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Area woman remembers talking to mystery priest (VIDEO)

She witnessed head-on collision injuring Katie Lentz August 9, 2013 at 5:00 a.m. | Updated August 9, 2013 at 5:00 a.m.
Katie Lentz, seen in this family photo, was injured Sunday in a Ralls County crash. Rescuers struggled to remove her from her crumpled car but finally were successful after an unidentified priest offered spiritual comfort at the scene.

Editor's Note: The following article is a followup to Priest comes out of nowhere to aid accident victim, posted on Thursday.

Debi Shafer was driving home from Iowa on Missouri 19 near Center on Sunday morning when she witnessed the head-on collision that left Katie Lentz trapped.

Little did she know, she was about to play a role in what some are calling a miracle.

Lentz, who was driving three cars in front of Shafer, is a summer intern at the Community Health Center of Central Missouri and attends the same Jefferson City church as Shafer, First Assembly of God. Lentz, who's living in Jefferson City, is originally from Quincy, Ill.

Following the collision, Shafer, who was traveling with her daughter and a friend, got out of her car. Others who witnessed the accident did the same.

Informed that a sheriff and an ambulance were on their way, Shafer said as a nurse she knew the girl in the mangled car needed more help. So, the Linn woman called the Highway Patrol.

She said she could hear Lentz screaming before emergency responders arrived on scene.

"Poor little Katie, she was screaming out, "Is this for real? Is this really real?'" Shafer recalled. "She was screaming, "I can't feel my legs! I can't feel my legs! I can't feel my legs!'

"And, then one time, she yelled out, "Jesus!' Just like he was walking past her. "Come help me!'

"It was the most purest voice I've ever heard in my life," Shafer said. "After that, I had more of a calmness and more of a hope for her, and all I did was pray."

Shafer said she stood nearby, but not too close. After an hour of emergency crews working to remove Lentz from her crushed Mercedes, a policeman told witnesses they had to go home.

"We were on the way out and every car, I stopped to tell them that there was a serious accident and they had to turn around," Shafer said.

She said she gave them directions on how to get back on Missouri 19. That's when she saw the priest.

She pulled over and rolled down the windows of her car and her friend, Bonnie Hamburg, greeted the priest

Shafer said, "Oh, please go to the girl who was in the wreck. Please go to Katie. Please go to Katie."

"Has she passed on?" the priest asked.

"Oh, no. Oh, no," Shafer said. "She needs you. She needs your prayers. Please go see her."

According to Shafer, the priest said he would go and anoint everyone and that then everything would be OK.

"To me, he had dark hair, parted on the side, and it was combed over, and he had on a black shirt and a collar and he spoke with an Irish accent," Shafer said. "Bonnie said he looked like he had all gray hair. My daughter said she thought he had black hair."

When asked why she thought God saved Lentz, Shafer said she thinks it had to do with how Katie started all of the praying.

"She had tremendous strength in her voice," Shafer said. "It was so pure."

She said she's grateful she was able to help Lentz in some way by calling Highway Patrol.

She's following the 19-year-old's recovery on Facebook, and describes Lentz as "one in a million."

"To be such a bad thing, she sure changed my life," Shafer said. "I hope I get to say hello to her and give her a hug."

Click here if video interview with state trooper fails to load automatically.

Click here if video interview with sheriff's deputy fails to load automatically.

Related Articles:

Pastor praises miracles following accident

Priest comes out of nowhere to aid accident victim

Related Links:

Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report

New London Fire Department on Facebook

Katie Lentz' mother on Facebook


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