Officials say 12 hours may have passed before first responders located a woman who had lost control of her car and crashed into bushes off Interstate 95 in Salisbury, Massachusetts, on Monday.
An alert trucker, who says he said a prayer when he saw the mangled metal, told a MassDOT crew he thought he saw a car in the woods. That crew called 911, and MassDOT says one of the crew members stayed with the woman until help arrived.
Salisbury firefighters found the injured 24-year-old Amesbury woman in the woods next to her smashed car Monday afternoon.
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"It’s possible that the person involved was in the woods outside of the vehicle with serious injuries for up to 12 hours," Salisbury Fire Chief Scott Carrigan said. "Just the visual picture of the vehicle alone gave everyone there an idea as to how serious this person's injuries could be."
Investigators believe the actual crash happened much earlier Monday and say the woman lost control of her car on I-95 south near exit 60 and bounced off a guardrail before ending up in the woods.
"It's awful. She is lucky. And I'm thankful for that truck driver that found her," said neighbor Tracy Tremblay.
Responders thought the woman driving home from work might have died. To their surprise, they found her alive and conscious.
"I was very surprised to find that she was out of the vehicle and she was sitting up when we first approached her and was able to communicate with us," Carrigan said.
The woman was flown to a Boston hospital. Neighbors tell us she has significant injuries and that her mom is by her side in the hospital.
Officials have not given an official update on the woman's condition.
Her neighbors remain worried.
"It's nuts, especially when it hits close to home, you never think it would but it does," Austin Smith said.