By all reasoning, this should have been a tragic event. Consider the basic physics of the force of an 18-wheel semitruck weighing a minimum of 35,000 pounds empty running over and crushing a compact Nissan Altima weighing approximately 3,300 pounds. The odds of anyone surviving inside the Nissan, without sustaining massive life-threatening injuries, would be near impossible…unless divine intervention interceded.
This horrific accident occurred on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021, at approximately 11:04am on the Skagit River Bridge in Mount Vernon, Washington. The State Police got an emergency call that a serious collision involving a large semi-truck on Highway I-5 had just occurred.
First responders arrived on the scene and discovered a large semi-truck resting on a crushed red 2014 Nissan Altima. At first glance, it was assumed that whoever was inside the mangled and twisted wreckage was surly dead. No one could have possibly survived such an accident.
"There's no explanation to why she's alive."— ABC News (@ABC) November 21, 2021
A woman in Washington made a miraculous escape, surviving her car being crushed under a semi-truck on the Skagit River Bridge. https://t.co/dxII7YT0AS pic.twitter.com/CZQ24pZewQ
In spite of the wreckage, that was not the case. Not only did the lone driver of the compact vehicle survive, she “miraculously walked away” without sustaining any major injuries.
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Trooper Rocky Oliphant, a 14-year veteran with the Washington State Patrol Division, still can’t believe what he saw when he arrived on the scene. He approached the mangled car and heard a female voice softly say “help”. The stunned officer immediately called for a tow truck to lift the front end of the semi-truck off the crushed Nissan. Once released, the women miraculously crawled out of a tiny gap where the passenger window once stood.
“She was able to pull herself out with her own power which is incredible,” Oliphant said.
The 46-year-old woman was then ushered to a waiting ambulance and rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors examined her and found she had suffered only minor injuries.
“It is nothing short of a miracle in my opinion, I don’t know how she survived this,” Oliphant said.
According to eye witness accounts, the red Nissan was sandwiched between two semi-trucks when the one in front suddenly slowed down because of the stop and go traffic ahead. This in turn forced the Nissan to also slow down, however the semi-truck behind the Nissan wasn’t able to stop in time, causing the semi to forcefully smash into it’s rear. The sudden impact jolted the Nissan forward into the rear of the other semi-truck, causing the entire front-end of the Nissan to crumble. The semi behind the wrecked Nissan continued moving forward, crushing what was left of the intact vehicle and then coming to a rest on top of it.
Confirmed MINOR INJURY crash on NB I-5 on the Skagit River Bridge. How? No one knows! pic.twitter.com/TZgjOZln3S— Breaking Skagit (@BreakingSkagit) November 16, 2021
Motorist Mike DeWitt, who witnessed the horrific accident, said it was “Just a loud bang. They’re like there’s no way, no way somebody survived that.”
Due to the unlikely probability that anyone could have survived without divine intervention, the story made national news.
Oliphant stated, “There’s really not a word to describe this collision. Miraculously believed to be minor injuries. The car was struck from behind, folded the car in half, and semi came to rest on top of the car. In my 14 year career, I have never seen anything like it.” He added, “The rubber seal for the trunk was actually resting on the driver’s headrest, so that’s how close the metal came when it folded to her head.”