Survivor speaks on horrific crash

April 10, 2009 5:48:29 PM PDT
A woman who was behind the wheel of a crushed car says it's a miracle she's alive. She is now talking about her brush with death and the freak accident is giving her and her family a new reason to be thankful this Easter.[PHOTOS: See images from Thursday's close call]

We first brought you the pictures Thursday during Eyewitness News at 11am. A heavy container went flying off an 18-wheeler and into the path of traffic, mangling an SUV.

The victim said she is still sore from the wreck with neck and back injuries, along with severe headaches. Other than that, she is grateful to be alive.

"I finally get out of my car and I looked at my car and I could not believe it," said Zulma Ramirez.

Ramirez can hardly believe that she survived such a horrible accident. Just one week before her 57th birthday, she knows she has new reason to celebrate.

"I said, 'Oh god, thanks. Today is my second day of birth,'" said Ramirez.

Ramirez was on her way to a business meeting, traveling down Highway 59 when the truck in front of her lost its load. The giant metal container was the size of three traffic lanes. Before she knew it, a sea of blue metal smashed down on her car.

"I saw my car hitting the left side (of the container) and I thought my car was going to roll over because it was so bad," said Ramirez.

She said she blacked out for a moment only to awake to find herself trapped in her car. Ramirez said she yelled out for help, fearing the worst.

"I was so scared because the engine started to smoke. It was smoking and I was thinking the car is going to explode," said Ramirez.

She said two men eventually got her out and much to her surprise she only had cuts and bruises.

Her daughter, who is planning to marry in August, said she was one of the first to see her mother alive.

"I thought she has to be here for my wedding and see her grandbabies," said her daughter, Yenny Mendoza.

This weekend, Ramirez and her family will celebrate Easter like many others, but theirs will be a celebration with new meaning.

"I was telling my mom that I love her so much and I don't tell her every day that I love her. This is another opportunity to wake up and realize that it could be a second and somebody could be gone," said Mendoza.

There's yet another amazing part to this story, Ramirez said she was supposed to have a passenger in her car but she was running late so she never picked up that other woman.

The driver of the semi truck was cited by police. The Department of Transportation said he was traveling within the 610 loop without the proper permits.

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