Lake Charles family involved in major accident while traveling abroad

The Bray family accident

Members of a Lake Charles family are back home recovering after a major accident in Jamaica two weeks ago.

It all started as a celebration vacation for Dr. Nathan Bray, his wife Carol and their family. In all eight family members made the trip, but about an hour after arriving in Montego Bay things took a turn for the worse.

They were ready to celebrate an anniversary, a law school graduation and the passing of a licensing exam. The Bray family loaded on a tour bus and headed to their resort two hours down the road. But 30 minutes in a car pulled in front of the bus causing the bus to skid and roll over in a ditch.

"We were just pretty much thrown around like rag dolls," said Carol.

All 26 bus riders survived the crash, but not without injury.

"Just tried to get up and realized that I wasn't functioning as much as I normally would," said Dr. Bray.

Dr. Bray and his wife Carol are both home now recovering, but both sit in braces with broken backs and ribs. Carol has four broken vertebrae.

"We saw parts of Jamaica that most people don't get to see," said Carol. "Mostly the ceilings of the hospitals."

Their daughter-in-law Kristy was not injured in the crash and recalls the moments immediately after it happened.

"Surreal," said Kristy. "I remember just kind of standing up, thinking did this really just happen."  

The Bray's daughter Erica suffered a broken pelvis. But luckily while booking the trip, the family purchased insurance.

"It's very rare that a traveler has to depend upon the travel medical insurance, but when it happens they're awfully glad they had  it," said travel agent Jim Hanchey with Partners in Travel.

"For sure having been through this experience, I can say that it's very, very, very inexpensive, and if you needed it, it sure is nice," said Dr. Bray.

The family says the experience brought them closer together.

"I guess it was just a bit of a life changing experience," said Erica. "It was not your typical family vacation, but I think we all came out of it stronger."

"God sends us adversity in a variety of different ways," said Dr. Bray. "It's not what happens to you, but how you deal with it that counts."

Carol will be in her back brace for around three months. Dr. Bray won't be in his quite as long if things continue to heal correctly, but he wants his patients to know that he will be back at his dental practice as soon as possible.

Erica will remain on crutches for at least four to six more weeks. For the Brays, any more trips taken out of the country will for sure be insured.

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