In an Instant

Junior Morgan Strauss says faith and friendship is helping her heal from a horrific car crash that happened in the fall.


Students gather for a prayer before the Powder Puff game for Junior Morgan Strauss, who had been severely injured in a car crash the day before.

Junior Morgan Strauss’ morning started out like any other on Sunday, November 6th. She was driving on Rte. 73 around 11 a.m. with her 14-year-old brother, Evan, and humming along to Christian rock the radio, on the way to pick up their other brother.

Then, in an instant, her life was turned upside down when she saw a blue truck flying toward her on the road.

“I remember screaming and being tossed around,” she said. “I opened my eyes and saw smoke, and I couldn’t think for a minute.”

Once it quieted down, she heard people yelling, screaming and saying things like, “The other driver wasn’t wearing a seatbelt!” and “Call 911!”.

A nurse came to help Evan, who had minor injuries, get out of the car. Afterwards, the nurse got in the backseat and held Morgan’s hand; she was severely injured and stuck in the car. Morgan asked the nurse if they could pray to God to help her get through, and to help the other driver.

She says her faith is what got her through those first traumatic moments — and the rest of what was to be a long road to recovery.

The other driver, a 46-year-old man named Bryan, coded three times on the scene and ended up dying 10 days later from injuries sustained in the crash — which appears to simply have been a bizarre accident.

“He just overcorrected himself,” Morgan said. “We were only going 50 mph. Maybe he was going faster, but he died…I don’t think a lot of people know that, but he passed away. It can happen so fast.”

Morgan says that she believes the reason she survived is because God wanted her to share her story with everyone.

“I’m very thankful to be alive,” she said. ”I know that God saved me cause I’m not done on Earth yet.”

God saved me and I’m here to share my story.”

— Morgan Strauss

Morgan says she was stuck in the car at the accident scene for a long time, but she cannot recall much more than that. A nurse put in an IV, which failed the first time due to a vein blowing in Morgan’s hand. The second time around, the IV went in successfully and the pain medication kicked in.

“I’m really glad I don’t remember that, because I was probably in so much pain, and moving my leg like that must have hurt so badly.”

In the accident, she broke her femur and two other bones in her right leg. After emergency workers finally got her out of the car, she was airlifted to the Lehigh Valley Hospital, which has one of the best trauma teams in the state. She remembers being in the ER, falling asleep and waking up to the surgeon talking to her parents.

She went into surgery for several hours to fix her three broken bones, and spent another week at the hospital. Having people take the time to stop by and visit her in the hospital kept her spirit up.

“That made my day,” she said.

Those who couldn’t stop by sent her messages. She didn’t get her phone back until the Thursday after her accident, and said she was so happy when she saw all the Instagram posts and messages wishing her luck and to get well soon. “It’s amazing – I didn’t realize how many people actually cared about me.

“My friends helped me be social,” she said. “They didn’t stop talking to me because I wasn’t in school.”

One of the most touching moments of support she received was the night of the BASH Powderpuff game, which was the day after the accident and something Morgan had planned on playing in. She was still recovering at the hospital, so everyone wore Morgan’s number on their face. Before the game, everyone kneeled and said a prayer for her.

“What happened at Powderpuff, that made me cry,” she said. “My mom cried, too.”

Her step-dad gave her mom the picture for her birthday of everyone kneeling at the game and her mom standing up and praying.

“Here I was surrounded with these beautiful, loving hearts and I prayed… we prayed,” Morgan’s mom recalls, “It is a moment I forever keep precious in my heart, and one that I will never forget.”

Morgan’s car was totalled in her horrific accident.

Morgan continued to get support when she returned to school after missing a month. She was in a wheelchair for a while, then had a walker. She improves a little each day, but it’s a slow recovery. Just this week, she has started walking on her own, but she still is not totally back to normal.

“Even now I still have a hard time,” she said. “Like yesterday, I was crying my head off, I’m just angry, I want it to be over. I want to be walking normally again,” she said. “I know that it’s going to happen at some point, so I just have to keep praying and God’s going to help me through it.”

Her youth group at New Hanover United Methodist Church has been a big source of strength for her. “They help me feel normal throughout all the changes.”

Morgan has always had a strong faith, and it has become even stronger since the accident. She didn’t remember it until later, but the song that was playing in the car when she crashed was “Blessed Be The Name” by Christian artist Matt Redman. It contains the verse, “Even when the darkness closes in, blessed be the name.”

“It’s just cool,” she said, “because I didn’t realize it then, but after we crashed it was silent and there was so much smoke and everything, and the darkness was kind of closing in on me, but like the song says — ‘Blessed be the name’. 

She wants to share the deep appreciation for life that she has gained.

“I’m so thankful for everyone in my life,” she said. “I realize that a lot of people care about me and it’s really great to know that.”

Her advice to others is: “Apologize, and don’t hold grudges. Be nice to people. Don’t worry about life as much. Love your life as much as you can.”