I travel to work and back on an express commuter train and I usually sit in the front coach which is not so crowded. The section of the railroad from Klapmuts to Paarl follows a long downhill gradient along which the train travels at top speed. At the lower end of this section a local farm road crosses the rail tracks. Beyond the level crossing the natural ground level falls and the rail road proceeds along an elevated embankment. The train does not slow down at the level crossing and a single blast on the whistle suffices as a warning to any approaching vehicles.
On this particular occasion (March 1996) I recollect that I was the only passenger in the coach as the train approached this crossing. A large grain truck had somehow got in the way of the train. There was a terrific explosion as the train smashed into the truck. The impact of the collision was so severe that the front coaches were totally derailed. It is difficult for me to give an accurate description of what followed due to the utter chaos of the situation.
I was flung around as the train ploughed through the ground rocking like a boat in a rough sea. The coach filled with a choking mixture of smoke and dust and there was a deafening roar which sounded like thunder. The coach shuddered as we smashed into steel pylons bringing down the overhead electric cables, the windows disintegrating into thousands of pieces of shattered glass. I immediately realised that if I were to have any chance of survival in this disastrous situation it would be by means of the blood of Jesus my blessed Saviour. I repeatedly cried out at the top of my voice, "The blood of Jesus! The blood of Jesus! The blood of Jesus!".
It seemed as if the crashing, shaking and thundering would never come to an end. The coach plunged down a steep embankment and eventually came to rest at right angles to the railroad track with its nose embedded in a clump of Port Jackson bushes.
In a dazed state I scrambled to the door and was attempting to climb out when a live 3000 volt electric cable which was dangling in the doorway caught me on the temple. There was a flash across my face and I lost consciousness from the electric shock which passed through my head and chest and down my left arm. That’s all I can remember. The next hour of my life is a complete blank to me.
Mr. and Mrs. van Graan, who’s small holding abounds the railroad were sitting on their veranda watching the whole drama unfold. When the dust had settled they rushed to the scene of the accident and found me lying in the bushes next to the mangled coach. All colour had drained from me, I was not breathing and my heart had stopped beating. They assumed I was dead. They obviously knew something about first aid because they immediately got to work on me, Mrs. van Graan pumping my chest in an effort to get my heart beating again and her husband applying mouth to mouth resuscitation. According to them this process continued for a few minutes before there was any sign of life in me. I thank god that they never gave up on me, I believe that they were ordained by God to bring me back to life- human angels as it were, at the scene at the right time and led by God to resuscitate me from the dead.
While all this was taking place, another drama was unfolding at Paarl station, three kilometers down the track.
Despite the chaotic conditions at the scene of the accident the overhead wires were still alive, the protection fuse had failed to blow and switch off the power, hence the reason for me getting electrocuted. It also meant that the driver of the train which was traveling in the opposite direction received a green signal light allowing him to proceed. He duly moved off from Paarl station, oblivious of the danger which lay ahead. At a subsequent enquiry he testified that he normally accelerated at full throttle on departing from Paarl station to build up speed for the long incline to Klapmuts station, however on this particular occasion he decided to increase his speed more gradually, which meant that as he negotiated the bend at the brick fields he was traveling at roughly half the speed he would normally have been doing. Coming out of the long bend he saw the disaster a few hundred meters ahead of him and applied full breaking power. With spark flying from the locked wheels the train skidded to a halt a few meters from where I was lying. Again I believe God’s angels were present, compelling the train to stop and averting a second accident which I am convinced would definitely have finished me off. “Call on me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you and you shall glorify me” Psalm 50:15.
That I survived such a high voltage shock is an absolute miracle. A subsequent E.C.G showed that there was no evidence of any damage to my heart. X-rays at the hospital confirmed that not a bone in my body was either broken or cracked, I only suffered minor bruises. The burn marks on my face also wonderfully healed.
glory, praise and honour unto the Lamb of God for his precious blood
which protected me in a very desperate situation.
I am also very grateful for the privilege of knowing the protective
power that there is in the Blood of Jesus.
Without that precious resource I doubt whether I would have
been alive today to write this testimony.
also the page entitled "The
Blood of the Cross"
in this web site.