‘Angels’ on the scene

Published 10:59 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2009

On her way home from the doctor’s office Monday, Rebecca McGlamery wasn’t thinking about the possibility of an accident.

She and her mother-in-law had just taken her 4-year-old daughter and 18-month-old son to the pediatrician, and then treated them to Rita’s Italian Ice because they had behaved well. The foursome then headed for home in the Pitchkettle Road area.

McGlamery’s mistake, she says, was taking Nansemond Parkway.

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“I’ve always hated that road,” she said. “It was a freak thing that I even went that way.”

McGlamery and her mother-in-law were chatting as McGlamery drove down the road in the white SUV. The children were in the back seat, eating their ice cream.

Then, the worst happened. Their car collided head-on with a four-door sedan headed in the opposite direction, driven by Jack Barton, of Suffolk. The two cars spun and skidded across the road — McGlamery’s coming to rest in the middle of the road, Barton’s in the ditch.

After the wreck, McGlamery freed herself from the car and managed to get her daughter’s door open.

“My daughter was unconscious,” McGlamery said. “Her eyes were fixed open. I thought she was dead.”

Screaming, McGlamery pulled the young girl from the car and stood in the middle of the street, holding her.

That was when the angels came, McGlamery said.

“There were two people that I can remember distinctly,” she said. “They were just like angels.”

McGlamery said that a middle-aged black woman came up to her and comforted her.

“The lady came over and just grabbed me right away and held me and my little girl,” she said.

A middle-aged white man also saw the situation, and took charge. He took the girl — still seemingly dead — from her mother’s arms and handed her son to her to hold. While the man was holding the girl, she regained consciousness, McGlamery said.

Other passersby attended to McGlamery’s mother-in-law and to Barton, she said.

“They kept me calm,” she said. “I’m just grateful to the people that were there. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

The four in McGlamery’s car escaped with minor injuries. McGlamery’s sternum, a finger and a toe are broken, and she and her mother-in-law have bruises from the seatbelts. Barton — airlifted from the scene because of the extent of his injuries — is in stable condition at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

McGlamery hopes to make contact with the people who helped her and her family. Someone at the scene said he would try to get some names for her, but she still hasn’t heard from him, she said.

“I just want them to know that it meant so much,” McGlamery said. “It just meant the world, and I’ll never forget them.”

McGlamery added that she would understand if her good Samaritans did not want to come forward.

“If it were me … I would just be like, ‘Well, of course that’s what I was going to do,’” McGlamery said. “Just for them to read an article that I said thanks … Maybe someone else will read it, and the next time they pass an accident, they might stop and do the same.”

If you are one of the people McGlamery described, call 934-9609 or e-mail tracy.agnew@suffolknewsherald.com to be put in touch with McGlamery.

The cause of the accident still is under investigation.