Crashing Into Fate on Interstate 80
When a young woman dozes off on a dangerous highway, a chance encounter saves her from the burning wreckage.
Illustration by Max Moose
Nineteen-year-old Stephanie Terrell knew she shouldn’t have stayed up so late the night before. It was four a.m. when she finally started her drive from Salt Lake City, Utah, back to her home in South Lake Tahoe, California. Now, seven hours later, Terrell was cruising eastbound on I-80 at seventy-five miles per hour near Fallon, Nevada. It was a hot August afternoon and she was in the middle of nowhere. There wasn’t much to look at except for some mountains off in the distance and every so often a sign that read "Drowsy Drivers Pull Over If Necessary." The air conditioner was on, the windows up, and Adele’s voice blared through the speakers of the 2002 gold Ford Taurus that she had bought from her uncle a few months ago.
She loved driving, but was tired of being in a car and anxious to get back home. Her eyes felt heavy as she tried to focus.
A devout Mormon, she kept a quad copy of the New and Old Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Bible and The Doctrine and …