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Tuesday, August 11, 2009


July 31st 2009, I was driving our family van along Queen Elizabeth Way (Q.E.W.), one of the fastest highways in Ontario, on our way to Niagara Falls for an overnight stay. This is the first time our family planned to stay overnight looking forward to a great summer vacation with our visiting friends from Cebu who was to visit Canada for the first time and planned this trip to rendezvous with my sister who was to spend her vacation to visit us. We picked up my sister from the airport and were going straight to Niagara so you can just imagine how packed the van was, 7 passengers and luggage in tow.

About an hour amidst the drive along Q.E.W. at about 120 kph, something popped at the rear of the van and soon enough, the vehicle started swerving violently, the steering wheel vibrated ruggedly and it became apparent that we just had a tire blow-out. For some inexplicable reason, the situation did not cause me to panic at that time. I released my foot from the accelerator until the vehicle slowed down, my wife pressed the hazard signal for me and as soon as I felt that it was safe to do so, I steered slowly to the safety shoulder at the center of the freeway since I was driving along the fast lane. As soon we were temporarily safe off the speeding vehicles, I took out my CAA (Canadian counterpart of AAA) card and called the Hamilton city help line since this is the nearest city where we were and the representative tried her best to pinpoint our location by asking for landmarks and exits we just came from… finally, after cautioning us not to leave the vehicle, she said a dispatch will be on its way and estimated time is about 30 minutes. Within 15 minutes… the C.A.A. tow truck was already flashing its light from a safe distance behind us and in a few more minutes, my blown-out tire was replaced with a DONUT tire to enable me to drive the van to the nearest Canadian Tire store about 4 kilometers from where we were.

On our way to Canadian tire using local road, I was silently quipping a prayer that the store will have the tire size of my van (215x70x16) which in my previous experience I needed to order ahead of time since this is not standard size readily found even in Specialty Tire Store much less a Big Box Hardware store. When I advised the automotive clerk of my tire size... first sentence that he said was... “Looks like you will have not much to select from, frankly despite my prayers… the doubting Thomas in me have made me plot out my own fall back solution… I have prepared myself to buy all four new tires and rims to go on with our trip sooner if I needed to … after a quick check, the good sales clerk said “I have 2 in stock”. Without asking the price and brand I immediately confirmed the purchase and requested for possible quicker installation since we were running late for our check in time. Within an hour, we were all set to proceed with our trip and had the most wonderful time communing with God through the majesty of His creation. That is the simple story… let me explain in detail the life and death situation we were in and how God’s finger prints are all over this incident…

Tire Blow-Out

Has anyone read in advance to prepare oneself for a tire blow-out? Not me! After the incident and when we were back home… I found a video tip for this situation… what I did instinctively was nearly step by step what the video was instructing… I will be honest, I can lay claim that “it is just common sense” or “I have been driving for more than 20 years” but I would be lying… I do not know how… but most definitely, the things I did were not pulled out from what I have learned or know… it has to Divine Guidance no less.

(I am sharing 2 URL related to tire blow-out, checkout the website)
(what could have happened)
(driving tip video, hope you won't need the info)

Shoulder Parking

Everyone who has driven along QEW can tell you that parking along the “safety shoulder” does not guarantee safety at all. Our van was shaking as cars after cars sped through us 120 to 130 kph with no regard to how close they are to our parked vehicle. In many situations, accidents involving speeding cars hitting vehicles parked along the shoulder has been reported in the news and not a few resulted in fatalities. I tried to sound calm but deep inside me was the anxiousness for help to come ASAP… one could say that it was one of the longest 15-minute wait of my life. I can almost shout Hallelujah when I saw the CAA service truck pull over behind us.

CAA (Canadian Automotive Association)

I have been driving in Canada since May of 2005 and after four years I finally signed up for CAA plus for roadside assistance up to 200 kilometers radius on July 15 2009. Sixteen days after… my membership paid for itself! If CAA was not aware of how dangerous our situation was, they might even suspect that the incident was a premeditated stunt. Thank God for CAA!

Canadian Tire and the last 2 tires

Canadians can verify this by checking the tire size posted by Walmart and Canadian Tire on their SALE flyers. The nearest to my tire size is 215x70x15 and when I changed my 2 tires early this year, I has to wait 2 hours for the tire to be delivered from factory specially ordered by the manager of the auto repair shop… COSTCO does not carry my tire size and another tire specialty shop OKI advised me to order a day ahead before going to their shop for installation. When we went to this Canadian Tire store in the city near Niagara (St. Catherine’s) lo and behold… they have last 2 in stock with a price about 40 dollars a piece lower than the last brand I bought.

An atheist would say “it’s all coincidence!”

A fatalist would say “ah! It’s not your time yet!”

The superstitious will say “Lucky! You are seven passengers in the van, that’s a lucky number!”

I looked backed on the situation after we were back from a wonderful trip that may not have ever happened at all had we not been PROTECTED from harm… and I can only attribute all these things to no other than a GOOD GOD who is IN CONTROL!

This GOD happens to be my loving Father in Heaven. Praise GOD!

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