Imagine how horrible it would be to receive news that a loved one has died in a tragic car accident. Now, imagine how you would feel if that person then suddenly showed up on your doorstep, completely unharmed. This is just what happened to the Ibarra family.
Father Returns After “Dying” In A Car Crash
In early September, the Ibarra family received the worst news possible. Their father, step-father, and husband Elder Tomas Ocampomejia had died in a tragic car accident. He was just 42 years old. (1)
The report stated that he was driving on Interstate 275 when a semi-truck rammed him from behind. He was ejected from the vehicle and died on-site. Not long afterward, the police informed Jasmin Ibarra who’s half-brother was Ocampomejia’s son and Jasmin’s mother. Her mother went into complete shock. The pair slowly began calling other family members to deliver the tragic news. The final person that they needed to tell was Jasmin’s 9-year-old half-brother. He was busy getting ready for school, and they knew they couldn’t wait any longer to tell him. He was going to be absolutely devastated.
A Miracle – Kind Of
Before they had the chance to tell the boy about the car crash, however, a vehicle pulled into the driveway. The vehicle belonged to Ocampomejia. Jasmin couldn’t believe what she was saying.
“I just went outside running,” Jasmin recalled. “I needed to see if he was dead or not[…] and it was Elder. And I just opened the door and said, ‘You know you’re supposed to be dead,’ and he just looked shocked and was like, ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about.’”
They then immediately reached out to their local news outlet to clear the story up before anyone else got the wrong information. The police, who were continuing to investigate the crash, confirmed that they had indeed misidentified the deceased victim. For the Ibarra family, it feels like Ocampomejia came back from the dead. For him, however, it was just a very strange few hours.
“It was crazy,” he said. “It was a long movie for me. It just feels like a movie.”
The police did confirm that one man did, in fact, die in the car crash. There was a female in the passenger seat who was airlifted to the hospital with serious injuries and the driver of the other vehicle survived with just minor injuries.
Not The First Person To ‘Return From The Dead’
In January, there was an outbreak of COVID-19 at a long-term care home in the north of Spain. The staff informed the family of resident Rogelia Blanco that they transferred her to another facility for specialized care, where she died of the illness. 10 days later, to the family’s surprise, the 85-year-old woman returned to the nursing home in full health. It turns out, there was a mix-up between Blanco and her roommate, who unfortunately passed of the viral infection. (2)
Also in 2020, an elderly Portuguese man had spent the last two months sick in the hospital. The hospital then informed the family of the 92-year-old that he had died of respiratory issues related to COVID-19. They began preparing for a funeral, however, the hospital would not let the family see the body. After the funeral, the family got a call from the hospital saying that they had made an error. The body they buried was not their loved one, but someone else. Their family member was still alive. (3)
It’s hard to imagine how difficult and exhausting that roller coaster of emotions would be first thinking a loved one died and then having them suddenly return. I suppose, however, having them “return” is better than losing them for real.
- “Supposed victim in fatal I-275 crash shows up next day, shocks family.” Fox19. Courtney King and Brian Planalp. September 9 2021.
- “Woman who ‘died’ of COVID-19 returns to Spanish nursing home after identity mix-up.” USA Today. N’dea Yancey-Bragg. January 25, 2021.
- “Man Discovered Alive 18 Days After Funeral.” IHeart. Jason Hall. February 3, 2021.