Couple's Touching Post-Crash Photo Goes Viral

Tennessee couple says it's miraculous they survived
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2016 10:17 AM CST

The picture says it all: Two young people, both in neck braces, smiling at each other—relieved to be alive and reunited. The photo of Arika Stovall and boyfriend Hunter Hanks has been shared nearly 90,000 times since Stovall posted it on Facebook last week following a harrowing New Year's Day crash. The Tennessee couple, both 21, were driving home from Florida when Hanks' pickup truck hit a bridge support in Murfreesboro, ABC News reports; neither remembers what happened, WTVF notes. "I don't know how we lived through that," Stovall tells the station, reflecting upon a photo of the mangled truck. Hanks posted a photo of the truck to Facebook, noting, "It's only by the grace of God (that we don't deserve) that just 2 days later we're able to smile and stand in front of this huge pile of destroyed metal."

In the hospital, "all I cared about was seeing her and making sure she was OK before me, I didn't care what happened to me as long as she was alright," Hanks says. Somehow, both were OK, which Stovall marveled about in her viral Facebook post: "I'm overwhelmed at how little damage was done to Hunter and I in a wreck that should have chopped our bodies in half," she wrote, noting that the truck spun "exactly where it should have to be able to smash into the pilar directly in the middle of me and Hunter so we were both untouched." The result? "No broken bones, concussions that lasted not even 24 hours, no internal damage, and just a few stitches in my knee and [Hunter's] face. Only that, after an accident that paramedics wonder how we didn't die instantly and a truck that looks like it's been through a tree grinder." (More uplifting news stories.)

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