Wife Trapped Inside Burning Car. As Rescuers Fail To Get Her Out Suddenly See Man In Woods
FaithTap Staff 7/25/2017
On the evening of their fourth wedding anniversary, Dann and Tracey Stadler were out and about, enjoying time together. Little did they know their lives were about to drastically change.
An oncoming car driven by a drunk driver was barreling down the interstate going the wrong way. Dann and Tracey were hit head on by the drunk driver. The drunk driver perished instantly.
But Dann and Tracey found themselves fighting for their lives with each second that passed as they were trapped in their crumpled, burning car causing them to slip away. Neither Dann nor Tracey could work themselves free.
"There was so much wreckage pushed in on us that we just couldn't move. Tracey was literally trapped by the engine and everything else had collapsed in on her."
Tracey glanced over at her husband in the driver's seat as he tried to unbuckle her seatbelt. But he then caught on fire. She tried to help him, but couldn't move. Within seconds, she found herself in the same predicament.
"The whole entire car was filled with smoke. I could smell the burning leather. I could smell the burning flesh. I knew that I was going to start on fire very soon because I couldn't breathe. I could feel my lungs burning."
Good Samaritans pulled over and poured out of their cars to help with rescue efforts. Their vehicle was full of smoke and fire pushed through it, torturing Dann and Tracey. Several rescuers began praying, Dann said.
"They began praying as soon as they came upon the wreckage and they moved into action almost as quickly. They were doing everything they could spiritually to help rescue us; however, God's will was going to play out; they were there involved in it."
Tracey made eye contact with one woman, but she couldn't help her either. The car doors were crunched and couldn't be open. Eventually, one man pulled so hard on the driver's side door that the glass window shattered. Dann wriggled free.
"I was literally on fire at that point-my face, my head, my right side, my right arm, my right leg, they were all burning. And so I pulled myself out and they came over and grabbed me and took me over on the median in the grass and rolled me out and put the fire out that way."
But his beloved wife was still trapped. Her face and other parts of her body were on fire. Tracey said she knew her life was ending. So, she prayed.
"I said prayers I never even knew were in my mind. I said, ‘Father I pray that You forgive me for my sins. You said You have many mansions in heaven and I pray there's one for me' ... And then I looked up and there he was."
The "he" Tracey saw was someone who wasn't "of this world," she said. She truly believes with all her heart and soul that it was an angel sent from heaven. The figure lifted her up out of the vehicle and they both flew away from the accident site.
"At that point I know I left my body. I know I did. He told me I could look back if I wanted to, but I didn't want to. And the further we got away from the accident site the more peace I felt-such peace. And the love? The love can't be explained; we're too finite in our words. It can't be explained in human terms. The love, like you are going home. There was no pain, no regret, only anticipation. The only thing that mattered was my relationship with Christ. And I felt like I was in the arms of God, of Jesus Christ himself."
As Tracey entered Heaven, her heart soared when she saw her grandmother who had passed away when Tracey was a little girl. Tracey said she was thrilled to see her grandmother and vice versa. But as she headed to embrace her grandmother, Tracey halted. She grasped on to a memory of Megan, her nine-month-old daughter.
"And I said, ‘I have to go back.' I mean I knew I was going to see the face of God. I knew it. But I couldn't let Megan grow up alone. And we started going down, and this was just the opposite of going up. It was hard. It was cold. It was fast, and it was painful coming back."
The next thing Tracey knew was that she was back in the burning car. The rescuers were startled at the very moment to see a man walk out of the woods and up to the car. The man was glowing, Dann said.
A rescuer was praying devoutly for the young couple at the same time and as the glowing figure approached the car, the rescuer fell to his knees, Dann said.
"He was buckled to his knees because he felt the healing power of Jesus Christ so intensely that it just overpowered and overwhelmed him. One of the rescuers was able to free Tracey, and that's when he said she was just as light as a feather. She just essentially popped out right in his hands. As the angel was there he bent over her, and he put his hands over her face."
Tracey was aware of this miracle her body was being blessed with. She felt the glowing figure healing her. Then the figure looked her in the eyes and said, "Tracey, everything's going to be alright.' He healed me."
Dann said the glowing figure then turned and honed his gaze on a rescuer. He told him to "Take care of Tracey." But no one there knew the couple's names. No one had access to her identification because her purse had disintegrated in the car fire.
"She was pulled unconscious from the car. I had not been speaking her name, Tracey had not spoken her name, so for him to know her name, he could only have been Heaven sent."
The figure returned to the woods, leaving everyone at the accident scene stunned. Emergency crews soon thereafter arrived and transported Dann and Tracey to the hospital. They both spent considerable time recovering from numerous broken bones and Dann's severe burns covering his body. But Tracey said she felt God with them every step of the way.
"I could feel peace from my head to my toe when I prayed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It worked better than any pharmaceutical out there. It really did. And the peace again, I prayed to be filled with peace."
Watch the video below learn about their spiritual encounter.
Dann and Tracey knew how miraculous their life-threatening experience was and how it drew them deeper into their faith. They felt they could be missionaries of sorts, sharing their story of faith and perseverance with others.
Together, they penned a book Angels in the Fire. It talks about how God used their car crash to reveal Himself to them. They both know God was with them then and still is every single day. While they don't know why God chose to save them, they are grateful that their little family was left intact and has since grown to include more children. May God's blessings continue to pour forth upon them as they retell their tale of how God and His angel saved them.