Woman praises God for escaping accident unscathed
Sitting behind a steering wheel and staring at a red stop light, Natalie Carver heard a loud cracking noise.
For a moment, she thought it was thunder. But then her 2000 Honda Accord shook and leaves appeared in all directions.
"All I saw was leaves. I couldn't move, so I turned off my car," the 22-year-old Fort Worth special education teacher said.
Carver had recently finished a meeting at Starbucks and had been traveling on the road for a few minutes.
Stunned, she looked around and tried to figure out what happened.
Without realizing the severity of the leaves, Carver wiggled around the branches and got out of her car.
"All these people were coming over to me asking if I was OK," she said. "I know it was a miracle. God was totally watching over me."
Examining the Honda from the outside, Carver quickly realized she escaped a life-threatening accident.
An oversized oak tree branch snapped from the trunk and fell on the top of her car with mighty force.
Yet the branches fell in a perfect formation to encircle the vehicle on the top and either side of her car. Carver was safe - so, too, was the Honda.
"I was about to go through the light when it turned green. If I had pulled up a few seconds earlier, or the branch had snapped a few seconds later, it probably would have smashed me," she said. "It freaks me out to think about what would have happened if I was not in that exact place at that exact time when it happened."
Fort Worth paramedics and police officers arrived on scene within moments of the wreck, expecting to transport a woman to the hospital.
But like Carver, they too, were surprised she was alive.
"They told me they've seen things similar to this, but with a completely different outcome," Carver said. "A police officer told me to go buy a lotto ticket because I'm the luckiest girl in the world."
Carver went home while law enforcement cut away the branches from her car. Three hours later, they cut away the limbs and realized the car wasn't damaged.
"When I went to get my car, I drove away like nothing happened," she said. "It really didn't mess up my car that much."
After the calm settled and Carver processed the accident, she called her parents and grandparents, Bill and Patricia Dunn, of Victoria, and explained her miracle accident to a stunned audience.
Since Carver was young, Bill and Patricia have been a source of Christian guidance for their granddaughter, making sure she visited Victoria at least three times a year.
"From a young age, I've known about God and have been taught the importance of a spiritual relationship with him," Carver said. "My mom sent Nanna the pictures and when she saw them she said 'God was definitely watching out for you' . I am really lucky to have such a strong Christian family and Christian grandparents."
Bill Dunn was the most surprised of all at the photos of his granddaughter's accident.
But he was most proud of Carver's ability to view the accident as God protecting her from tragedy.
"She has always had a strong faith, since she was young," Dunn said. "She sees this as a God thing, and she put the photos up on Facebook for everyone to see God was protecting her."
Dozens of responses poured in on Facebook, commenting on Carver's photos, Dunn said.
A few weeks following the wreck, Carver has had time to reflect on the accident as a way to praise God for his protection and tell others about her relationship with him. She has also tried to reflect on what he was teaching her.
"I learned I worry about a lot of things. And I think he used this to show me that he can control this place we live and everything in it perfectly," she said. "If he can do that, he can get me through a day, and I don't need to worry as much because he is in control of everything."
Carver said she's speaking out about the tree accident, not for herself, but so she can show others with photographic evidence that God has a watchful eye on his children.
"This is not something that happens everyday," she said. "And I guarantee all the people who saw the wreck and have heard about the wreck are not Christians. But they still get to know that God was protecting me."
As for the tree, Carver said she hasn't visited the scene since the accident.
"I haven't driven by it again," she said. "But if I do, I'll probably drive in a different direction."