Family unharmed during 'traumatic' I-70 accident

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By Ian Neligh

Lauren Harvey experienced a nightmare scenario when strong winds toppled a tractor-trailer over onto her family's car while driving west on I-70 past Georgetown on March 9.

"It was really traumatic, scary and awful," Harvey said.

While her children Estelle, 3, and Echo, 1, sat in their car seats in the back of the vehicle, a tractor-trailer traveling westbound, at about 10:50 a.m., tipped over onto the family's 1994 Volvo station wagon, crushing it.

Thanks to some quick thinking, a Volvo and lots of luck, by the time it was all over the family was largely unharmed.

'Parental instincts'

Harvey was sitting in the passenger seat while her husband, Wayne, drove with their two young children to Breckenridge from Denver to see family for the day. Harvey said she and her husband remember the horrific incident in detail as it occurred.

"We were very aware and alert during it, I just thought it wasn't going to end the way it did," Harvey said. "We were yelling and screaming, and I was watching as the semi crushed the roof over my 1-year-old's head. I definitely did not think the outcome was going to be what it was."

As the car was caught and dragged more than 400 feet, the roof began giving way under the tremendous weight of the truck. While being pulled along by the truck, both parents reached back and did their best to keep the roof from falling in.

"It was falling in more, and more, so my husband and I both reached behind and pushed up the roof off where it was crashing in over our baby's head," Harvey said.

They strained to keep the roof from falling in further.

"Parental instincts, I guess. You don't know what they'll be until you're in that moment," Harvey said. "Because we both just did it immediately and were yelling and looking at each other and just pushing it up with all of our might."

Later Harvey said pictures show that there's a perfect dome over where Echo was sitting.

"Miraculously, we were able to kind of protect her head from the roof crashing in," Harvey said. "Once we finally stopped, I got her out of her car seat and exited ... and Wayne exited through my door. Then he got Estelle out of her car seat, and we ran to the shoulder."

By that time traffic was stopped and other people were getting out of their cars and running over to the family of four. While there were no serious injuries, Wayne received a concussion and back and neck pain that didn't manifest itself until hours later.

"He's not doing great, but given the circumstances he's doing remarkably well," Harvey said. "But he's definitely feeling it."

For her part, Harvey said she has a lot of soreness in her arm from where she was pushing on the roof.

"I'm also, given the circumstances, doing fairly well," Harvey said. "Emotionally, we're pretty jolted still."

While the family is doing fine, their car was totaled and because of the circumstances of the accident being caused by the wind their insurance company is not paying for any repairs.

The family set up a GoFundMe account looking to raise $3,000 to help them buy another used Volvo. In two days, $1,810 has been donated to the fund.

"We are forever a Volvo family," Harvey said. "We were told by every single person on the scene, all the police, all the paramedics, everyone that the only reason we survived was because we were in a Volvo."

For information on how to help the Harvey family go to https://www.gofundme.com/postcrash-expenses-for-harveys.