Bianca Vera Survives Jumping Off Bridge to Avoid Oncoming Truck
Vera, a 22-year-old nursing student from Gainesville, Georgia, was driving on a bridge across Lake Lanier before dawn when a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction clipped her car. Vera got out to inspect the damage, but she realized that a tractor trailer had lost control on the ice and was barreling toward her.
"I knew I didn't have enough time to get back in the car. If I did, I knew I was not going to live because it was going really fast," she told the source. "As I'm in the air, I can hear the semi truck hitting my car. I hit the water, had the wind knocked out of me. I get back up to the surface and at that point I was in a lot of pain, I started swimming toward the shore."
Initially, emergency responders who arrived at the scene of the crash did not know that Vera had jumped from the bridge, and she was left to take care of herself as she tried to swim to shore and ward off the cold. Before long, however, she was discovered by police and taken to the hospital, where she was treated for a broken vertebrae, serious bruises and hypothermia.
"I'm OK. I'm just in pain," Vera said. "I do feel like I'm lucky to be alive. There were plenty of occasions this morning where I could've died."
People who have survived a traffic accident or a dangerous fall from height often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, which the National Institute of Mental Health says affects an estimated 5.2 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 54.
People suffering from this stress disorder may wish to contact the Trauma Resource Institute for information and support.