The 21-year-old woman driver who lost control making the turn at the corner of Utica and Mineral is devastated that her car struck and killed a 47-year-old Baltimore, Maryland, resident who was in Denver attending the Colorado Center for the Blind. David Nanney and two other students were struck by the woman’s vehicle while waiting for a bus to take them to the center. The accident occurred on Friday morning, just a day before he was scheduled to fly back to be with his family for Christmas. Apparently, as the blind man heard the approaching automobile skidding onto the sidewalk where the three stood, he “pushed the two women out of the way and took the brunt of the hit” (9News.com). He was a carpenter in Maryland and was here to learn how to use, in his sightless condition, the tools of his trade. He is remembered as thoughtful, charitable, and a natural leader. He was well-liked by all who met him (www.denverpost.com, Howard Pankratz and Carlos Illescas, “Denver And The West”, 10-18-10).
Thinking about the individuals making up this story, some things come to mind. First, the young woman driving the car feels she’s done the unthinkable. Reports indicate she will be charged with some traffic violation, but nothing will likely penalize her like her own conscience in the time to come. Then, the two women saved by Nanney will likely feel gratitude for as long as they live that someone did something to save their lives and wound up losing his to do it. Finally, there’s Nanney. He apparently was a man full of good deeds in life who gave his life doing good. In fact, he made the ultimate sacrifice.
Occasionally, life’s tragedies yield powerful illustrations of vicarious sacrifice and incomparable love. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Scripture says that Jesus, the ultimate sacrificer, “died for us” (Rom. 5:8; 1 Th. 5:10), “died for all” (2 Cor. 5:14), and “died for sins” (1 Pet. 3:18). He was perfectly sinless (2 Cor. 5:21), but was purposely sent for our sins (Gal. 4:4-5). Nanney is an unqualified hero because he shoved two friends out of harm’s way. Jesus is the unparalleled hero of Calvary because His death saves us from eternal condemnation. May we appreciate the great price paid which gives us life!