Vt. firefighter recovering after being forced to jump from overpass
WINDSOR, Vt. -
Just a day after Molly Wood had a near death experience, she returned to the Windsor Fire Department.
"It's like family here, so it's good to be home," she said.
Around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, the fire department was called out after a car crashed into a guardrail on Interstate 91. Just minutes before they were set to leave the scene, another car crashed a few feet away. Wood and another firefighter helped the driver out of the car and were walking him to safety when other vehicles started to slide toward them on the icy highway.
"I looked up and the next thing I saw was the jack-knifed truck," Wood said. "I was like uhhhhh, oh no."
The other firefighter and the driver hopped over a guard rail. Wood, who was 20 feet behind, also thought she was jumping over a guardrail-- but it was really an overpass.
"I thought I was going to hit the snow bank because I was closer over, but then was like, I feel like I'm floating. That's not a good thing," she said.
Firefighter Wood landed 30 feet below on the side of a road.
"When I landed, I landed on my right side. It was just agonizing pain, my hip. I couldn't breathe, my shoulder, just yelling for help," she said.
Miraculously, Wood sustained only some bruising and a possible concussion.
"On a blind corner like that as soon as you come around, those big pines right there are kind of an obstruction to see the warning lights," Windsor Fire Chief Mark Kirko said.
Another two tractor-trailers eventually crashed into the scene. Even the fire chief had a close call, jumping into a fire truck for cover just seconds before one of the big rigs slammed into it.
"It was close enough to make the whole truck shake and kind of shutter a little bit as it sideswiped the truck a little bit," Kirko said.
Kirko hopes this accident serves as a reminder of the dangers of driving in bad weather.
"Stay off the highways when it is icy and snowy," Kirko said. "It's for everybody's safety, including those responding to those in need."
Despite her brush with death, Wood is looking forward to returning to the Windsor Fire Department in a few weeks.
"I live for this," she said. "This won't make me go away at all... I might be a little timid with tractor-trailers."
A dedicated firefighter who will not let a near-death experience prevent her from saving lives in the future.
Troopers are still investigating the crashes. So far, no tickets have been issued.
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