Angel or Priest? Though the family of Katie Lentz, a Missouri teen who was recently involved in a near-fatal car accident, isn't sure whether to call the mysterious man who arrived on the scene an angel or just a guy who was in the right place at the right time, one thing is certain: Lentz asked for prayer and something miraculous took place that day. As a result, her life was saved.
So how did this angel priest happen to appear? The story begins Sunday, August 4, 2013 as Katie Lentz, a sophomore at Tulane University, left her parents home in Quincy, Illinois, headed for Jefferson City, Missouri to attend church service with friends. As Lentz neared Center, Missouri, she was unexpectedly engaged in a head-on collision with another driver. Law enforcement suspect the other driver was drunk and had crossed over the center line, causing the near-fatal accident.
Lentz's car, a Mercedes, was badly damaged in the wreck leaving it a mangled mess of metal. While Lentz was still alive after the collision, she was trapped inside her car, pinned between the steering wheel and seat. Rescue crews arrived on the scene of the Missouri car accident quickly but after an hour of sustained attempt to cut through the frame of the vehicle, they were still unable to extract the 19-year old from her wrecked car.
"It was a very well-built car, and when you compact materials like that one, they become even stronger because you're cutting through multiple things instead of one layer," said Fire Chief Raymond Reed, one of the first responders to the call.
As time passed and rescue workers were no closer to getting the girl out of the vehicle, medical aid workers present said the girl was fading fast.
The team had decided to attempt turning the vehicle back onto its wheels even though in doing so, they knew it could mean trouble for Lentz. The change in the car's pressure might leave the teen fighting for breath and ultimately lead to her death. It seemed all hope was being lost and Katie Lentz might see her life cut short by this tragic Missouri car accident when, as a last resort, Lentz called out to rescue workers to pray for her. As soon as the words were uttered, rescue workers reported a man's voice was heard behind them saying "I will."
Mysterious Priest Appears At Missouri Car Accident, Praying And Anointing With Oil
The mysterious man, who seemingly appeared out of nowhere, was dressed in typical priest-like garb with black pants, black shirt and a white collar insert. The angel priest or priest angel as the family later referred to him, had anointing oil with him and began to pray for the teen while anointing her body with oil. He then told the rescue workers to remain calm, that their tools would now work and the girl would be rescued.
Soon after the prayer, the Hannibal Fire Department arrived on the scene, bringing with them new equipment. The rescue workers, who seemed renewed, flipped the car back onto its wheels and with the new equipment proceeded to free Katie Lentz from the vehicle.
The girl, it seems was saved with the help from an unknown friend, the mysterious angel priest who arrived just in time. Katie was then air lifted to a nearby hospital as rescue workers prepared to thank the man who had been their inspiration. When they looked for him though, the mysterious angel priest was nowhere to be found. Furthermore, in the near 70 photos of the Missouri car wreck that emerged, none of them show the man anywhere on the scene.
All involved in the event believe this rescue was truly miraculous as a quarter mile of the highway had been blocked off where the accident occurred. There were no signs of how the man could have arrived there or where he went and none of the rescue workers recognized him.
"We're all local people from four different towns ... We've only got one Catholic church out of three towns and it wasn't their priest," said Reed.
Reed went on to share his thoughts about the mysterious man who appeared that day.
"I think it's a miracle ... I would say whether it was an angel that was sent to us in the form of a priest or a priest that became our angel, I don't know. Either way, I'm good with it."
Meanwhile, Carla Churchill Lentz, teenager Katie Lentz's mother said, "I do believe he certainly could have been an angel dressed in priest's attire because the Bible tells us there are angels among us."
Friends and family of Katie Lentz are on the search for this silver haired man in his 50's-60's as they hope to express their gratitude for his prayer that saved a young girl's life. According to Lentz's friend, Travis Wiseman,
"We're looking for the priest and so far, no one has seen him. Whether it was a priest as an angel or an actual angel, he was an angel to all those and to Katie."
To that first responder Reed added, "We would like to find this gentleman and be able to thank him ... as a first responder, you don't know what you're going to run into. We have a lot of tools, and we have intensive training. In this particular case, it is my feeling that it was nothing more than sheer faith and nothing short of a miracle."
How Is Katie Lentz Doing? Condition Updated From Critical To Serious As Search For Angel Priest Continues
Though Katie was miraculously rescued, the teen is not completely out of danger yet. Being treated at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Ill, for numerous injuries including broken ribs, wrist, and other internal injuries, her mother shares that her daughter's condition has been upgraded to serious as she prepares to undergo multiple surgeries.
"She sustained a lot of injuries, however, her face is beautiful, her teeth are perfect, she is sunshine, and everyone who's contacted us - those emergency personnel, the Missouri State Patrol, the deputies, the firemen - they are all saying the same thing, she never cried, she never screamed, she would just say, 'pray for me and pray out loud' ... we would like nothing more than to carry that message forward for her."
Watch "'Angel' Priest Appears to Help Trapped Teen Following Horrible Car Crash"
What do you think of this mysterious man who appeared? Just a priest in the right place at the right time or was he an angel helping to make a miracle happen? Share your thoughts in the comments below.