Fayette SDA Church


Testimonies: Miracle on I-75 South

The Redley’s Toyota Sienna Van Ordeal

Written By: Donna Redley
Edited by: Michelle Thompson


    Over the past 33 years, my husband and I have only purchased Toyota vehicles because we thought they were safe and reliable. However, the near-fatal experience that occurred four months ago while my husband was driving his Toyota Sienna has left us in a state of bewilderment. Writing about this ordeal is very challenging for me. However, here is the story of how God rescued my family from the brink of death.

    On Saturday, December 16, 2023, our family of five, which includes my husband and I, and our three children were traveling from Georgia to Orlando, Florida for our well-deserved vacation. As we entered exit 177 bypass to Orlando at approximately 7:30 PM EST, my husband informed us that he could not control the van's speed. For more than 10 minutes the van accelerated from a speed of 60 miles per hour to a speed as high as 90 miles per hour. The vehicle would not slow down. Applying brakes did not reduce the speed either, so exiting the highway was out of the question because it would be far more dangerous to navigate the vehicle on local roads. Our daughter, Jo-Marie, called 911 for assistance, but no one could help us. What an ordeal this was. I prayed earnestly for deliverance, while my husband navigated the van from lane to lane to avoid hitting any vehicle. It was gut-wrenching, and scary as the kids helplessly watched the entire situation in dismay. We prayed, screamed, cried, and groaned as the uncertainties flashed before our eyes with no conceivable end.

     While I was crying out to God for help, my husband asked me to check the gas pedal. It was then that we discovered that it was stuck. I used both hands to pry it up, but by then the brakes were gone and we continued to speed down the highway. We continued to pray, cry, and groan as my husband did his very best to save our family and everyone else around us. Eventually, my husband was able to navigate the van to the right shoulder of the highway and it eventually slowed to a stop. The 911 operator told us to exit the vehicle immediately for fear of fire. Once we were outside we noticed that the inner metal rings of the wheels were orange. The 911 operator then told us to move away from the vehicle.

     We stood in the rain on the side of the highway in Macon, Georgia shaking, hugging, praying, and crying as we tried to make sense of our traumatic experience. We were on the side of the highway for approximately three hours without assistance. We eventually walked down the highway's embankment to a McDonald’s Restaurant some distance away. The manager was gracious enough to allow us to sit inside until they closed after 11 PM EST. From there we got in touch with the local police and they assisted us with getting a tow truck and an Uber ride. We left Macon after midnight for our home in Fayetteville which was 87 miles away. A few days later, the technicians at one of the local Toyota dealerships assessed the Sienna van and identified the
mechanical issue that should have taken the lives of my entire family, but for God’s intervention.

    Since the ordeal, my entire family has been having flashbacks and nightmares. Though our lives were miraculously spared we continue to relive the trauma that we experienced that Saturday evening. Everyone who hears of our ordeal is amazed that we survived and several of them have said that such an intense traumatic experience only happens in the movies. All I can say is thank God for opening a space so that my husband could change lanes because so many lives apart from ours were in danger. God is indeed a present help in times of trouble. He showed up just when we needed Him and made a way of escape for us.


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