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CRASH!!! Reflections & Commitments after another near-death experience.

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

April 8, 2023

By Nikki M.G.


I fucking crashed.

Or rather - I was crashed into by a tractor trailer . .. driver.

Or maybe - the universe crashed us.

Well, actually, see, what had happened was . . .

It was Saturday, April 1, 2023 at approximately 2:30pm, somewhere in the middle of Pennsylvania on I-76. I was coming from Baltimore and was very excited to meet up with my best friend and colleague for a business planning mini-retreat. It rained and thunder stormed earlier in the day but had passed by the time I decided to get on the road. However, there was a strong wind advisory still in effect that afternoon, but I wasn't going to let that stop from making the hour-and-a-half trip. Plus I was excited to drive my brand-new-to-me 2020 GMC Terrain Denali that I had just bought two weeks ago!

2020 GMC Terrain Denali

I was about 2 hours into driving north when I realized I had gone far past my destination. Oddly enough, it was at this moment of realization that the crash happened. I was in the left lane doing 75 mph (speed limit was 70) and coming up on the left flank of a large rig. I think he was doing about 70mph and he didn't have any lane signals on. As I started to pass the back end of his trailer, the trailer and back wheels crossed over the yellow lines into my lane, tapping the right side of my SUV and then causing my vehicle to spin out of control. As I was careening back and forth between the walls of the rig and the concrete median highway divider, all I could do was scream, brace my body, and think about my child. Luckily, she was not in the car with me on this trip.

The airbags inflated. Broken glass was flying as "Cash In Cash Out" by Pharrell Williams, 21 Savage, and Tyler the Creator was blaring on my stereo system.

"Cash In Cash Out" music video

And then the Terrain came to a stop and shut down. I don't know how long I was spinning out of control before I came to a stop, but once I did stop my fear and confusion didn't end. I was sitting still buckled up, shaking, confused about WTF just happened, and also scared shitless that I could be hit again by another oncoming vehicle or worse. All I could do was sit there and shake. But I knew I was alive and that it was a miracle!

A minute or two later, first responders came. They called 911, gave me water, and helped me get out of my totaled vehicle once I realized I hadn't broken any bones. They helped me cross the highway and sit safely in one of their cars until the EMT and Police arrived. I am so grateful and deeply value kindness from strangers. One woman in particular touched me. She was of Native American heritage and was on her way from Oklahoma to Brooklyn with her husband. They had been in the vehicle directly behind me and fortunately neither of them nor their vehicle was hurt from the crash. In fact, no one was harmed in the crash except for me and my SUV - and my injuries are minor, thank goodness!

She placed her hands on me and told me that I am "blessed and highly favored." That "angels watch over [me]" and that the Lord "must have lot of work for [me] to do on this Earth."

Honestly - I am blessed and highly favored because this is not the first time that I've been in a bad situation or freak accident that could have either ended my life or severely damaged my body. And it's not the first time I've been touched by a prophet either. Each time I've come out of a crash, it's acted as a catalyst for deeper clarity and my commitment to action towards my purpose.

Here's what I'm clearer about this time:

1) Racism is stupid and its everywhere. Duh. This Black woman couldn't get help from the police or tow truck company without repeat servings of microaggressions in the wake of trauma. The cop who was there to "help" basically interrogated me and told me that my account of what happened was "impossible." The white tow truck driver - who by the way, decided to text while driving me after the crash - somehow felt it was perfectly ok to tell this Black woman how unsafe it is for anyone to go to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina because of all the "big Black guys with dreads selling drugs at 7-11." I can't make this shit up. I literally asked the kid where he was from and what he loved about his hometown of Middletown, Pennsylvania.... and somehow he landed on an episode of CSI: Myrtle Beach!

2) I am here to win fights that dismantle institutional and structural racism. So no - I did not take on that individual cop or school the young tow truck driver on how to have polite conversation with Black folks - although you know I thought about it. But I am writing my story and perspective and I will continue to do so publicly. I am organizing resources for and with people who also think that racism is stupid and are working to create new cultures, practices, workplaces, and systems based on love, abundance, creativity, and mutual support. Thats the energy that the Multiverse/God is giving me. I chose when, where, and on whom to spend my energy these days.

3) Good people are everywhere. No matter how shitty this world feels sometimes, kindness is alive and well in the human race. Many strangers stopped to help on the spot when they didn't have to and most of them - aside from the Native American couple - were white folks. The EMTs were super friendly, funny, gentle, and professional. The insurance folks were surprisingly kind and helpful. My best friend came to my rescue and took care of my all night and the next day. My husband and daughter showered me with love and cuddles as soon as I got home and all this week. My coworkers and movement colleagues called me to check in and send me flowers. People are truly awesome. People - regardless of race - epitomize love when they chose it consciously.

4) I want to show more love and gratitude to my family and friends and take time every day to appreciate my life. I am committed to this and even though it sounds cliche, simple and easy - it's not for me. It's hard for me to consistently make time for that which I love most, and that's because I was programmed as a worker-bee. If I'm not doing something productive, I'm uncomfortable. But I am committed to taking more walks and releasing feelings of guilt when I take care of myself. Taking my friends and family to lunch and trying new restaurants. Spending money on health, self-care and travel for me and my family. Being present to play, create, and positively reinforce my amazing child. Texting or calling my momma to tell her I love her every day. Geeking out on all things Star Wars with my husband, brother, and nephews. The Force is with us ya'll.

Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, and Obi-Wan Kenobi!

Finally - my car was totaled. So - I need to get a new vehicle. Part of me thinks I should get another GMC because afterall, my SUV did its job by saving my life. Another part of me feels like the GMC and I are cursed because of this crash AND because my previous 2016 GMC Terrain's engine suddenly died a month earlier without any warning signs. But whatever - the amazing thing is that I am at a point now in my life where these kinds of situations aren't going to kill me financially or emotionally. I got this.

What SUVs do you recommend? I'm looking for something SAFE first and foremost, and secondly something that gives Latto"Boss Bitch" vibes . . .but that doesn't cost a Latto dollars. HAHA - that was me trying to be funny. Ok - and now I am extra clear that I will never be a comedian.

Share your SUV recommendations in the comments and subscribe to stay updated on my life, business, and movement work.

Thank you and Bless Up!

photo by Idit Knaan

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1 Comment

Marcina Garner
Marcina Garner
Apr 23, 2023

Whooo Chile!!!! Hallelujah. I’m so thankful to God for keeping you. He’ll do it too when you’re walking in his will, and you are! Darkness cannot prevail, and He has his hands on you! Ps. 91, straight up!

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