Struck head-on by a drunk driver on Sunday morning, emergency workers had been battling for an hour and a half to free Lentz, but to no avail.
But as they joined hands a Catholic priest appeared, even though there were no bystanders and the road was blocked, who offered a prayer and an instruction to the rescuers that they would now be able to free her.
Suddenly, heavy equipment needed to cut through the metal arrived from a nearby town and Lentz was pulled from the wreck in time to be saved – but when they turned to thank the priest, he was gone.
Update (8/12/2013) Fox News is reporting that the mystery priest has been identified.
The “angel priest” who appeared at the scene of a Missouri car crash, anointed and prayed with the teenage victim, then vanished has been identified as Rev. Patrick Dowling of the Jefferson City Diocese.
A press release provided to FoxNews.com by the diocese said Father Dowling had been travelling Highway 19 between Mass assignments in northern and central Missouri when he arrived near the crash scene Aug. 4.
The arrival of the unidentified priest, who seemed to come out of nowhere, then attend to the victim before disappearing just as mysteriously, touched off nationwide speculation about the identity of the “angel” cleric.
Dowling actually identified himself in a comment posting on a story about his actions on the National Catholic Register website Friday night. The posting, one among many, appeared to go unnoticed for several days.