On the night of September 24, 2014, Bailey Buchanan and her North Central Texas College teammates were on the way home after playing against another team in Oklahoma.
Bailey remembers stopping at Braum’s, an ice cream and burger joint, which is located on I-35 in Oklahoma.
“We were enjoying the moment, I guess…we were just goofing off,” Bailey recounted, according to IJ Review. “We were happy.”
“I saw the girls laying outside the bus,” she added.
After leaving Braum’s, Bailey fell asleep to the site of her smiling teammates. The young pitcher later woke up to a nightmare: an 18-wheeler traveling in the opposite direction had crashed into her team’s school bus, killing four of her teammates.
“I was thinking about the other girls,” Bailey remembered. “And then I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I should call my parents to tell them what happened.’ I was in shock.”
Despite suffering a snapped pelvis and many other injuries, Bailey managed to get herself to the exit door, where her coach and a good samaritan were able to pull her out of the wreckage.
Bailey was the last girl to make it out of the bus alive.
“Someone else came over, a girl, I don’t know who she was,” Bailey said of what happened next. “I asked her if she had a phone and she said ‘yes, one second.’ I gave her my mom’s number, but she didn’t answer. So I tried my dad, and he answered. The woman held the phone up to [my] ear so I could talk to him.”
Bailey was quickly airlifted Oklahoma University Medical Center where she endured several surgeries and months of rehab. Nearly a year later, she’s still not done.
The young college student credits God and prayers from thousands of people, many of whom are strangers, for her recovery. Bailey has come really far, and is set to return to school this fall, but there’s one goal that she still has left to achieve.
“I’ve been waiting for the moment that I get back on the active softball roster and actually step out on the field for a game,” she said. “That’s where I will be able to tell myself, ‘You made it. You did it. You accomplished so much. You beat all the odds.’ I’ll be back to being me. I’ll be healed.”
Please keep Bailey and her team in your prayers!