A loving photo of a young couple embracing after miraculously surviving a devastating car accident.
Arika Stovall and her boyfriend, Hunter Hanks, were driving back home to Nashville from Jacksonville, Fla. on New Year’s Day when tragedy struck. In an instant, the couple’s vehicle veered into the side of a bridge at 85 mph, completely mangling Stovall’s Toyota Tundra.
The two were rescued from what was left of their car and transported to nearby Vanderbilt Medical Center. A friend of the couple snapped a photo of the two as they were happily reunited in the hospital, both wearing neck braces.
“Three seconds. That’s how long we had from the moment we drifted off the road until the truck hit the pillar at 85 mph,” Stovall wrote on the photo’s caption, which she shared on Facebook. She goes on to describe the horrific incident and gives thanks to God for protecting their lives. “We’re so grateful for this wreck and all it will do in our lives.”
Stovall’s post quickly went viral, earning more than 86,000 shares on Facebook in just a few days. Since the accident, Stovall has posted more photos of the couple as they recover, along with thanks to those who helped rescue and care for them following the accident. Many strangers have since reached out to Stovall to say how much her story affected them personally.
“We’ve gotten hundreds of messages just telling us that our story brought them out of a dark place in their life and changed their life,” Stovall told WTVF.
Although they both sustained concussions and other minor injuries, both Stovall and Hanks plan on returning to their college classes later this week.