lean the seat back and take a little nap," Judy says.
Seconds before the axle struck the car, Travis moved to the other side of the back seat.
"It was such a miracle. He had just been sitting there and saying, 'I’ll take over.' Why did he change sides and lie down and put his head behind the driver’s seat? That just saved him. If he had had his head behind the passenger seat, he would be dead," Judy says, emotional at the thought of what could have happened.
Even a seasoned police officer found it difficult to explain how the Wallaces survived such an impact.
Says Officer Roberts, "I have a hard time explaining it. I was showing the pictures to some of the other officers a minute ago, and they said, 'How can anyone live through this, no one seriously injured, no one killed?' In my personal opinion, I really believe it was a miracle."
Perhaps the most profound evidence of a miracle came when a friend handed the couple a gift a few days after the accident.
"I opened it up," says Travis, "and it was a crystal little angel with gold wings. I had tears in my eyes because I realized God was sending a message to me to get my attention that 'I sent My angels to save you.' I said, 'When did you purchase it?' She said, 'Wednesday at 2 p.m.' That was exactly when the accident occurred."
But Travis and Judy will tell you this is not a story about angels. It’s about God’s care and what He has done for them.
"When I had time to think about what had happened and the accident, I just couldn’t believe God loved me so much that He would save me," says Travis. "I just said to myself, 'God, I’m a sinner,' yet He showed His love to me."
Their lives have been profoundly changed.
"Life is deeper; every experience is deeper, because it might not have been. Every relationship is deeper. Everything is more meaningful because God has given us this great gift of life. We need to enjoy every minute of it and praise Him every minute of it," says Judy.
As a reminder, Judy carries a newspaper article about the accident. She also uses it to tell others about God’s love for them.
"God is so awesome, so wonderful, so great that He cares about everyone one of us, even me," says Judy. "God cares for you. God cares for every little intimate detail of your life. He knows where you are every minute and He cares. He loves us with an unending love."
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