Fortunately, these folks were in the right place at the right time. From changed plans to forgetful fumbles, people share how luck was on their side after making a life-saving mistake. Content has been edited for clarity.
“It Felt Like A Jumbo Jet Crashed”
“One morning I woke up, looked at my to-do list, and realized I needed to make a couple of adjustments. After dropping my children off at school at 8:30, I had planned to go downtown to the Social Security Administration for a replacement Social Security card.
I realized I had another appointment at 10:00 the same morning, and trying to squeeze in a trip to the Social Security office would have cut it too close. I had forgotten to get my birth certificate out of my safe deposit box at the bank the day before and would have had to run by there first. So, I crossed through the Social Security office on my list and wrote ‘tomorrow’ next to it.
I took the kids to school as planned at 8:30 and was kicking myself for forgetting to get my birth certificate the day before so I could just head on downtown to the Social Security office. So, instead, I went back home, took a shower, and stood in my bedroom when a large ‘boom’ shook my house. It felt like a jumbo jet crashed nearby. I frantically rushed outside and looked around, but saw nothing.
This morning was April 19th, 1995. I lived in Oklahoma City. The Social Security office I was going to after dropping the kids off at school was located on the ground floor of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. At 9:02 in the morning, a truck bomb exploded in front of the Murrah building with such force it was felt up to 55 miles away. I was eight miles away when I felt the staggering blast.
The blast wiped out the Social Security office, and, sadly, the children’s daycare for federal employees. Had I not made the mistake of forgetting to go by my safe deposit box the day before, I would have followed my to-do list and would have, undoubtedly, been inside the Social Security Administration at 9:02 in the morning.
The mistake of forgetting to go to the bank the afternoon before saved my life. What a horrible day it was.”
“A Simple Mistake Saved My Life”
“Back in 1999, I was a rebellious teenager living in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. I had about a 20-minute drive from downtown. During this time, I loved going to raves. I heard about a rave coming up and it was supposed to be fantastic. A friend told me to buy my ticket at a small business located downtown. These lower-priced, pre-purchased tickets were expected to sell out fast for this rave, so I made sure to go the first day they went on sale. Unfortunately (but also very fortunately), either I had mistaken the date, or my friend who had given me the info was mistaken, because the business was closed this day.
Disappointed, I drove back home empty-handed, with the intent to go back the next day, right after lunch.
Well, the next day, it looked sort of stormy, and I didn’t feel like driving all the way there and back again. So, I opted to just plan to pay a higher price for the ticket at the rave and I’d just stay home this day.
The same day, right at the time I had planned to be back downtown, there was a freak tornado in the exact spot I had planned to be. A freaking tornado! Salt Lake City didn’t get tornadoes, ever. It was an F2 tornado and it injured over a hundred people. It caused $170 million of damage, including ripping apart the small business which I had planned to be.
If I hadn’t made a wasted trip on August 10th, I would have been exactly where the tornado touched down on August 11th, and I probably would have died. A simple mistake did save my life.”
“I Wouldn’t Have Made It Out Alive”
“For some reason, I overslept and was three hours late to work one day.
I felt quite bad about the whole thing. This was before mobile emails were a thing, so I called in to tell my boss I would be late. So, I walked into the office around noon hoping to avoid colleagues seeing me late. The first people I saw were the CEO and a bunch of other senior guys, all gathered around my cubicle.
‘Ok, this is my last day in this job,’ I thought.
However, the CEO looked at me, relieved, and said ‘Good morning. Good to see you were late.”
It was quite an unusual greeting.
Then, I realized what happened. The hinges holding a huge office air conditioner above my cubicle had failed, and it had gone down right into my seat. The monitor was smashed in two parts, there was a huge bend in the tower case, and the keyboard had a few keys missing and a dent in the middle of the metal pad.
The air conditioner had fallen at around eleven in the morning, and I came to the office only one hour later. Should I have come in on time on this day, I wouldn’t have made it out alive.”
“She Could Have Lost Her Life”
“This wasn’t about my life, but my daughter’s.
My daughter and I were on a car trip traveling down some back roads. At the time, she was 4 years old.
She asked, ‘Mom, can I get out of my car seat?’
I never let her out of her car seat before.
‘Why do you need out?’ I replied.
‘I want to make a bed on the floor of the backseat so I can lay down and read,’ my daughter explained.
I thought to myself, ‘What could it hurt?’ and let her do it.
Not even five minutes later, a huge gust of wind pushed my car off the road and down into an embankment. The passenger side tire hit a tree stump. The car ended up on its nose before it came to a bouncing rest.
When everything settled, my daughter was still on the floor with only a small bruise on her cheek. The cooler in the backseat full of heavy items was in my daughter’s car seat! She could have lost her life or been seriously injured.
It was a mistake because letting your child out of their car seat is always a mistake. However, it was a mistake I was glad I made.”