MACCLENNY, Fla. – A Baker County tow truck driver working the graveyard shift is being credited for possibly saving an elderly woman’s life.
The remarkable episode unfolded about 2:15 a.m. Thursday on County Road 125 in the tightknit community of Manntown, just outside of Macclenny.
Chris Miracle, who works for his family's business Miracle Towing and Recovery, was headed to an out-of-county call about a road block when he saw some flashing lights in the woods while looking for deer.
Miracle couldn't shake the feeling that he needed to turn around. "I went about a mile down the road and I was like, 'This doesn't look right,'" he recalled. "Nothing flashes at the church."
It's a good thing he trusted his gut.
Searching for the source of the light through some thick brush about 40 yards off the road, he spotted a car plunged halfway into a creek behind the Manntown Church.
"I mean, it was almost sitting nose down," Miracle said.
When he opened the car's door, he found a 77-year-old woman seated inside. He started asking her questions -- was she OK? Was there anyone else with her?
As Miracle learned, the unnamed woman's vehicle had veered off the road after an apparent mishap with her medication. Without a cell phone and unable to open the car doors, she had nowhere to go.
So the woman turned off the sedan's engine, switched on her hazard lights and played some gospel music to pass the time.
Miracle, who happens to be a volunteer firefighter, called for rescue. Then he winched the car with the woman inside and hauled it to safety. The woman was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Incidentally, the motto for Miracle Towing and Recovery is "miracles do happen here." As Miracle would agree, there's perhaps no better example of those words than Thursday's timely rescue.
"Absolutely," he said. "And no better place for a miracle to happen than at the Manntown church. I mean the timing was just impeccable."
Based on how well the woods hid the car, Miracle doesn't think it's likely he would have noticed it without the flashing lights. He doesn't think anyone would have seen it during daytime.
That could have been disastrous for the woman inside.
The woman, who asked not to be identified, is out of the hospital and is doing well. She told News4Jax she's thankful for Miracle and the first responders who came to her rescue.
While some might call it coincidence or just plain old luck, Miracle thinks there's definitely more to it. To him, it's a miracle in Manntown.
"God’s work," he said. "Right place, right time. It was meant to be."