FARMVILLE, Va. – A young couple is sharing their story nearly a month after they, along with their newborn baby, almost lost their lives to a drunk driver. They hope they can serve two purposes: A stark reminder and a silver lining.
Megan Gary and Nathan Everson never expected to start a new family with mom in a wheelchair and dad in a sling. Still, the couple says it’s hard to be anything but thankful knowing things could have been so different.
“It all happened so fast,” Gary says. “All I can remember thinking and saying was, ‘Oh crap, they’re going to hit us.’ Then they did. It’s still so hard to look at those photos.”
Gary is referring to photos from the night her family will never forget. The Farmville family of three was leaving a birthday party in Bedford on Route I-22 when they were hit head-on by a drunk driver.
When crews got to the scene, they had to use the jaws of life to pull the couple out. They were then flown to a nearby hospital for their injuries.
“I kept asking, ‘Where’s my baby? Is she ok?’ People told me she was,” Gary says. “If she’s not, you’re not going to tell the injured mom. I didn’t know what to think. It was terrifying.”
Gary and Everson’s three-week-old baby, Avonlea, was the only one who wasn’t hurt. Gary is recovering from a shattered femur, arm and hand. Nathan is in a boot with a dislocated wrist.
It wasn’t until after the family left the hospital that they learned a drunk driver caused the accident.
“I’m sad this had to happen to us. Hopefully, he will learn from it,” Gary and Everson say. “We must forgive and trust the justice system. We aren’t angry.”
Gary and Everson want to say thank you to the folks who stopped to help save their lives in Bedford and to the community who hasn’t stopped giving.
Several neighbors rushed to help at the accident. They put out the car fire, pulled Avonlea to safety and sat with the couple until rescue crews arrived.
The help continues with strangers bringing dinner and the group “Vet to Vet Vehicles” restoring Everson’s old pick up to make sure the family has a car.
“They built us this ramp so that I could get in my house. They’ve brought us food. Just the thoughts and the prayers and donations,” Gary says. “When I was in that car, I was so upset and sad and scared. I think this made up for it.”
It will be a long road to recovery, but the couple is finding joy in their circumstances. Gary and Everson hope to continue sharing their story to help keep drunk drivers off the roads.
If you’d like to help the family, they have a GoFundMe page here.