A local Boyne City man with a life devoted to the scientific method believes he’s found that there are things in life that go beyond atoms and electrons.
Dan Chapp claims he learned that lesson during a deathdefying ordeal.
“I’ve always been the scientific type,” said Chapp. “I’ve taught chemistry and biology and physics, and these are all things that involve split second events.”
The story began with a trip downstate and an appointment with an eye specialist.
Having a rough time getting through construction and a traffic circle, he returned to the place he had been staying afterwards.
“I was ready to head back home, but my wife kept delaying,” said Chapp.
He recalled that, as his wife took her time getting things ready, he sat down to watch television, but eventually grew restless.
“I started to put things into the car and show that I was ready to get on the road,” he said.
As he loaded the car, he placed a can of gasoline in the back.
“I didn’t really secure it down, but I did pack some things around it to make sure that it wouldn’t spill,” he said.
As the Chapps headed north on the highway, his wife heard a noise from the car.
After asking what it was, Chapp explained that there was an issue with a brake pad, and it had been dislodged from the caliper.
“My wife asked me if it was dangerous,” said Chapp with a slight shrug.
Traveling north on the highway, traffic was tight, and construction made it even worse.
“I’m typically the type of driver that likes to get between two big trucks and cruise at a nice slow speed,” said Chapp. “There was a big white van ahead of me, some other car behind me, and a large semi truck behind them.”
It was then that things came to a halt.
“The van in front of me stopped dead,” said Chapp. “It didn’t gradually slow down, it just stopped, and we were packed close together. My wife kept saying ‘don’t brake’ and looking at the vehicle behind us, but it was too fast to go onto the shoulder and there was traffic in the other lane.”
He added, “I don’t know how, but we managed to stop with very little room to spare, and the vehicle behind us didn’t hit us either.”
Getting out of the car, Chapp noted the white van at the side of the road and understood what had happened.
A woman exited the vehicle and pulled an orange construction barrel from the underside of the car.
“It was then that I realized that everyone was perfectly calm even though we all just almost died,” said Chapp.
“I looked in the window of the van and saw an Amish-looking man in the front and a bunch of mentally handicapped children in the back. They were transporting children,” he added.
Remembering the can of gasoline in the back of his own vehicle and the semi truck two cars back, Chapp said the reality of the situation sank in.
“If everything hadn’t happened in the precise order and time that it did, those children could possibly be dead,” said Chapp, noting the various delays that ensured a specific time frame to his trip.
Chapp noted specific things such as his brakes not failing when he needed them, the semi being able to stop in time, and the calmness and lack of injuries, explaining that he feels something was at work there.
“I believe we all have guardian angels, but I don’t think one angel could have done this alone,” said Chapp. “I believe this was a cooperative work between many, many angels to keep those kids safe.”
And, according to Chapp, that time isn’t going to go to waste.
“We’re not living on borrowed time, we’re living on gifted time now,” said Chapp. “Every moment need to be treated with that much care; and each of those kids are living their lives on gifted time.”
According to a 2011 Associated Press GfK Poll, eight out of 10 Americans—that’s nearly 77 percent—believe in angels.