Don Piper attended the Baptist General Convention of Texas in January 1989 which was held at a conference center, Trinity Pines, on the north shore of Lake Livingston. When the conference ended, Piper left to drive home to Alvin, Texas, a suburban area of Houston. It was raining and freezing, making the roadways unsafe. He was hit head-on by an eighteen-wheeler. The impact was guessed to be about 110 miles an hour. Piper was declared dead at 11:45 am by paramedics that responded to the accident. They reported no pulse, no signs of breathing and no blood pressure. His body was extremely mangled, and he suffered tremendous head injuries. They would have needed the Arms of Life to free him, but since he was declared dead at the scene, they never made the call.
Also leaving the conference were two of its speakers, Dick and Anita Onarecker. Hearing of the horrible wreck, Dick felt compelled by God to go and pray for Piper, although they didn’t know him. They parked their vehicle and walked about a half mile in the freezing rain to reach the site of the wreck. The police were waiting for a car to deliver Piper’s body to the morgue. It was now 1:15 and according to the paramedics Piper had been dead for about 90 minutes, no pulse, no breathing. When Dick and his wife reached the site, they asked if they could pray for him. They were repeatedly told that the man was dead. Still, Dick felt that God wanted him to pray for Piper. He was finally told that he could pray for him, but to not look under the tarp because he was a mangled, bloody mess. He was still in the driver’s seat and covered by a tarp.
Dick put his hand on Piper’s shoulder and began to pray. After Dick prayed, he began to sing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” It was the first thing Piper remembered hearing. Although in very critical condition, Piper regained consciousness. He remembered many things about what he saw in heaven during those 90 minutes and has since written a book, 90 Minutes in Heaven. He shares his story with anyone that asks him and gives God the glory.