Have you ever found yourself in a bad situation where you were sure things were going to end up a lot worse than they did? Nathan Triska has — and he says the experience didn’t happen that long ago. “It was only about three years ago, when I was about 14, when my mom and I were actually in a car crash with a semi-truck!” he confides to J-14. “It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced.”

In fact, Nathan tells us he doesn’t think he’ll ever be able to forget that day. “My mom and I were just on our way to McDonald’s to get food when it happened,” he reveals to J-14. “She was driving and was turning the car when a semi-truck tried to pass us, which was illegal to do because there was a double yellow line. So when we were turning, the semi ended up hitting the front of our car!” In the moment, Nathan says everything was a complete blur as he and his mom found themselves experiencing a living nightmare. “It all just happened so fast,” he explains. “I remembered being so scared that the truck was going to crush us!”

Luckily, that wasn’t the case at all. “I don’t know how, but somehow we were OK,” Nathan says. “Well, I mean except the car, that was not OK. Our car was completely totaled, but my mom and I were fine. It was all so scary — you just never know how those things are going to end, and most of the time, it’s not good.”

Looking back, Nathan thinks that they definitely had someone watching over them that day. “I guess that situation counts as a touched by an angel kind of moment because if we had turned a second earlier, the semi would have ran us over — it could have killed us,” he opens up. “That’s really all I kept thinking about afterwards is how if one thing would have been different, we might not have made it out unharmed.”

And although Nathan says he hasn’t found himself in any other life-threatening scenarios since then, being in a car can cause him to get a little worried that it might happen again. “Sometimes I get nervous about driving or being in a car now,” he admits. Like, when I see a semi-truck, I tense up. I just think everyone needs to be really cautious when they’re behind the wheel and not ever text while driving or be reckless because it’s better to be safe than sorry.” We couldn’t agree with you more, Nathan!

Interview and story by Morgan McMurrin. "Nathan Triska reveals: 'A semi-truck almost killed us!'" originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of J-14.