Everyday Angels

Roadside angel appears from nowhere at Charlotte motorcycle accident, then vanishes

A few years ago on New Year’s Eve, my wife, Connie Smigiel, and I decided to go for a short motorcycle ride. I live in the Raintree area, just south of N.C. 51. We proceeded south on Providence Road and had just passed Ballantyne Commons Parkway when a huge SUV shot out of a parking lot on our right.

I had to swerve to keep Connie from getting struck in the head. (She was riding in the sidecar.) The car in front of me stopped, and I hit the bumper, sending me sailing over the handlebars onto the median.

The wreck knocked the wind out of me and broke my wrist. As I lay there gathering my wits, an older gentleman got next to me, felt all over my body to make sure my neck was not broken, took off my helmet and then returned to the motorcycle to help Connie.

She was struggling getting out of the sidecar and removing her helmet when he assisted her out of the sidecar and unsnapped and removed her helmet. He said to her, “I think he (meaning: me) is going to be OK.” Then, he vanished into thin air.

Several folks who had stopped to witness this were amazed and confused. My best guess … an angel!

I still get goose bumps when I retell the story. This was my last time on a motorcycle after 26 years.

Dan Starks, Charlotte

Note: Many readers will recall that Dan Starks was a personal safety specialist with WCNC-TV in Charlotte. He also had a column in the Observer.

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Did a stranger step in to offer you help out of the blue? Email rwilkerson@charlotteobserver.com. Include name, hometown and daytime number. Or mail Everyday Angels, Charlotte Observer, 600 S. Tryon, Charlotte, NC 28230. Roland Wilkerson