Touching photo of couple reconnecting after car crash goes viral

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Sunday, January 10, 2016
Arika Stovall

TENNESSEE -- As a graphic design student at Lipscomb University, Arika Stovall always hoped her work would get noticed, but this is something she never saw coming.

The 21-year-old and her boyfriend were on their way home on New Year's Day.

Neither one of them remember how it happened. Hunter Hanks came to as his pickup truck was seconds away from slamming into a bridge support.

"I don't know how we lived through that," Stovall said.

Hanks' Toyota was mangled, and he suffered injuries on his face. However, a different moment entirely captured inside Stovall's hospital room is what social media can't stop sharing.

"All I cared about was seeing her and making sure she was OK before me. I didn't care what happened to me as long as she was all right," Hanks said.

A caption was not necessary. Their looks, their eyes and their neck braces were enough.

"Anyone who looks at that photo can tell something happened, and both were making sure we were okay," Hanks said.

So far, the picture has made its way around the world. Neither of the two quite understand how, but the messages they have received from pure strangers shows why.

"I mean, we've gotten hundreds of messages just telling us that our story brought them out of a dark place in their life and it changed their life," Stovall said.

It was a moment that apparently has changed many lives, and not just theirs.